As I Lay Dying
Published: Wednesday, October 17, 2012
Updated: Wednesday, October 17, 2012 00:10
As I Lay Dying’s credibility as a metalcore band has always been fortified by its William Faulkner reference, but in the metalcore world it’s also revered as one of the genre’s favorite bands to see live.
With Awakened the group delivers more of the fast-paced, alternating tempos, and screaming melodic vocals that have made it famous. The first single of Awakened, “Cauterize,” explains the basic gist of the albums—thrashing guitar rhythms, pulsating radical drums, and vocals screamed and sung that pierce through the sound spectrum.
Awakened nonetheless suffers from sounding repetitive and tiring from the constant sound wall that aggressively hits the listener. It’s to be expected, however, since the genre itself is known to suffer from the repetitive nature in many of its songs. The irony is that As I Lay Dying has, in the past, been praised for its ability to buck this trend, and for bringing a new flavor to the genre.
The intense breakdowns, shrieking guitar leads, and Tim Lambesis’ low rumble screams and melodic voice combination still make it a notable album for heavy metal subgenre fans. “Overcome,” in fact, contains one of the album’s most earth-shattering guitar solos.
Lyrics—albeit difficult to understand for casual listeners—are really phenomenal, as evident in the post-suicidal composition “No Lungs to Breathe,” or the self-examining “Whispering Silence.” Finally, aside from the lead singer’s San Diego studio, a large portion of the album was recorded in the legendary Fort Collins, Colorado studio The Blasting Room.