MUSIC FEATURE: A Bluffer’s Guide To Killswitch Engage

Metalcore titans Killswitch Engage are currently out on tour across the UK and if you’re lucky enough to be heading to a show but not too familiar with their back catalogue we’re here to help with our quick start guide to Killswitch Engage.

Who? Killswitch Engage are a band from Massachusetts, who blend hardcore aesthetics and aggression with the melody and technicality of traditional old school metal.

Why should I care? They’ve got more bangers than most bands and you’ll never hear a sing-along like it elsewhere. They might not be on the tip of the tongues of the young anymore, but Killswitch created the blueprint and forged the path for modern heavy music.

On top of that, latest record Atonement features some of their most savage material yet, proving that there’s something to be said for experience trumping youth when the songs are this good.

Essential listen? Alive or Just Breathing from 2002 is a perfect amalgamation of pretty much everything that made heavy music exciting at the turn of the 21st century. As darkly optimistic as it was infectious and accessible. A true modern classic.

Critics choice? 2004’s The End of Heartache is typically seen as the one you have to hear thanks to its gargantuan melodies, cutting edge production and tasteful songwriting. This set the template for mainstream heavy metal for the next 15 years.

Fan favourite tracks? Make sure you learn the words to The End of Heartache, My Curse, My Last Serenade and Rose of Sharyn.

Avoid? The second self-titled record. A best left unmentioned, uninspired misstep.

What to wear? Luckily, Killswitch’s musical palette gives you a few options: iron your best Maiden shirt (pun intended), leather jacket stonewash jeans or your favourite beard, black skinnies, beanie and checked shirt. Or follow the lead of guitarist Adam D and look out your best short shorts and tutu combination.

Who’s going? Everyone who was a teenager in the early 2000’s who liked screaming about heartache, beat downs and singing about their feelings. Their main feeling now is the hope it doesn’t run too late because they have work in the morning.

Do? Have both a cry and a mosh. Maybe not simultaneously, don’t want anyone slipping in the pit. Maybe have a stretch first as well, you’re not as young as you used to be.

Don’t? Ask how old they are (20 years a band this year). Or remind yourself how old you are. It’ll only hurt in the morning.

Where? Across the UK and Europe on the following dates with Revocation and Tenside.

Thu 17th – GLASGOW, UK – Barrowland
Fri 18th – MANCHESTER, UK – Academy
Sat 19th – BIRMINGHAM, UK – O2 Academy
Sun 20th – LONDON, UK – O2 Academy Brixton
Tue 22nd – BRUSSELS, BE – AB
Wed 23rd – AMSTERDAM, NL – Melkweg
Fri 25th – OBERHAUSEN, DE – Turbinenhalle
Sat 26th – BERLIN, DE – Huxleys
Mon 28th – HELSINKI, FI – Circus
Wed 30th STOCKHOLM, SE – Fryhuset
Thu 31st – OSLO, NO – Rockefeller


Fri 1st – KARLSTAD, SE – Nojesfabriken
Sat 2nd – COPENHAGEN, DK – Amager Bio
Mon 4th – WARSAW, PL – Stodola
Tue 5th – LEIPZIG, DE – Werk 2
Wed 6th – MUNICH, DE – Tonhalle
Fri 8th – LAUSANNE, CH – Les Docs
Sat 9th – PRATTELN, CH – Z7
Sun 10th – NUREMBERG, DE – Loewensaal

You can get tickets for the shows from HERE.

Killswitch Engage‘s latest album Atonement is out now via Music For Nations, and can be purchased from HERE.

Written By: Calum McMillan