Metal Blade, 2010
San Diego’s As I Lay Dying shows no signs of letting up or compromising their sound on album number five, despite their massive chart success. As I Lay Dying effectively blur the lines between metalcore, thrash metal, and death metal into a massive sound that can’t be ignored. One aspect of The Powerless Rise that I really like is the use of clean vocals. Vocalist Tim Lambesis really can sing, and his clean voice doesn’t sound forced or shoe-horned into songs such as “Anodyne Sea” and “Parallels”. Performances and production are flawless, and a clear sound that isn’t too heavy helps the songs shine. “Condemned”, “Anodyne Sea”, and “Beyond Our Sufferingh” are the best songs here, and they really incorporate all of the aggression, power, and technicality that make As I Lay Dying a stellar band. The metalcore tag that the band has will make some potential fans skeptical, but I can imagine that even fans of Sepultura and Pantera will be impressed. As the album nears its end with “Vacancy”, things begin to sound too much alike, which I always find to be a problem with nearly all metalcore bands. Nevertheless, The Powerless Rise is an impressive album that should only serve to widen As I Lay Dying’s appeal. I am admittedly a little biased against this style of metal, but I have no doubts that metalcore fans will give this a 9 or 10 rating.
As I Lay Dying will be appearing at Cabooze in Minneapolis on Wednesday, May 12. Support will come from Demon Hunter, Bless The Fall, and War Of Ages.