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As Daylight Dies marks the return of metalcore juggernaut KILLSWITCH ENGAGE whose breakthrough album, The End of Heartache, solidified the band as one of the genres most successful acts. Album two for the KILLSWITCH-HAS BEEN SHED line-up sees the band taking the lessons learned from their two year roadtrip in to the studio with guitarist Adam Dutkiewicz’s production know how to deliver yet another solid, albeit unremarkable album. “This is Absolution,” “The Arms of Sorrow” and “My Curse” all deliver mildly catchy hooks, but lack the power and conviction of songs such as “When Darkness Falls,” “Rose of Sharyn” or even the title track of the band’s previous album. What we have on As Daylight Dies is a band revisiting familiar ideas from their previous album, to bring listeners material that is immediately similar, but lacking in the delivery department. This results in songs that while catchy are also somewhat bland at the same time. When the band experiments, it does so sparingly as on “For You” which starts off with a busy rhythm pattern similar to singer Howard Jones and drummer Justin Foley’s work with BLOOD HAS BEEN SHED before quickly returning to more familiar, standard riffing that the band has become known for. When the band arrives at the melodic bridge, what could have been an exciting highlight is quickly shortened and cut off in favor of safer, more predictable territory. Oddly enough, the most adventurous material on As Daylight Dies occurs at the end, with the last two tracks, “Desperate Times” and “Reject Yourself,” both offering up the most developed mature work on the album. “Desperate Times” shifts from ethereal to heavy effortlessly while “Reject Yourself” alternates between blast beat fury and melodic clean sections creating a strong balance of dynamics. As Daylight Dies is by no means a bad album, but considering its importance at this stage in the band’s career, it’s somewhat disappointing. When you take in the fact that, for most of the line-up, this is their sixth album as well as the band member’s impressive resumes, one can’t help but feel a little short-changed. Bottom line, if you have The End of Heartache you don’t really need As Daylight Dies as two killer songs are hardly worth the price of admission, but diehard KSE fans easily impressed by more of the same will probably eat this shit up. (Roadrunner Records)