As I Lay Dying
The Powerless Rise


4.0
excellent

Review

by Darion Paone USER (77 Reviews)
May 7th, 2011 | 20 replies | 4,872 views


Release Date: 2010 | Tracklist

Review Summary: As I Lay Dying releases epicness on a disk, A.K.A. 'The Powerless Rise'.

Christian rockers As I Lay Dying - a semi-popular mix of high-end metalcore and death metal - recently (and I use the term very loosely) came out with their 2010 release 'The Powerless Rise'. As some YouTube genius put it, the title of this particular album has more than one meaning; you can't rise without power, but it could also signify the rise of those who were once powerless.

So, after contemplating the meaning of life, the universe, and metal, you pop in the music and listen to what As I Lay Dying has become. "The Powerless Rise" inherits the band's high polish and trademark layered vocals, and puts them to very good use in this record. For those less word-savvy, 'layered vocals' describes a scenario when you hear more than one vocal track interlaced at the same time (pretty much every band uses this, even in the metal genre; AILD just never DOESN'T use it). Their past albums, particularly An Ocean Between Us and Shadows Are Security, make use of polish and vocals, but the latter record sounds markedly different from their latest. In The Powerless Rise, As I Lay Dying has really taken a new approach to the base structure of their music. It's refreshing to see a band taking such leaps in production and structure rather than simplifying their works more and more each record (cough, Bodom).

But enough stalling. What's happened since '07? The songwriting hasn't necessarily "improved" per se, but it has changed focus from one topic to another. The political twang of the title carries over to the lyrics, which are as "deep" as ever, and provide a fresh look at an otherwise dull take on things if you bother to check out the lyric sheets. Sound-wise, everything about The Powerless Rise is heavier than An Ocean Between Us, though still bears some resemblance to the older records when the rhythm guitars break out (which is often and always epic). The drums are beaten harder and kicked faster, and as much as that sounds like a dirty, twisted fantasy, it's true, and jibes with the rest of the newfound sound very well - although really, you can only get so original with metal drums these days, particularly death metal drums. The vocals are just plain metal, from the brutal cookie-monster growls to the high screams more reminiscent of black metal, and the clean vocals fit the sound amazingly on the tracks they were included in. Speaking of tracks...

What about the SONGS?

Ah, the songs. The things I wrote all this junk up about. The music. Friggin' beautiful music, man...

I'll start by saying that 'Beyond Our Suffering' is the most brutal opening track to any album that could remotely be considered metalcore. If you're looking for a good example of the sound change between records, listen to 'Nothing Left' from '07 and then 'Beyond Our Suffering' from '10. The next track, Anodyne Sea, is the first time we hear the clean vocals in action, and they sound perfect. The first two tracks are great, and give a taste of the band's new style while keeping some things in reserve to make you want to hear what comes next even more. A bit recommendation to any metalhead out there is the sixth track, 'Anger and Apathy'. This song is incredible, from it's memorable guitar/drumwork in the intro/outro to the signature "quiet" moments in the song, where it focuses on a single point before getting back into the action. The eighth track, 'Upside-Down Kingdom', is the most meaningful track on the record, I think, and may as well be the title track. The last album highlights I'd give out would be 'The Only Constant is Change' and 'The Blinding of False Light', the last two tracks, which both contain unbelievable harmonies between instrument and voice.

No album is without faults, though, and 'The Powerless Rise' is no exception. Though it is quite a memorable record that I've enjoyed till now and will continue to enjoy long after As I Lay Dying's next release, certain tracks like 'Vacancy' don't always seem to fit, which detract from the atmosphere created by the album as a whole. The band spent a careful amount of time crafting atmosphere. When they break it like that, the sound can suffer from it. Sure, it doesn't always end poorly, and it shows the willingness the band has towards different approaches to their music, but this time around their break in the atmosphere just didn't feel right. Nonetheless, their approach on songwriting is something many other bands could learn and benefit from, and the trait of breaking your own mould is indeed a respectable one. If you enjoyed their past sound(s), you'll love 'The Powerless Rise'.

Go pick it up if you haven't already. That's all.



