Raging from San Diego, California, As I Lay Dying have reached quite a milestone in the metalcore genre. Tim Lambesis as vocals , drummer Jordan Mancino, lead guitarist Nick Hipa, rhythm guitarist Phil Sgrosso, and bassist Josh Gilbert – they were signed to Metal Blade Records, and have released five studio albums, one split album, one compilation album, and have released a second compilation album on November 8, 2011.
Winning up multiple awards, till now, As I Lay Dying’s most success came in 2008, when they got nominated for the Grammy Awards for the song “Nothing Left”. Their latest album, The Powerless Rise was written over a three year period and was released in May 2010 to widespread critical acclaim.
The release of Decas is meant to commemorate As I Lay Dying’s tenth anniversary of being a band, and was also described by the group as a gift to their fans for their support over the years. Coinciding with the release of Decas, As I Lay Dying will embark on the “A Decade of Destruction” tour running from November through December 2011 with openers Of Mice & Men, The Ghost Inside, Iwrestledabearonce and Sylosis.
After five full-length albums, As I Lay Dying has basically reached the zenith of their success at a very young career-age, but it wasn’t until their most recent albums that their popularity and seething fan base really grew. Roughly a year passed since the release of The Powerless Rise album, and with one compilation already out in 2006 dealing with their initial recordings, it was about time to hit up their fans with another collection of songs!
The performance that “As I Lay Dying” pulls off musically is fantastic and has that modern sleeker sound to it.
A nearly cover-syndrome like Killswitch Engage, As I Lay Dying have covered the “Electic Eye” originally by Judas Priest in this compilation album of theirs. The forced screaming, growls and breakdowns into it, made me bang my head along the track. The whole album caught my attention mainly because of the track list it holds and I was totally awestricken when the first song I ran to due to what I read of that aforementioned discussion and it really does fail and win at the same time. The song resorts to screaming for much of the track, which doesn’t suit the music at all, though! The performance that “As I Lay Dying” pulls off musically is fantastic and has that modern sleeker sound to it (with a good deal of heaviness), and the chorus does include some clean singing (though it is backed up by more screaming of the kind that ruins the enjoyable aspect of the song). It would be sufficient to say that I’ll be happy as hell if I never have to hear this cover rendition again. It may not be a bad song, but damn does it kill much of what stands out as great about the song. But, as much time as I can spend talking about how bad that track ends up being because of the vocals and some of the faults in the music such as some gaps in the heaviness, it’s just not worth the time!
The album comprises of a new track “Paralyzed” which was released as a single on September 11, 2011 (just before my birthday! ). I, a newbie “As I Lay Dying” fan, was completely on my toes to download and hear “Paralyzed”! Believe me; the song opens with an outstanding guitar and drum intro that completely blew me away. And what do I say about Tim Lambesis, an exceptional vocalist he is with growl, pig squeal and screaming that really sets As I Lay Dying as a completely dissimilar Metalcore band of the Metalcore genre. Anyways, everybody knows that all the other and previous As I Lay Dying songs had that “unique” – “As I Lay Dying” style of vocals, but “Paralyzed”? God, it is really a surprise! The shrieking screams that Tim put into it really blew me! I couldn’t stop banging my head in the whole 3:04 time-length, and noticed that the lyrics are exceptionally well, (probably written by Tim Lambesis himself) it is about life, hatred, love and betrayal. If none of you believe me about the vocal change of Tim, do keep your ears open when he sings the 3rd verse, “What is certain I have ignored. And what I know is simple. If I am honest with myself. My soul is broken yet easily fixed”; the chorus is awesome, and Josh Gilbert, Nick Hippa and Phil Sgrosso really pulled it off with some amazing riffs and Jordan Mancino, hails!
“From Shapeless to Breakable”, “Moving Forward” are other new tracks too but I personally prefer “Paralyzed” over them. There are other covers here including “War Ensemble” by Slayer, another Judas Priest track in the form of “Hellion,” and “Coffee Mug” by “Descendents”. I gave the whole list a listen, and found that the cover of “War Ensemble” was alright, but it and the other songs weren’t really anything exceptional. The originals that start off the compilation are pretty good though. There’s also a bunch of other random tracks at the end, and honestly it’s just a couple of their songs mixed with Techno music. Again, nothing special, and unless you enjoy Techno you’re going to really be let down.
Unless you enjoy Techno you’re going to really be let down.
Honestly, I didn’t get to really sit down and listen to this release with whole attention, but from a casual spin, I’m not adequately impressed.. The only “blew me away” tracks I heard here are the originals. “Paralyzed” and “From Shapeless to Breakable” were the only songs I actually found myself headbanging throughout along to with pleasure while some of the others were sort of forced for one reason or another, and the techno remixes at the end to me seem pointless and just are irritating and even similar to Deadlock. So far, Decas just may go on to be a wasted opportunity for the band because of the techno remixes.
Personally, I don’t think metalcore goes with techno. Only band I liked with melodic death, metalcore and techno mixes is Dead By April (an uprising Swedish Band). Anyways, though fans are going to buy and eat this compilation up, so if their goal was to try to make some quick cash off a few new songs, chances are good they are gonna succeed! As the icing on the cake, I hope As I Lay Dying really get a good chart peak and a successful tour on their 10-years anniversary, because believe me, for a metalcore band to be so popular in just 10-years is really purely talent and luck.! \m/