As I Lay Dying
02. From Shapeless to Breakable
03. Moving Forward
04. War Ensemble (Slayer cover)
05. Hellion (Judas Priest Cover)
06. Electric Eye (Judas Priest Cover)
07. Coffee Mug (Descendents cover)
08. Beneath the Encasing of Ashes (Re-Recorded Medley)
09. The Blinding of False Light (Innerpartysystem Remix)
10. Wrath Upon Ourselves (Benjamin Weinman Remix)
11. Confined (Kelly “Carnage” Cairns Remix)
12. Elegy (Big Chocolate Remix)
As I’ve stated numerous times, metalcore is a stagnant genre. It’s so full of bands with rip-off styles of music that so easily hark to their influences that you’d rather listen to the original. One of these “original” bands is As I Lay Dying, who are undoubtedly one of the originators of the modern metalcore style. Ever since their first album Beneath the Encasing of Ashes, they’ve been proving their dominance in the genre. Now As I Lay Dying has been a band for 10 years, and to celebrate, they’ve rewarded us with Decas, an album with three originals, four covers, a medley from their first album, and four remixes from the likes of Ben Weinman to Big Chocolate. The ultimate question is, is it a good reward to the fans for all their dedication and love?
First off, I shall begin with the original pieces written for this album. All three of the pieces are decidedly AILD. I don’t know what it is about AILD, but you can pick out their songs from the sea of metalcore with ease. Tim Lambesis is as powerful as ever, as his roars are full of foundation, and the band is in full force. I find myself favoring the second track, “From Shapeless to Breakable“, because of it’s absolute intensity and the rather beautiful guitar break in the middle. However, all three originals are certainly worth your attention.
The covers may be the best part of this album. First off, all of the songs stay true to their original form. However, they can take it and make it their own. For example, their cover of “War Ensemble“, which was originally featured on the Homefront promo. I have never liked Slayer, but AILD take it and make it one of the highlights of the album for me. They also cover Judas Priest‘s “Hellion/Electric Eye“, which sounds great. They also make a surprise cover of “Coffee Mug” by Descendants, which is THE highlight of the album for me. It’s so intense, the sound borders on powerviolence at times. And I love the powerviolence.
The remixes, however, are the ones that are hit and miss on this album. I’m not a big fan of the medley, but I can respect the action of taking a collection of songs and meshing them into one singular song. Ben Weinman’s remix is definitely my favorite, because it’s just so chaotic. He definitely brought his The Dillinger Escape Plan influence on that one, and it works. I’m also a fan of Big Chocolate’s remix of Elegy, even though, as a remix, it doesn’t really work because it doesn’t sound like the original at all, but as a song, it’s definitely pretty cool. However, Innerpartysystem‘s remix of “The Blinding of False Light” sounds like sub-par dubstep, which makes me avoid it like bubonic plague, and Cairns’ is too safe, making me do two things:
- Think that Cairns got really lazy and just made the guitars and drums sound more electronic.
- Want to listen to the original.
However, despite the complaints, this album is definitely worth your time, and is a great gift for the loyal fans of As I Lay Dying. The originals and covers get you pumped for the next full-length album, and the remixes, while inconsistent, can offer fresh takes on well-loved songs. Here’s to ten more years of metal!