Alive or Just Breathing

Universal Music AB
Release date
21 May 2002
Running length
12 tracks
Running time


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    Track     Duration Listeners
1 Numbered Days 3:35 145,334
2 Self Revolution 3:08 137,380
3 Fixation On The Darkness 3:36 173,066
4 My Last Serenade 4:13 273,938
5 Life To Lifeless 3:17 158,934
6 Just Barely Breathing 5:42 111,085
7 To The Sons Of Man 1:58 89,515
8 Temple From The Within 4:04 119,630
9 The Element Of One 4:08 123,474
10 Vide Infra 3:27 112,000
11 Without A Name 1:45 89,198
12 Rise Inside 5:56 87,184

About this album

Alive or Just Breathing is the second studio album by American metalcore band Killswitch Engage. It was released on May 21, 2002, through Roadrunner Records. Alive or Just Breathing was Killswitch Engage’s first album on Roadrunner and was recorded from October 2001 to February 2002. Produced by drummer and guitarist Adam Dutkiewicz, this was the band’s first album on a major label, which prompted them to write and record the album to the best of their abilities. The record was among the first of the metalcore genre, which combined elements of heavy metal and hardcore. Alive or Just Breathing is viewed as a defining moment for the genre and was well praised upon its release by fans and critics. The lyrics, which were all written by vocalist Jesse Leach, were aimed to bring a positive message through the music.

Shortly after the release of Alive or Just Breathing, Leach left the band for personal and health issues. Killswitch Engage quickly recruited Howard Jones to replace Leach. Jones would stay in the band for nearly ten years, until his departure in early 2012, which prompted Leach to rejoin the band on the ten year anniversary of Alive or Just Breathing. This is also the last album to feature Dutkiewicz on drums, as he would switch to guitar before the touring process. The drumming position was filled by Tom Gomes.

Critical reception of Alive or Just Breathing was generally positive. Erik Thomas from Metalreview.

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  • Sergio_Bv

    Their best album. [17] ;)

    17 Dec 2014 Reply
  • Grungebucket

    what the hell happened to them after this record? This is great! Good song structures, audible bass. Now they only have whiny emo-lyrics and pop-like choruses everywhere. If this Band would always be like this, i would consider myself a fan.

    12 Nov 2014 Reply
  • versionfiv

    @eshui lol i was talking to the guy who posted below me who mentioned howard.

    7 Oct 2014 Reply
  • Ivansxm

    Best KsE and Metalcore album, i just love every song in it!

    22 Aug 2014 Reply
  • DarkMessengerVI

    The Element of One is my favorite!

    21 Jul 2014 Reply
  • bloody_nips

    Best Metalcore album of all time!

    19 May 2014 Reply
  • tropicalhaze

    The pinnacle of metalcore right here [3]

    15 May 2014 Reply
  • kyleabent

    I still vividly remember the first time I've ever heard "my last serenade" .. and "the element of ones" lyrics combined with production of guitar.. and... just.. the entire albums and it's memories left inside of me back when the apple ipod was brand new and not detected in high school.

    15 May 2014 Reply
  • AlanSteindorff

    I'm having some problems when scrobbling this album

    27 Nov 2013 Reply
  • mickeymait

    i'm the same as SaltyandPep. it's created a 2nd AOJB blank album for some reason and it's quite annoying

    17 Sep 2013 Reply
  • IRL174099

    In my library I have only one Alive or Just Breathing album, but each song appears twice on it

    15 Sep 2013 Reply
  • t0rrrben

    am i the only one who has problems scrobbling this album? it doesn't transmit like half of the tracks, what the hell. :/

    28 Aug 2013 Reply
  • JulioMesquita

    their best album. [16]

    18 Aug 2013 Reply
  • Ivansxm

    Best KsE album!

    16 Aug 2013 Reply
  • horiiz0ns

    their best album. [15]

    27 Mar 2013 Reply
  • davidianko


    12 Mar 2013 Reply
  • Koby_94

    their best album. [14]

    20 Jan 2013 Reply
  • katto22

    <3 Perfect Album, Vocal Jesse's fuckin awesome!

    16 Oct 2012 Reply
  • Eshuei

    @versionfiv this wasnt howard it was jesse leech

    19 Sep 2012 Reply
  • Kuregu

    I normally hate this numbered quoting shit, but... oh, what the hell: The pinnacle of metalcore right here in my opinion. [2]

    20 Jun 2012 Reply
  • All 127 shouts