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San Diego metal quintet As I Lay Dying returns with their fifth endeavor, the 11-track affair THE POWERLESS RISE. The production done by Killswitch Engage’s very own Adam D captures the band’s most razor sharp and well-balanced performance to date, juxtaposing glossy melodic vocals and dollops of twin guitar sweetness with choice-placed brutal breakdowns and relentless percussion pounding galore (“The Plague”). Slamming guitar riffs are of no shortage here, as the six-string tandem of Nick Hipa and Phil Sgrosso seamlessly weave heavy and melody with chugging pit rippers (“Condemned”, “Without Conclusion”) and outstanding fills and solos (“Parallels”) while lead singer Tim Lambesis digs deep and dishes out a head splitting array of nasty growls (“The Blinding of False Light”) and crushing screams (“Vacancy”) while new bassist Josh Gilbert lays down some killer complimentary melodic vocals giving a well-rounded feel (“Anodyne Sea”). Bolstering both their extreme and melodic elements by implementing a few songwriting tweaks to allow maximum impact, As I Lay Dying has made a top shelf metalcore release chock full of the expected hardcore muscle with an beefed up sense of aggression that rabid fans will embrace wholeheartedly.
- Mike SOS