At the 2005 Grammy Awards, Killswitch Engage was passed over in the category of Best Metal Performance in favor of Motörhead's Metallica cover. Given the proven irrelevance and utter cluelessness of the Recording Academy, this should be considered an endorsement of Killswitch, a band that has written and rewritten the rules of metalcore with consistently blistering results. Anchored by the Judas Priest-indebted dual-guitar attack of Adam Dutkiewicz and Joel Stroetzel, the Massachusetts quintet dynamically balances aggression and melody with alternating death-metal verses and soaring choruses, screamed and sung by the powerful and compelling Howard Jones (no, not that Howard Jones). While far too many such outfits sound like emo bands that have finally reached drinking age, the uncompromising Killswitch strikes the right balance of brutal and beautiful, heartbreaking and heart-stomping. Lemmy had better watch his back.
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