San Diego, California’s As I Lay Dying has returned with what is some of the band’s best work since its debut album, “Frail Words Collapse” with its new album, “Awakened.” The band’s fifth full length studio release of new material combines elements of that album with elements of its previous releases to make an album that any metal head happy. The album’s opener, ‘Cauterize’ is a powerful opener. Front man Tim Lambesis sings in this piece, “I’m caught between the feeling/Of being pulled apart/And being stuffed into a cell” in the song’s chorus. That’s something to which so many listeners can relate. He’s saying in a metaphorical sense, he feels so much pressure that he doesn’t entirely know what he’s feeling. But it’s definitely not a good feeling. Who out there hasn’t felt that way at one point or another?
The album’s second track, ‘A Greater Foundation’ could almost be compared to a hybrid mix of Killswitch Engage and Hatebreed with the combination of Lambesis’ vocals and the buzz saw sharp guitar riffs churned out by Nick Hipa and Phil Sgrosso. Drummer Jordan Mancino is just as solid behind the kit with this song, not missing a single beat throughout. There’s even a touch of old school style metal here too, for fans of the older stuff in ‘Resilience.’ This piece starts out very much in the old school metal style before kicking things into high gear. Fans of AILD’s old sound will enjoy the sound of ‘No Lungs to Breathe.’ This is the sound that made the band so famous on its debut record. What’s noticeable here though, is that while it boasts that sound from the band’s early days, long time fans will be able to tell how much the band has grown since then, too. There’s even more of that sound on ‘Defender.’ The song actually boasts singing along with Lambesis’ sharp as nails screams. The only time the band lets up throughout all of this is in the softer instrumental that is ‘Washed Away.’ This song is just enough of a break for listeners to collect themselves before one more full out aural assault. By the time it’s all said and done, audiences will be left breathless by the band’s chops.
“Awakened” hits stores tomorrow. The band is currently promoting the record. It will be at a signing engagement tonight at the Looney Tunes CD store in West Babylon, New York. And tomorrow, the band will be at Vintage Vinyl Records in Fords, New Jersey for another in-store signing. Fans can get the information on these events online at http://www.facebook.com/asilaydying and http://www.asilaydying.com.
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