As I Lay Dying
Shaped by Fire


1.5
very poor

Review

by Robert Garland CONTRIBUTOR (341 Reviews)
September 21st, 2019 | 268 replies


Release Date: 09/20/2019 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Somebody get some burn-aid.

It could be argued that the hype As I Lay Dying earnt while their vocalist was incarcerated has out-done the usual standards of mainstream want. Sure, the guy is a convicted felon, but according to the court and prison system he’s served his time, moved on and even rehabilitated. By all means As I Lay Dying should be dismissing Tim Lambesis’ “hired a hitman to kill the spouse (ex or otherwise)” and focusing on the band’s new music instead. Unfortunately, Tim’s need for reclamation is so integrated in this year’s Shaped By Fire that his saga becomes unavoidable, forced and cliche. The seven years between Awakened and 2019s Shaped By Fire essentially threw the band’s continuance into the air. Moral questions aside, this wait, falls far from expectations.

Part of me wishes that Shaped By Fire’s crux started and ended with Tim’s predictable “it’s my fault” lyrics, but it’s only part of the problem that makes up this forty four minute disappointment. It wasn’t bad enough that this once steadfast face of mainstream music came back to shovel uninspiring lyrics down the throats of its listeners, but the recycling of ideas, unbalanced mixing and overall third tier songwriting sours in almost all measurable qualities of a “good” record. I want to be clear: As I Lay Dying’s Shaped By Fire isn’t a directly offensive offering, but it is a disparaging effort from a band that threw away potential in an effort to capitalise on a cheap buck after a somewhat lengthy gap. This isn’t passion, it’s opportunistic - living off the less than imaginative contexts of Tim’s gaol time and supposed ascension into normal life again. We get it, the guy’s sorry.

Instrumentally there’s not too much to talk about here. Everything runs under the radar, on a less than stellar autopilot. Mancino’s work behind the kit, like Hipa’s and Sgrosso on the guitar is formulaic, safe and hugs loosely to the foundations of sound found within the band’s other albums. Notable contributions come far and few between relying solely on the story-line already addressed above. I mean, yeah, these guys can still chop at a riff, build a breakdown and add the occasional flurry of notes into the shape of the solo but most of their time is spent looking at the clock… just waiting to sign off for the day. Think of it as metalcore by numbers, but As I Lay Dying forgot to do a few simple equations.

Gilbert’s cleans, while not particularly awful aren’t helped by the album’s production. It’s a pretty common feature of the band’s soundscape to embellish on the cleans, especially during choruses. It makes little sense to put so much gravitas into the clean vocals and try to bury them under a dense wall of chugged guitars and dense bass/drum lines. To make matters worse, most of the song’s structures fall into the same trappings of verse, chorus, breakdown, chorus, verse with the occasional short solo in place. The album’s heavier sections only emphasize, rather than distract and it’s the listeners that fall under a tidal of less-than-stellar music.

Maybe some people are buying too heavily into Tim’s audible redemption, but this overdone storyline simply doesn’t translate into quality material. Hipa’s efforts on the guitar sees some typical standard of As I Lay Dying throughout the album, but it’s not enough to ‘make’ an album. If redemption is what As I Lay Dying are going for in 2019, they’ve got a long way to go in terms of basic music enjoy-ability. Shaped By Fire isn’t the album listeners deserve from Tim and co.




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user ratings (255)
3.2
good
other reviews of this album
MrToothbrush (4)
Self-immolation never sounded so good....

flat4escanor (2.5)
It's fine, guys...it's fine...everything's fine....


Comments:Add a Comment 
Nocte
Contributing Reviewer
September 21st 2019


12706 Comments

Album Rating: 1.5

Still beats a Lostprophets album in 2019 right?

Loverjeanman
September 21st 2019


30 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

hey sputnikmusic why all the comments here and delete you there?

Nocte
Contributing Reviewer
September 21st 2019


12706 Comments

Album Rating: 1.5

wut,



this hasn't been up long enough for something to get deleted.

TheNotrap
Contributing Reviewer
September 21st 2019


14455 Comments


Dialing 911

Digging: Aseitas - False Peace

Toondude10
September 21st 2019


14242 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0 | Sound Off

oof

Pikazilla
September 21st 2019


11376 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

These guys have never been good, to be honest. Especially when compared to the other metalcore bands of their era.

Sinternet
September 21st 2019


22585 Comments


shadows are security had a couple of jams but other than that agreed

Digging: Karenn - Music Feels Better With Shoe

Space Jester
September 21st 2019


8764 Comments


I’d rather listen to their first two albums than Shadows are Security

Nocte
Contributing Reviewer
September 21st 2019


12706 Comments

Album Rating: 1.5

Sorry toondude, I keep doing this to you don't I

Get Low
September 21st 2019


7586 Comments


Album riffs hard. Tim has officially been redeemed.

teamster
September 21st 2019


5005 Comments


Make this dude staff for the love of god.

Digging: Zealand The North - Brightness of an Endless Light

veninblazer
September 21st 2019


11664 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Guess I'll be alone in my adoration for this again... sigh

Dmax28
September 21st 2019


816 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Nah man. I like it quite a bit too.

veninblazer
September 21st 2019


11664 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

ayyyy

haggmeez
September 21st 2019


80 Comments


WTF?!?!?!?! WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU?!?!?!?!

...

Just kidding. I agree it's formulaic and somewhat predictable. Turns out this particular metalcore ship sailed in 2009.

ShadowNeko
September 21st 2019


243 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

What’s funny is that this album is rated the highest on rateyourmusic

As for the guitar work, if it isn’t broke then don’t fix it.

Each track delivers heavy riffs and emotional lyrics. Hate all you want. The truth is the truth.

Intothepit
September 21st 2019


4051 Comments


The truth is this is hot garbage.

SitarHero
Contributing Reviewer
September 21st 2019


11993 Comments


PoS review. You should change the title to "I didn't like Northlane before and I don't like Northlane now," and spare everyone the horseshit analysis attempting to hand-wave around your clearly present bias against the band. When there is a 2.5 point difference between the community average and your score, you might need to ask yourself if you are capable of offering an objective opinion before doing a review. Was the same bullshit with the Shadow of Intent review, except you didn't even bother trying to obfuscate the fact that you don't like Deathcore.

Pikazilla
September 21st 2019


11376 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

Friendly reminder that opinions are subjective and so are reviews

Pikazilla
September 21st 2019


11376 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

Oh whoops, that was copy-pasta



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