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As I Lay Dying - The Powerless Rise Award winner

As I Lay Dying
The Powerless Rise
by Panos Pagonopoulos at 28 May 2010, 2:05 PM

Three years has passed since AS I LAY DYING released “An Ocean Between Us” , their most successful and critically acclaimed album until then, which is the largest gap between releases from the band to date. So after such a long awaiting the American Metalcore band from San Diego,California release their 5th studio album entitled “The Powerless Rise” and the expectations are higher than ever. From the first moment of its release the new album was accepted with enthusiasm by the fans, debuting at #10 on the Billboard 200.

I first listened to AS I LAY DYING two years ago when a good a friend of mine gave me some songs from “An Ocean Between Us”. I simply loved the band , its music and up until now I consider “An Ocean Between Us” one of the best Metalcore albums ever; a total masterpiece. So as we were waiting for the release of the new album many were expecting that it would be continuing in the same direction with their previous one. Why to change a successful recipe anyway? However they proved me and many others wrong and in the end from what it seams it was a pleasant surprise. In“An Ocean Between Us” AS I LAY DYING managed to achieve in most of the songs the perfect balance between the fast, heavier Metalcore parts with impressive Death growls and the more melodic parts with great clean vocals.

However the new album is much heavier than its predecessor favoring much more the aggressive Metalcore parts and putting aside most of the time the more melodic mid-tempo parts. To imagine how “The Powerless Rise” sounds you can take their 3rd album “Shadows Are Security” and make it a little bit faster, more aggressive, with great ideas, better compositions and the perfect possible production. In the new album we have good lyrics talking about social themes, an impressive performance by Tim Lambesis in death vocals, great ideas in the guitar riffs combining the pure aggression of Metalcore with plenty of melodic Death elements while some times we can hear even some pinches of Thrash Metal influences. There are also some songs that follow successfully the same direction with their previous album. One of the few things that did not change since “An Ocean Between Us” is the production and mixing teams with Adam Dutkiewicz (guitarist of KILLSWITCH ENGAGE) and Daniel Castelman in production and Colin Richardson (with a huge bio) in mixing doing once again a really good work.

The album starts with “Beyond Our Suffering”, a powerful thunderous pure Metalcore song that lets us know from the beginning what will follow. Most of the songs are at around the same style, all of them are really good that I can't choose which to mention first ; “Without Conclusion”, “The Plague”, “The Blinding Of False Light” or …it is really difficult to tell. There are also some songs, as said before, like the magnificent “Anodyne Sea” and “Vacancy” that combine Death parts with melodic parts and clean vocals having however as their focus and center the heavy Metalcore parts, while “Parallels” and “Anger And Apathy” are real highlights achieving the perfect balance as in the "An Ocean Between Us” album.

In the beginning when I started listening to the new album due to the fact that I liked very much this ultimate balance and style of“An Ocean Between Us”and considered it my favorite Metalcore album I did like “The Powerless Rise” but due to the change in style I was thinking that it was a little bit worse than its predecessor. But the more I listened to it the more I was enjoying it, caught myself many times headbanging ,singing parts of the lyrics and I got to the point where I was listening to the album all day. So I must conclude that their last 2 CDs are equal, it would be unfair to choose between one of them. They are both such great albums that it is a only matter of personal opinion which one you might consider the best and love the most.

Overall the point is that with “The Powerless Rise” and their previous album “An Ocean Between Us”, AS I LAY DYING are at the peak of their career and have established their position as one of the best (if not the best!) Metalcore bands. Simply enjoy!

4 Star Rating

  1. Beyond Our Suffering
  2. Anodyne Sea
  3. Without Conclusion
  4. Parallels
  5. The Plague
  6. Anger And Apathy
  7. Condemned
  8. Upside Down Kingdom
  9. Vacancy
  10. The Only Constant Is Change
  11. The Blinding Of False Light
Tim Lambesis - Lead Vocals
Jordan Mancino - Drums
Phil Sgrosso - Rhythm Guitar
Nick Hipa - Lead Guitar
Josh Gilbert - Bass Guitar, Clean Vocals
Record Label: Metal Blade Records


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Edited 02 February 2023

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