AS I LAY DYING’s “Awakened”

Originally posted in Valkyrian Music

» The metalcore community can rejoice as one of its most appraised sons are about to release another hit-album. It’s not like they’re reinventing the wheel, but they’re upgrading it.

So what’s different in this “Awakened”? Well, the structure remains pretty much the same. It’s its sharpness that’s grown – the riffs are thrashier, the solos are more elaborated, the melodic parts are more enthralling, the gang vocals are more rebellious.

The first track and also first single, “Cauterize”, released last June, couldn’t be a better example of that. Fast and furious right from the start, it only slows down a bit for the catchy chorus.

“A Greater Foundation” is similar when it comes to speed, but it has a much heavier vibe to it. The gang vocals are heard in the pre-chorus, while the chorus itself is quite melodic but not exactly delicate. And the effect is that it brings out the fierceness of the song as a whole.

Like the initial guitar work of “Whispering Silence”, which sounds more like alternative rock than actually any kind of metal. But then it stops and the drums dive into a blast-beat pace, and the typical As I Lay Dying metalcore kicks in, sounding faster than ever after that intro.

Same effect, different genre: the melodic intro in “Overcome” would make you raise up a lighter in any given concert. But of course the “ballad-moment” doesn’t last even one minute and the contrast between that and the fury that comes next is just great.

“Defender” starts with a strong bass line that sadly fades away and gets drowned by the other instruments way too soon. It’s still a cool song, though.

They left “Tear Out My Eyes” to the end, the closest to mainstream that this album gets. Catchy to the point of being considered radio-friendly (as long as it’s a hard’n’heavy radio station, of course), still I’m not sure if it’s powerful enough to be played live. But if they decide to do so, I’m sure the crowd will participate gladly with loud sing-alongs and rhythmic headbanging. «

Label: Metal Blade

Producer: Bill Stevenson


  1. Cauterize
  2. A Greater Foundation
  3. Resilience
  4. Wasted Words
  5. Whispering Silence
  6. Overcome
  7. No Lungs to Breathe
  8. Defender
  9. Washed Away
  10. My Only Home
  11. Tear Out My Eyes
  12. Unwound (B-side demo, iTunes bonus track)
  13. A Greater Foundation (extended demo version, iTunes bonus track)

About Pieni

A metalhead who loves photography and her friends.
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