Music: Killswitch Engage

Obligatory photo of the band.

Killswitch Engage is a five-piece metalcore band from Westfield, Massachusetts, formed in the late nineties. The band currently consists of vocalist Jesse Leach, guitarists Joel Stroetzel and Adam Dutkiewicz, bassist Mike D'Antonio and drummer Justin Foley.

Original singer Jesse Leach was replaced with former Blood Has Been Shed singer Howard Jones for almost a decade, before returning when Howard quit due to health problems. note 

The band has released five studio albums to date. MTV once called the band one of "the founders of metalcore", which is actually inaccurate as the first metalcore bands were from the early nineties and consisted of bands like Integrity and Earth Crisis; the band's main innovation was fusing the sound of metalcore with the harmonized guitar melodies of Melodic Death Metal and clean singing, producing the subgenre which would come to be known as melodic metalcore. At any rate, Killswitch Engage are one of the most popular heavy groups around today, and are known as forerunners in the New Wave of American Heavy Metal, along with other popular heavyweights such as Lamb of God.

Killswitch Engage contains the following tropes:

  • Bald Black Leader Guy — Howard Jones.
  • Careful With That Axe — "My Curse" and the start of "Rose of Sharyn".
  • Cloudcuckoolander — Adam is known for acting a little...out there during live performances.
  • Cover Version: Of "Holy Diver", originally by Dio. The music video is notable for being a fairly close homage to the original, but with much higher production values and a clearer plot.
  • Filk Song: "Loyalty", released in 2015, is about the Martell family of Game of Thrones.
  • Genre Popularizer: Of melodic metalcore.
  • Grief Song — "My Curse" and "Rose of Sharyn."
  • Heavy Metal — Though some purists would argue that since they're metalcore, they're merely a form of hardcore punk...
  • Lyrical Dissonance — They have tons of aggressive, super heavy songs with surprisingly positive lyrics.
  • Metalcore
  • Metal Scream — In every song. Even "Holy Diver".
  • Mood Whiplash — "My Last Serenade" opens with quiet ambient sounds, gentle acoustic guitar, and soft singing before launching into a steam-rolling metal assault.
    • Same thing with "My Curse," which starts with melodic, lightly distorted guitar chords that segue into a crushing riff and a Metal Scream.
  • Mohs Scale of Rock and Metal Hardness: Definitely around an 8. Think about it, and it's probably gonna be hard to say otherwise.
    • Mohs Scale of Lyrical Hardness: Amusingly, not that high given both Jesse and Howard focused on more positive feelings for lyrics instead of the death, angst and destruction that permeates metal.
  • Not Christian Rock —The band is often assumed to be Christian due to lead singer Jesse Leach's faith.
    • Which is kind of doubly ironic, given that WWE Superstar Christian is such a fan he renamed his Finishing Move after them.
  • Obsession Song — Quite a few of them.
  • Older Than They Look — Believe it or not, Howard Jones is 41.
  • Punctuated! For! Emphasis! — Prechorus of "My Curse".
  • Refrain from Assuming — "My Curse" getting called "This is My Curse". Overlaps with Fandom Berserk Button.
  • Running Gag — The video for "Holy Diver" features the king taking a large bite out of a chicken leg three separate times.
  • Self-Titled Album — Two, their debut and their fifth album.
  • Sliding Scale of Idealism Versus Cynicism — Generally idealistic.
  • Soft Water — The "Arms of Sorrow" music video, which has a man falling off what looks like a very tall apartment building, ends with said man landing in a swimming pool and apparently surviving in one piece.
  • Solo Side Project:Guitarist Adam Dutkiewicz of Killswitch Engage started a solo project (with former Killswitch Engage vocalist Jesse Leach) called Times of Grace.
  • Soprano and Gravel — Both Leach and Jones utilize the one-man variant.
  • Subdued Section — The band utilizes this trope very often; "Desperate Times", "The Arms of Sorrow" and "The End of Heartache" are examples.
  • Wholesome Crossdresser: Adam Dutkiewicz in the music video for "Holy Diver."