Killswitch Engage, as you’ve never heard them before.
In November 2017, I spoke with neo-classical pianist, Sean Townsend, about his work: taking songs from bands like As I Lay Dying, Parkway Drive, Funeral For A Friend, All That Remains and even the Terminator theme, and re-creating them in his own musical image. That image is one of minimal but beautiful neo-classical piano arrangements. During that interview, I left things off on a relatively simple final question: what’s next for the man of the hour? Sean’s answer was his Killswitch Engage covers, telling me:
“I’m actually going to focus solely on Killswitch Engage covers – a project I’m calling ‘Chillswitch Engage’. At the moment I’m covering a wide range of their songs, but I’m entertaining the idea of possibly covering a whole album. We’ll see what the New Year brings!“
Well, while the cover project didn’t launch within “the New Year” (2018), it’s here now. Just the other week, Sean finally put together a near-hour-long playlist online of his piano reworkings of his favourite Killswitch Engage songs. Outside of minimal but arresting string accompaniments, this is a solely piano experience, with Sean competently voicing the memorable melodies of the much-lauded metalcore bands most popular songs perfectly with his own instrument of choice. The entire playlist, dubbed “Chillswitch Engage”, just goes to show that a good song is a good song no matter how it’s instrumentally created; whether with pianos or with breakdowns. It’s also a real testament to Sean’s ability as a composer and his intonation that he can so effortlessly re-capture the sheer emotion of these songs in his own way, all without the passionately screamed vocals or those huge guitar leads.
The whole playlist is wonderful; incredibly moving neo-classical piano renditions of some of the Killswitch Engage’s finest material. It’s a lovely 58-minute journey spanning most of KSE’s releases; excluding 2016’s ‘Incarnate‘ and 2009’s second self-tilted album, instead focusing on hits like ‘My Curse‘, ‘The Arms of Sorrow‘, ‘Always‘, ‘The End Of Heartache‘, ‘This Fire Burns‘, ‘Rose Of Sharyn‘, and more.
Chill out and relax for an hour with Sean’s wondrous take on Killswitch Engage below: