HardReviews 2
by Martin Popoff

Killswitch Engage - As Daylight Dies

Wow, I suppose when you're the leader of a whole genre, namely metalcore, you're not exactly inclined to jump ship. So no Lamb-ish pure metal props for these guys (and less surprisingly, no bizarre late '80s thrash parody as per Trivium). No, Killswitch are content to combine the usual emocore vocals with nondescript hardcore barks, over the usual formulaic metalcore riffs - sweet Shadows Fall harmonies shoved side by each for no discernible reason (see Iron Maiden) against mountain-moving maneuvers from Machine Head's noticeably improving catalogue. Vocals are thankfully mixed way back (but then again, that's just another point of irritation), and the production is suitably wet, especially down toward the drum sound. But man, this is straight up hearts-a'-hurtin' metalcore time and time again, even if My Curse breaks stride with a steamy groove (falling apart for an emo chorus at the minute and a half mark) and For You successfully courts the new martini shaker grind (its inevitable post-Patton gheyness coming at 49 seconds).
Rating 5.5

Waysted - Organized Chaos... Live
(Majestic Rock)

More shirkers than workers, nonetheless Pete Way's UFO offshoot project Waysted managed to come up with an embarrassing bounty of charming hard rock anthems throughout their '80s kick at the cat. Pete's now back together with key vocalist Fin (let's not talk about the blow-up of the guitar slot - ha ha, you can access my UFO book Shoot Out The Lights for that story), and after a wobbly but serviceable studio album called Back From The Dead, here they are with a raucous, raw but inspiring blaze through (a scant) ten of the band's better butters. The sound ain't great, but generally the levels are alright for a Stonesy mess of a band like this. Highlights include Won't Get Out Alive, Hang 'Em High, a surprise Night Of The Wolf and the absolutely gorgeous Must B More 2 It Than This from the recent comeback album. Seriously, you can't rate a lazy package like this too grandly, but even more seriously (and sadly, you might say), I'll be playing this a lot more than some ambitious ProTooled 70 minute thing from the latest earnest upstarts - it's all in the songs.
Rating 6.5

Hard Reviews Page 3