So, SuperRadMike and I have decided to take a cue from BurnTheBlueSky and AdamDodd and do a co-op review of the new As I Lay Dying album, ‘The Powerless Rise’. Inside you’ll find TWO reviews where we each state our opinion about the band’s 5th studio release. Leave us some comments to let us know what you think.
Jonathan Barkan review:
With ‘The Powerless Rise’, As I Lay Dying has put out a solid, thoroughly enjoyable 5th full-length studio release. Fans will get more of what they enjoy and newcomers will find energetic, melodic metalcore with tight playing and solid production.
The production quality is near rock solid on ‘The Powerless Rise’. Apart from the vocals being ever so slightly buried in the mix, everything on the album sounds polished. The guitars are well defined, crunchy and very tight. The guitar tones are also very well chosen as they are big yet not hissy or to full of low end. The bass picks up that end of the spectrum easily, creating a nice, rolling low end. The drums have a tight attack yet still sound big and open. The cymbals could use a little more ‘’sizzle’’ in the high end, but in general they sound very good.
The songs have a frenzied energy that is completely focused. It’s hard to describe but you can almost feel the unbridled intensity that is struggling to go in every direction. As I Lay Dying keep it all in check though and make the sure the energy is controlled and directed as a single unit instead of each instrument going ballistic on it’s own.
Each song is well structured and the transitions within make sense. The melodies that they incorporate are pleasant and give a nice contrast to the intensity but they aren’t exactly original. These are melodies that you have heard before. However, it’s not as if you hear them and sigh in exasperation: It’s almost nostalgic. The melodies are very much in the American metalcore style but you can hear the fingers of Swedish melodic metal creeping in here and there, spreading its influence.
One last thing to note about these songs is the clever use of panning. Guitars will be soloed hard left or hard right, vocals the same. It makes for an interesting headphone experience, so make sure to listen to the album a few times like that.
Overall, ‘The Powerless Rise’ is a solid album that I definitely enjoyed listening to and will come back to in the future.
4 out of 5 skulls
After 2007’s “An Ocean Between Us” I wondered how As I Lay Dying could top such an awesome album. Well they did. I had my doubts but “The Powerless Rise” is definitely worth your money.
The biggest change on the album is the direction they went it. They got a lot more aggressive and in general went in a more “death” metal direction. “Beyond Our Suffering” is a fantastic example of this not too mention it is the perfect intro song and you can tell the entire band pushed their limits. “Without Conclusion” is the epitome of a “riffer” song. The song is brutal, fast and has one of the best solos I’ve heard in a long time.
Songs like “Parallels” and “Condemned” keep the momentum of the album going, almost like not giving you a chance to breathe. “Anger And Apathy” almost sounds like it could be a Dethklok song with the guitar intro and this song might be the slower song of the album but still keeps up with the flow of the album and doesn’t bore you either. The record itself has awesome messages of rising above and getting past your own personal struggle its an awesome message to convey when so much is going wrong in the world and when things like music are in such a slump.
“The Powerless Rise” is an album that shouldn’t be ignored or looked passed. The guys put a lot of effort into this and kept their sound but made it even better. Like I stated before it’s for sure worth your money and will keep any metal fan happy.
4.5 out of 5 skulls