Artist – Killswitch Engage
Album – The End of Heartache
Year – 2004
Genre – Metalcore/Nu-Metal
Nu-Metal isn’t exactly known for having gut wrenching lyrics, but Killswitch Engage’s The End of Heartache is perhaps one of the best examples of going against the norm. That, mixed with stunning production and musicianship make this a stand out track in all aspects. Let’s get to it.
A descending guitar riff opens, and then it’s full steam ahead for former frontman Howard Jones. His voice is powerful and extremely melodic, and he adds to the whole vastness and sweeping quality of the song. The instrumentals throughout the song are technical and every note and sweep of the guitar adds to the emotion of desperation, longing and sadness that pervades the song. The track is aggressive, as is evident by Howard Jones’ harsh screams over the top of a repeated chugging riff, but by the time the chorus rolls around, you can hear just how emotional the song is.
“Seek me for comfort. Call me for solace.” The passion in the vocals throughout the chorus is stirring, as the guitar provides a wall of melody in the background. The frenetic drumming that is present at the beginning slows down and moves at an even keel. The chorus is the highlight for sure, and is the most heartfelt and grandiose display of sadness in the whole track.
The guitar showmanship continues, and the driving beat continues until the guitar softens and provides a fitting base for Jones to belt out a final chorus. The lyrics throughout are poetic in their own right, especially for a metal song. They never feel cheesy or over the top, but stem from a place of true pain. The mix of incredible singing and wailing screams creates a great texture to convey the agony that the song deals with.
This song is a wonderful depiction of pain in sorrow wrapped up in a melodically aggressive package, and is certainly a highlight of both the band and the genre. If you prefer a little anger in your sorrow, then this song is a must listen for you. It’s definitely a song that’s gotten me though the past few months.
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