As I Lay Dying
Company: Metal Blade
Reviewer: Eric Compton
Roughly fourteen years of metalcore now and it hasn't dwindled a bit. Just this year alone we've seen All That Remains, Parkway Drive, Shadows Fall and a teaser from Bullet For My Valentine. Chalk up San Diego's As I Lay Dying as another entry in the metalcore scene for this year. "Awakened" is the group's sixth album to date and the follow-up to 2010's "The Powerless Rise". Once again Metal Blade is involved in the release, the album is produced by Bill Stevenson (Rise Against, Comeback Kid) at Sterling Sound and Colin Richardson (Machine Head) does the mix at Treehouse Studios in the UK. The record clocks in at eleven tracks and the iTunes version gives us two extras in "Unwound" and an extended "A Greater Foundation". It is hard to believe that this is really record number six, yet it still sounds so fresh and invigorating. These guys consistently deliver crushing blows every time out and "Awakened" is really no surprise. Honestly, I took an album or two off from the band simply because metalcore just became way too much too often. I am still coming back to the original dozen or so bands that seem to set it off a little more in terms of melody and clean singing. This hard hitting approach has plenty of Tim's aggressive 'core vocals but it's the clean singing of Josh Gilbert (bass) that seems to elevate this band into the higher echelons of the genre. Favorites are the two singles thus far in "Cauterize" and "A Greater Foundation", both of which has phenomenal charging riffs crossed with taught and precise melodic vocals.
About this Writer:Eric Compton
// Eric Compton lives in the most haunted city in the world, St. Augustine, Florida with his family and two yorkies. He has served as senior editor for MaximumMetal.com for nearly 10 years and is the author of the heavy metal book series--Denim & Letters. His reviews, interviews and social commentary has been featured on websites like Brave Words, Blabbermouth, Metal Temple, Metal Rules, Ultimate Metal, Metal Maniacs and Wikipedia.