As I Lay Dying/The Powerless Rise

The Powerless Rise

As I Lay Dying is an American metalcore band from San Diego, California, formed in 2000. Their band name derives from the novel by William Faulkner with the same title.[2] Founded in 2000 by Tim Lambesis and having completed their first Line-up in 2001, the band’s line-up consists of vocalist Tim Lambesis, drummer Jordan Mancino, lead guitarist Nick Hipa, rhythm guitarist Phil Sgrosso, and bassist Josh Gilbert, all of whom are Christians.[3][4][5] Signed to Metal Blade Records, As I Lay Dying has released four studio albums, one split album, and one compilation album.

As I Lay Dying’s 2007 release An Ocean Between Us peaked at number 8 on the Billboard 200, and number 1 on the Top Rock chart. The band has performed at Wacken Open Air, With Full Force, Soundwave Festival, Sounds of the Underground, Warped Tour, and Taste of Chaos. In 2007, As I Lay Dying won the “Ultimate Metal God” award from MTV2 at the first annual “All That Rocks” special, was named “Artist of the Year” at the San Diego Music Awards in 2008 [6] and was nominated for a 2008 Grammy Award for the song “Nothing Left. [Wikipedia]

Beyond Our Suffering—-From the first strains of the opening number, you almost at once notice that you are again in possession of the traditional ‘Metalcore’ sound….that impression only last for a few moments as you delve further into the song…the sense of brutality is intense…the sense of melody is remarkable…..the energy is inescapable. The anger and intensity is unrelenting….this is pretty fantastic…..especially for a ‘Christian Band’.

Anodyne Sea—-Beginning rather predictably, the track sounds like an extension of the previous track…the drums on this track are huge!!! The entrance of the clean vox adds a depth and melody to the song that immediately made me sit up and pay more attention. This is remarkable….the song remains a favorite of mine.

Without Conclusion—-Again with the drum track….WOW…the nice guitar squeals only add to the intensity of the song and when the leads really kick in your neck will snap with the intensity of the whole damn thing put together. The guitar solo on this track is incredible….the screamer is relentless…it is amazing to me someone can do this for such an extended amount of time. this is remarkable…instrumentally, this track is a masterpiece.

Parallels—-This has a really nice delivery as the vocals are traded in a huge back and forth style that gives the song a remarkable balance. The music remains chaotic and with a nice level of urgency…when the clean vocal enters the song, it raises it to a whole other level as the melody of the song really shines through. This is excellent.

The Plague—-Wow……without a moments notice, the intensity and urgency of the song begins and proceeds to snap you neck and leave you beaten and bruised. This vocal…..opposite of the growl is almost at a full pitch scream…the contrast between the two styles adds a nice texture to the song and keeps you interested despite the ‘sameness’ of the songs. This is great.

Anger And Apathy—-Without losing any of the bands intensity, this song begins a bit more on the calm side…but it is not to last….the drums again are stellar…seemingly leading the entire pace of the track. The clean vocals are so damn pleasant and melodic you almost wish the band would use them all the time. This is remarkable…I love this band…yet another one to investigate further.

Condemned—-With a huge wall of brutal sounds, this is an all and all out roof shaker that would stand next to any of the Death Metal bands that I hold so much in my favor. This is brutal…the drums and the bass add a nice percussive sound to the song that I have not heard up to this point and the vocal…well, I still can’t fathom how these guys sing like this.

Upside Down Kingdom—-This begins rather melodic and accessible to the average listener…by the third bar or so, the vocal kicks in and moves the song in a predictable direction but the instrumentation still hold out through the entire song. This is a bit too predictable for me, but all in all it stands up fine with each of the other tracks on this release.

Vacancy—-With no musical introduction, this starts off from the first note with the familiar sense of urgency that this band seems to have with them at all times. The voice must be raw by now…but sounds as fresh and practised as the first track. This is remarkable…I love the combination of the growl with the clean vocal…giving the song a huge layered sound that would play on radio really well. This is fantastic!!!

The Only Constant Is Change—- Coming out of the quiet at a slow and building pace, it takes quite some time for the song to really come alive……when the mayhem does finally ensue, you are treated to the same old’ same old’ but it is still better than most bands out there doing this type of music these days. This song is huge…..really great with a fantastic catchy chorus.

The Blinding Of False Light—-Sounding like it was recorded at a deeper level at the onset, the clean vocal comes in and reminds me of Linkin Park….the melody and delivery is very familiar, although LP never managed to carry this amount of hostility and brutality with them. This is exquisite and a great way to close out one of the best ‘metalcore’ releases of the year.

****1/2 out of 5


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