Killswitch Engage // Live At The Palladium // Album Review

With a reputation for formidable live performances, preceded only by an utterly flawless back catalogue of inspiring but pummelling music, it’s surprising that Killswitch Engage, now 8 albums deep are only releasing their second true live album package this summer, but boy was it worth the wait.

Ever the reliable act, it’s hard not to catch the band performing on the bills of festivals; supporting metal’s megastars or plotting their own amazing package tours year after year, so they can be forgiven for foregoing the need for a live release, with the real experience usually so readily available and completely worthwhile. But within the imposed downtime all musicians sadly experienced between 2020 and early 2022, Killswitch took the opportunity to capture the nuance and intensity of their live show at the Worcester Palladium; once the home of the infamous New England Metal & Hardcore Festival, and notably the venue where KSE captured their timeless 2005 live snapshot – ‘(Set This) World Ablaze‘.

Taking the Palladium stage once again but with no live audience to greet the band in person, absolutely no time is wasted breaking into the set where the furious rolling riffs of ‘Unleashed’ live up to their namesake within seconds.

The sound, performance and atmosphere captured on this live release is totally evocative of metalcore’s glory days (arguably 04-08), encapsulated most perfectly through a setlist comprising of 2019 album ‘Atonement’ in full alongside the 2000 self-titled debut. The recording encapsulates the very essence of Killswitch Engage; even though the vast majority of their stunning catalogue gets overlooked there are still heaps of tightly syncopated riffs, hugely uplifting clean choruses and the occasional nod of humour – a hallmark of the KSE live experience (more present in the live footage admittedly).

Moving onto the second half of the set, featuring the 2000 self-titled album in full, it’s fascinating to note the comparative simplicity of the music being played but with the added skill and technical proficiency the band has progressively achieved and built on in the 22 proceeding years.

Whilst always the consummate professionals from their very earliest gigs, now the trademark pinch harmonics and Jesse’s gravelly roar are pulled off with extra precision and graft, presented here with jaw-dropping audio clarity by way of meticulous production on the day and its final mix out. Where the studio albums tend to capture the band’s gigantic sound by way of carefully finessed guitar tones weaving against one another by way of guitarist and producer Adam Dutkiewicz and his meticulous ear for producing epic metalcore, Live at the Palladium adds a further degree of unpredictability and sheer volume to demonstrate the power that this band harnesses.
Live at the Palladium is released Friday, June 3rd through Metal Blade Records
Review: Mike Lockheart 
CD1 – 1Unleashed (Live)
CD1 – 2The Signal Fire (Live)
CD1 – 3Us Against The World (Live)
CD1 – 4The Crownless King (Live)
CD1 – 5I Am Broken Too (Live)
CD1 – 6As Sure As The Sun Will Rise (Live)
CD1 – 7Know Your Enemy (Live)
CD1 – 8Take Control (Live)
CD1 – 9Ravenous (Live)
CD1 – 10I Can’t Be The Only One (Live)
CD1 – 11Bite The Hand That Feeds (Live)
CD2 -1Temple From The Within (Live)
CD2 – 2Vide Infra (Live)
CD2 – 3Irreversal (Live)
CD2 – 4Rusted Embrace (Live)
CD2 – 5Prelude (Live)
CD2 – 6Soilborn (Live)
CD2 – 7Numb Sickened Eyes (Live)
CD2 – 8In The Unblind (Live)
CD2 – 9Just Barely Breathing (Live)