When I interviewed Killswitch Engage in the summer of 2005, in a tour bus parked at the side entrance of a sold-out Worcester Palladium, guitarist Adam Dutkiewicz was drinking a can of Coke and eating a bowl of cereal. Vocalist Howard Jones, protective of in-bus air quality, was dismayed at this reckless and gas-producing mixture of substances, and remonstrated with Dutkiewicz. Bassist Mike d’Antonio, meanwhile, was fretting that his band had already peaked, and the only way forward was down; that the metalcore wave that had sustained them was about to crash and recede.
Well, Jones may have been on the money — Dutkiewicz might have asphyxiated his bandmates that night — but Mike D was wrong. Sales of Killswitch’s ’06 album As Daylight Dies (Roadrunner) are moving steadily toward the quarter-million mark, and despite the temporary absence of Dutkiewicz (laid up until June after back surgery), the band are touring like champions, with Damageplan’s Pat Lachman standing in on guitar. Nipping at the heels of KSE’s success are fellow Mass. metallers Shadows Fall and All That Remains, voted into third and fourth places this year by you, the discriminating reader. And at #2, in a nice twist, we have the defiantly difficult Converge: the Salem noise-nauts continued to chart their own course with last year’s No Heroes (Epitaph), and display no symptoms of gentrification, domestication, or dimming of bloodlust. Even though guitarist Kurt Ballou, last time I saw him, was wearing slippers.
— James Parker
by MATT ASHARE