Killswitch Engage are indisputable titans of American metalcore, having helped set the template for the melodeath-infused, sing-scream style in the early 2000s and perfected it since.
So what is the New England veterans' single greatest song? We posed the question to our fans and followers, and you cast your votes on social media. Below are the ranked top-five results.
"The End of Heartache" is widely regarded as Killswitch Engage's big breakthrough moment, thanks to its inclusion in 2004's zombie blockbuster Resident Evil: Apocalypse, and, later, its Grammy nomination for Best Metal Performance.
Between Howard Jones' powerhouse croons, Adam Dutkiewicz's djenty licks and Justin Foley's relentless snare abuse, its instant-classic status — and place on this list — comes as no surprise.
Featured on the group's second comeback album with frontman Jesse Leach, 2016's Incarnate, this song addresses a lyrical topic close to the singer's heart and tied to his hardcore-punk roots — unity against racism. "A reason why, a state of mind/There's a disconnection/A judgement made/Fueled by hate, it's your mistake/It's a choice you made/It's tearing us apart."
The result is a compelling combination of message and melody.
A churning reflection on grief and loss, "My Curse" is one of Killswitch Engage's most successful songs to date, cracking the Top 30 on the Billboard Mainstream Rock Tracks chart. "This is my curse, the longing," Jones wails, laying the song's amorous skeletons bare. "This is my curse, time/This is my curse, the yearning."
For all its latent dread, the ripper sounds nothing short of victorious.
Taken from 2004's The End of Heartache, "Rose of Sharyn" is Killswitch Engage's stormy eulogy to all those who have loved and lost.
Running on duel cylinders of pain and perseverance, it stands among the group's most potent displays of catharsis, a eulogy as heartfelt as it is hammering. "Numb/We're broken/Here I stand alone," Jones seethes in the intro — and yet, even in the wake of all this pain, the song belies a band united by pain, dead-set on transcending it.
Killswitch Engage's 2002 breakthrough album, Alive or Just Breathing, features what is arguably the group's most famous single, "My Last Serenade."
The album practically defines a generation of metalcore, and this four-minute single set the sonic template for the decade that followed it with its mix of harsh and clean vocals and Swedish melodic-death-metal-inflected guitar work. No wonder the song makes it into Killswitch's set list every show, without ever getting old.