Not a colour-by-numbers effort

Awakened is everything you would expect from an As I Lay Dying album – but after six records, is it enough?

There is no denying that As I Lay Dying are titans of metalcore, and for many fans they can do no wrong. It must be difficult for a band such as them. On one hand they’ll have friends demanding they stick to the ‘good old days,’ yet on the other, fans wanting something new and perhaps a little different to add to a stellar repertoire. Awakened covers both bases pretty successfully.

AILD stick to a formula that works, so why break it? Awakened features all the staples– blast beats, chunky riffs and clean and coarse vocals – but it’s not a colour-by-numbers effort. Unlike their other albums, Awakened was recorded in three and half weeks with producer Bill Stevenson (Rise Against, NoFx, Comeback Kid) on board. Certainly an interesting choice for producer, but bringing in a producer who doesn’t work within their genre has helped the band unleash sounds never utilised on their previous efforts.

The Powerless Rise is considered one of their best albums by many, as they turned up the aggression and really raised the bar for the genre. Awakened continues on the path that album laid down with a bigger and bolder effort; they aren’t simply riding on the coattails of their previous release’s success. The opening track of any album is always important and “Cauterize” blasts through the speakers, daring you to continue.

A few tracks stand out among the rest – “Overcome”, particularly for its intro, as with the dirty bass intro of “Defender.” “No Lungs To Breathe” is a refreshing track that has Stevenson’s influence all over it. While Awakened is a metalcore album through and through, these songs set themselves apart, and the groove elements that creep in throughout keep it fresh and new.

AILD know what they are doing. Awakened gives the metalcore fans all the stomping, roaring, chugging fun they could ever want, while adding bursts of freshness to keep the rest of their fans happy. It’s simply more proof that As I Lay Dying will be on top of the metalcore genre for a long time coming.

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