Beneath the Encasing of Ashes
is by no means a breathtaking record. To be quite blunt, this sounds like a more death metal Zao with really crappy production and average musicianship. The drums sound horrible, and are mediocre as well; no where near the crushing percussion found on the two later releases. The guitar tone is fine; the musicianship behind them is nothing special by any means whatsoever. The bass is more prominent here than on later releases, ironic since they didn’t really have a bass guitarist.
The title track is fairly solid, a good way to begin the album, and better than your average metalcore. The next song, Torn Within
, is quite worthless; it seems like they play a verse twice and then go into a breakdown and end the song. By the time you hear Forced to Die
, the aim of this album’s songwriting is seen to be similar to that of Frail Words Collapse
. The goal is to write a main riff that can be repeated fairly constantly and not get old. Fairly epic, (or as close as you can get in a 2:43 metalcore song) Forced to Die
has not so much of a solo as a climax. The guitar work actually reminds me of Saosin here…
A Breath in the Eyes of Eternity
brings us back to AILD’s arsenal of Zao-influenced tracks, and this one is pretty good. The only complaint is they have one of their cool repetitive riffs, but they let it drag on too long.
Blood Turned to Tears
was the first song I heard off this album, and it is just way too short, though not bad. The Voices That Betray Me
is another good track, with a very cool filtered part a little less than a minute and a half in, featuring one of their repeating guitar licks. When This World Fades
is a more “ballad-ish" track a la Forced to Die
, only more “ballady-er". Nothing exceptional here.
By now the formula of uncomplicated riffs repeated over and over is getting a little old, though this track shows a little potential. A Long March
reminds me of “Distance is Darkness" from FWC
, and has this cool bass part that’s actually audible (gasp!). One of the more interesting tracks on here by far.
is a very cool industrial-styled introlude (if that’s not a word, then it is now, and I copyright it) that leads into Refined by Your Embrace
, which is less interesting than some other tracks on here. The Innocence Spilled
is another one of their better tracks from the album, another one of AILD’s semi-epic songs, but is relatively unmemorable. Behind Me Lies Another Fallen Soldier
sounds better on this record than on their second album, and is how you know this album is not nearly as good since it’s one of the better songs here. The outro part to this song is very cool effects and noises.
This turned into a “Track-by-Track" review because as a whole, the only thing there is to say is that this is above par and far from As I Lay Dying’s best work. Picking up any Zao record besides Parade of Chaos would be a better choice than this, since this is pretty much the same sound only with less musicianship and less songwriting talent, not to mention worse production. Some might say "Well, dude, they like totatlly were only a band for a month before hitting the studio," or some shizzle like that. Too bad, they should have waited until the songs were more developed.
Beneath The Encasing of Ashes 3.5/5
Forced to Die 3.5/5
A Breath in the Eyes of Eternity 4/5
The Voices that Betray Me 4/5
Overall somewhere between a 2.5/5 and a 3/5
Vocals - Tim Lambesis
Drums - Jordan Mancino
Guitar- Evan White