May 11th, 2004. I remember driving two hours to the nearest town that sold a wide array of heavy metal CDs. I went with friends and we collectively purchased The End Of Heartache by Killswitch Engage. We had already been fans of the bands first two albums and, being a fan of Blood Has Been Shed, we were excited to see what the vocalist of BHBS would do at the helm of Killswitch. It was an exciting time all around.
When “A Bid Farewell” kicks in and you get that first scream from Howard, we were sold. I was sold. The band hadn’t lost a step whatsoever. Musicianship was at a high and I was pumped. As the album pushes on, we hit one of my favorite tracks “When Darkness Falls,” which has phenomenal groove and melody. I often find myself singing this song out of nowhere: “when darknessss faaaaaaaalls, we aaaarrre reboooorn!”
“Rose Of Sharyn,” as one of the lead singles, got plenty of play as well as a nice video. This track, without losing any of it’s melody, added a little crunch to the mix, which is always fun. “Inhale,” a nice, short acoustic interlude, leads nicely into another phenomenal cruncher “Breathe Life.” This wasn’t a single off of the album, but it absolutely should have been because it’s one of the heaviest beasts on the entire album.
The title track off of the album is definitely a fan favorite as it is 100% a sing-a-long. This is the track I can find myself often singing along with “When Darkness Falls” on the reg. Why? Because it rules. “World Ablaze” has a nice galloping melody and simplicity to it. Not one of my favorites, exactly, but fits well alongside it’s mates in “Declaration” and “Wasted Sacrifice,” the latter of which hints back to the earlier tracks on the album.
The album ends on a nice note with “Hope Is…” which is a punishing, melodic melee. All in all, this album still does it for me 13 years later. Now, just because I picked this specific album instead of Alive Or Just Breathing doesn’t mean I enjoy this album any more than that one. I absolutely love AOJB just as much and I hold it dear. However, that album was already released when I started getting into metalcore. I physically remember going to Sam Goody’s to buy The End Of Heartache. Good times. Good memories. Good music. It
holds up and if you haven’t spun it in a while, fucking do it!