As I Lay Dying
The Powerless Rise

  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

The “NWOAHM” trend has been on a bit of a decline in the past few years, at least from where I’m sitting. After a few excellent albums, the kiddies come out in droves to emulate and eventually ruin a sound that was once pretty awesome. Isn’t that the case with any surge of music? It’s tragic. Even bands that influence the genre try to step into it to ride on the money train (I’m looking at you, In Flames.) I can’t take the genre seriously anymore, except for a few stand out bands, and As I Lay Dying are one of those and that get a considerable amount of respect.

As I Lay Dying guitarists Nick Hipa and Phil Sgrosso actually manage to come out with killer riffs every time, just when you think that the genre’s been chewing up and spitting out the same tired riffs every time. They also don’t rely too heavily on melodic clean sung choruses by other metalcore contemporaries, and while they do occur, they’re catchy as hell and aren’t nauseating at all. What’s best of all: the breakdowns are kept to a minimal and optimal use. These things have pushed As I Lay Dying to the forefront of the genre, and with The Powerless Rise, As I Lay Dying have come up with their best effort yet.

As I Lay Dying have so far been improving their sound and getting comfortable with where and who they are, and when listening to The Powerless Rise, it’s clear that they’ve come to full form. What to expect? A sweet blend of chugging riffs and melodic leads and improved vocal delivery from Tim Lambesis, who busts out some serious low death metal growls in “Beyond Our Suffering,” a song heavy enough to pass for death metal. I shit you not. As such, The Powerless Rise features their heaviest material ever. Fret not, AILD fanboys, the sung choruses are here, naturally. The song “Parallels” has to be one of the catchiest songs they’ve put out, and gives “Nothing Left” from 2007’s An Ocean Between Us a run for its money.

The band has definitely worked hard at improving both ends of the spectrum of their sound while maintaining a balance, not compromising one aspect in lieu of another, and that’s what makes this album so great. This album might even change some negative opinions on the band. If you’re a fan of metalcore, feast your ears upon one of the genre’s new staples.

As I Lay Dying – The Powerless Rise gets

4/5

– JR

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