Monday, September 17, 2012

As I Lay Dying - Awakened (2012)

The well known American metalcore band As I Lay Dying has gone through lots of ups and downs throughout their career. Their 2010 album, entitled "The Powerless Rise," was a horrible let down as the band tried to change their sound and style and strayed away from their earlier music(which was a lot better.) They are finally releasing a new album by the name "Awakened" and this is a giant step back into the right direction. They throw everything at you, from catchy hooks to wild melodic solos. This new album has it all.

Wicked blaring screams start the album off with "Cauterize." The vocals slash through you with quick delivery while monstrous guitar riffs fill the air with heavy distortion. The bass guitar sends a groovy tune down your spine as wild double bass pedal drum patterns rumble recklessly beneath you. The refrain contains some catchy shouting vocals as you'll find the melody stuck in your head immediately. Another great thing about this opening track is the it splits time between an pulverizing breakdown and an insane guitar solo. This is what keeps them in the mix of both hardcore and heavy metal.

"Resilience" will absolutely knock you out of your chair with its overwhelming bass and drum patterns. The fills in between verses are just mind blowing. Constant toms and snares roll right into massive cymbals colliding in the background while the double bass pedal beats you down relentlessly. Meanwhile the guitar melodies grab you with catchy melodic riffs that draw you deep into the track. The vocals continue with a hard growling delivery and mix it up between high screams and low growls. "Wasted Words" keeps the tempo moving with its deadly riffs and quick tempo. The track will have you up and moving. The guitars slow down in the refrain as a catchy tone takes over. The vocals keep up with their aggressive delivery and wretched screams.

Later you'll find songs like "No Lungs To Breathe" and "Defender" which show some more groovy bass guitar riffs along with some insane guitar solos and breakdowns. "Defender" changes things up with some clean vocals adding a little more melody to the track while the growling vocals still step in with their monstrous tones as well. The final track, entitled "Tear Out My Eyes," opens with some deep chugging guitars as they are layered with a lighter melodic guitar which floats in the background. The verses contain lots of vicious screams and growls forcing you to throw you fists in the air. The refrain comes in with soaring clean vocals that immediately grab you with its catchyness. You'll definitely find yourself singing along after the first few times you hear it. The close things out with a wicked guitar solo towards the end as high flying guitar notes hit you from every direction. This is definitely the track that leaves you wanting more and more.

As I Lay Dying has come a long way. Each of their albums are very different from each as they went from bad to good to worst. "Awakened" definitely brings you back to their good stuff from their 2007 album, entitled "An Ocean Between Us." If you've been a fan for a while and you liked that 2007 album then you will love this album and the direction that the band has gone in. If you're unfamiliar to the band and are looking for some solid metalcore done right then you should definitely give this album a listen.


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