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user ratings (1296)
Chart.
3.7
great
other reviews of this album
1 of
  • nipplefingers (3.5)
    AILD seem to have mastered and appropriated the art of indiscrete thievery, borrowing styl...

    protestthesky (4.5)
    Metalcore kings As I Lay Dying release a metal masterpiece that is just short of a metal(c...

    electsigon (4)
    As I Lay Dying step it up with their best release since the band formed....

    mcg182 (4.5)
    No doubt, As I lay Dying is one of the best metalcore bands out there. This album doesn't ...

  • azraelcyanide (4)
    The resounding fulfillment of the band’s declaration at the end of their previous album:...

    Nick Habisch (5)
    As I Lay Dying completely nails it!...

    Jacob Gudge (5)
    With The Powerless Rise, As I Lay Dying write an album that surpasses all previous release...

    Slaveofsanity (3.5)
    Back, with the same stuff, some new stuff, and as always, something decent to listen to, b...

  • TheFantasticDangler (4)
    Upon studying their past work, I'm 100% confident in saying As I Lay Dying get better with...

    Adam Thomas STAFF (4)
    As I Lay Dying finally write a record that lives up to their potential....


Comments:Add a Comment 
Psychopathologist
May 7th 2011



1924 Comments


lol

Deviant.
Staff Reviewer
May 7th 2011



30865 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5 | Sound Off

I'll start by saying that 'Beyond Our Suffering' is the most brutal opening track to any album that could remotely be considered metalcore


No, don't

Digging: FaltyDL - In The Wild

fish.
Contributing Reviewer
May 7th 2011



21573 Comments


"I'll start by saying that 'Beyond Our Suffering' is the most brutal opening track to any album that could remotely be considered metalcore"

"I don't listen to metalcore"


Digging: Septicflesh - Communion

Pr0nogo
May 7th 2011



373 Comments


Congrats; one of you guys didn't read the last sentence, and the other didn't read the last half of it.

hurrdurrikanreed kzuxogxuddiefl

MalleusMaleficarum
May 7th 2011



13708 Comments


troll review

BodomThrashMachine
May 7th 2011



316 Comments


Good review as usual, Steve. I'll check this album out some more and hopefully get me some great tracks.

As for Malleus, I can guarantee this review is genuine and serious.

MalleusMaleficarum
May 7th 2011



13708 Comments


Yeah but like,

troll review

BodomThrashMachine
May 7th 2011



316 Comments


No u.

You're the only troll here.

beefshoes
May 7th 2011



2814 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

lol
Awesome album.

Digging: Ulver - Messe I.X-VI.X

Pr0nogo
May 7th 2011



373 Comments


If someone has an issue with my review, I'd appreciate it if they'd just say so and tell me what I wrote wrong as opposed to
going 'hurr troll review'.

Thanks.

twlichty
May 7th 2011



3407 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

good album, fan boyish review, rating is too high

FearThyEvil
May 7th 2011



12203 Comments


I'm surprised this got as many pos's as it is.

BallsToTheWall
May 7th 2011



44164 Comments


Didn't realize AILD WAS "SEMI-POPULAR".

Pr0nogo
May 7th 2011



373 Comments


No, AILD is popular. Metalcore is semi-popular.

MalleusMaleficarum
May 7th 2011



13708 Comments


"I'll start by saying that 'Beyond Our Suffering' is the most brutal opening track to any album that could remotely be considered metalcore."

statements that are this glaringly stupid shouldn't be included in an edited review if the reviewer wants to be taken seriously.

Scrambled
May 7th 2011



391 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Using the word epicness in the summary, especially when talking about AILD, is a great thing to do if you want people to
skip the review and go straight to the not well written button

Pr0nogo
May 7th 2011



373 Comments


So, writing a review, which is all about opinion, should not include opinionated statements, or else they're poorly-written.

duh okay

NocteDominum
Contributing Reviewer
May 7th 2011



6931 Comments


You get a lot of that on metalcore comments/threads.

W477ZY
May 8th 2011



67 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

First paragraph needs more dashes. Also as others have said the review comes across a bit fan-boyish and maybe arrogant? Might have a listen.

Itwasthatwas
May 8th 2011



760 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

album sucks
review is lol



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