Awakened marks the fifth full-length studio for As I Lay Dying in their decade-plus career. It follows The Powerless Rise‘s strong, driving beats and expands on the flowing and fluid leads. The thrash roots of old have not been abandoned and there are some heavy blasters in here for your morning cups of metal.
Read the review here.
Cauterize and A Greater Foundation open this bad boy up with a fair amount of familiarity, as they were the first two singles released, the latter accompanied with a music video. Both great tunes and they definitely got me pumped about the rest of the album, which they were delightfully mum about. I always hate being inundated with so much pre-release digi-swag and song clips.
Side note: As I Lay Dying is now sponsored by MusclePharm, which is an athletic supplement company. In case you haven’t seen these guys lately, they’re huge now and super into exercise. Check out a video here. It makes total sense for them to make a heavy album to get ripped to. I have always thrown Bury Us All on during a massive bike ride so it no surprise these guys are active.
Did anyone else think the artwork looked familiar? The album cover was done by Metastazis who also did The Black Dahlia Murder’s Ritual (which was also released on Metal Blade)and lots of other awesome looking things here. This release centers around “questioning your view on the world, why you think this or why did i think things were this way,” according to bassist Josh Gilbert. Lyrically, Tim Lambesis has written powerful words and expressed them in a wide vocal variety. Musically, this album melds their various sounds and influences, building more on open chord strumming while keeping a tight, precise thrash edge. Wasted Words, Defender and Whispering Silence remind me why I love this band.
As I Lay Dying was one of the first real metal bands I started listening to. Shadows Are Security and An Ocean Between Us were my mother’s milk. I think thins album could easily be someone else’s favorite gateway album into both the band and metal as a whole. For me, As I lay Dying has continued to improve, lead, and shape their genre and I will always enjoy their music.