KillSwitch Engage, a metalcore band from Massachusetts USA, are well known for their unique heavy sound that includes melodic undertones and exceptional dual guitar harmonies.
In 1998, Mike D' Antonio belonged to a band called Overcast who had decided to split up. For months he searched the underground heavy metal and hardcore Massachusetts scene, searching for members to start a new band. It was in 1999 that he met Adam Dutkiewicz and Joel Stroetzel, both guitarists from the band Aftershock. Together they decided to start a new project, with Dutkiewicz putting the guitar down and taking up the drums, and Stroetzel staying on guitar.
After another extensive search, Jesse Leach was eventually recruited to take up the role of vocals (Leach previously performed in the bands Corrin and Nothing Stays Gold.) After watching an episode of the X Files called “Kill Switch,” Dutkiewicz came up with the band name KillSwitch Engage, which they began to call themselves.
It was during a tour with the popular metalcore band In Flames that KillSwitch Engage was noticed by the record label Ferret (who were In Flames' record label.) Their aggressive and popular shows resulted in a record deal, and their debut album was released.
RoadRunner records soon began to take notice of KillSwitch Engage, and signed them up for a record deal. After much thought, the members of KillSwitch Engage decided to change their lineup to a five piece, and acquired the skills of Tom Gomes on drums. Dutkiewicz went back to his former instrument, guitar, and the two guitarists began to work on their unique riffs and guitar harmonies that are synonymous with the band's sound.
The album Alive And Just Breathing was released in 2002, which placed the band on the Billboard Magazine Heatseeker chart. However, Jesse Leach left the band in the same year and was soon replaced by Howard Jones (formerly of Blood Has Been Shed.) The year saw them touring extensively, particularly in Europe, and playing alongside bands like 36 CrazyFists and Five Pointe 0.
In 2003, the song When Darkness Falls was featured on the Freddy vs. Jason movie, and the band continued to tour in festivals such as Ozzfest. At this time, Tom Gomes decided to live in LA with his wife and pursue their new band Something Of A Silhouette, leaving KillSwitch Engage without a drummer. Justin Foley, also formerly of Blood Has Been Shed, and the jazzmetal band Red Tide, joined in as the new drummer and toured with the band on the MTV2 Headbangers Balls tours.
KillSwitch Engage released their third album on 11 May 2004 with the new lineup, entitled The End Of Heartache. The album achieved much success and was nominated for a Grammy that same year. They also played live alongside popular bands such as Slayer, and returned to Ozzfest in 2005. Later in 2005, Alive And Just Breathing was re released as a 2 disc version with previously unreleased tracks.
Following their latest album As Daylight Dies, KillSwitch Engage has been touring extensively throughout 2006 and 2007, and will continue to do so until April 2008, when talks of a new album will begin.
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