Sound: So, As I Lay Dying's new record "Decas" celebrates the bands' 10 years of glory and is a gift to the fans who have supported them for all these years. The "Paralyzed" video was the first new material from the band in over a year and it proved that AILD can still rock it. "Decas" features some new stuff, some mindblowing covers and finally a compilation of sick re-mixes. The guitars are roaring and feature some really amazing riffs on the new songs. The bass too is extremely solid and helps give the band a lot of power. Then we have the drums which show off some crazy licks and fun fills. The vocals have a great mix of growls and clean vocals allowing for some major headbanging. All in all this is an amazing record and with some great originals, fun covers and awesome re-mixes it truly rocks.
The guitar sound on the originals is extremely solid. While there are some nice solos the sheer riffage is just jaw dropping. There is something about these 3 new songs that make them 5 times heavier than everything else As I Lay Dying has ever done. They have so much raw talent behind tracks like "Paralyzed" makes me smile. The covers are usually pretty straightforward in terms of arrangement. Of course Hipa and Sgrosso manage to give the songs their own touch to them thus giving them a little flavor. But a few more changes in arrangement might have been nice. Their cover of "War Ensemble" is just classic and "Hellion"/"Electric Eye" blows my mind. On the remixes the guitar can be either very bizarre (like in the Innerpartysystem re-mix of "The Blinding Of False Light") or mindshredding (as seen in Ben Weinman's remix of "Wrath Upon Ourselves"). All in all the guitar on this record is typically AILD in the originals and covers yet takes completely new directions when it comes to the re-mixes.
The bass work on this record is pretty sick and the bass gets some huge riffs. The best bass riff is probably the one under the clean vocals of "Moving Forward". Where the swirling bass part gives the music a lot of flavor. On the covers Josh Gilbert does a good job of following the arrangements. I feel that he really captures the Ian Hill feel in his music. As for the re-mixes the bass mix is typically very much like that of the guitars. However both Innerpartysystem and Kelly Cairns help to expand the bass's roll in the song and gives the song more of a hip-hop/dubstep type feel. The drums are just spectacular on this record. I feel that the drums on "From Shapeless To Breakable" are almost perfect. My sole complaint is that there are occasionally times when the drums just fall back on 16ths on the bass drum and that can get a bit frustrating. Otherwise though the drum fills here are nigh on virtuosic. As for the covers the drums are decent and definitely have a bit more aggressive than usual but otherwise they do a nice job at capturing the feel of the songs. On the re-mixes the drum gets a lot poppier on most of the mixes and this leads to a weird departure from the work Mancino is known for. // 10
Lyrics: The vocals on this record are pretty solid and primarily feature the excellent growls of Tim Lambesis. Lambesis's growls are fairly good here and feature all of the deep throated darkness that makes As I Lay Dying so listenable. The originals feature some of the greatest growls yet and get really heavy. I really like the cover of "War Ensemble" as I feel that the growls there help to capture the spirit of the song. The cover of "Electric Eye" was kind of weird because death growls are basically the opposite of Halford's eagle-like shrieking, yet it works well enough. Finally on the re-mixes there is some rather weird stuff. It's interesting to hear someone with a growls as vulgar as Lambesis sing to a hip-hop type beat. The clean vocals of Gilbert are pretty fun and they have some very good parts. In particular the vocals in "Moving Forward" are nice. I think that it would be nice to have seen him get a larger part in the covers and remixes (although he does sing on "Electric Eye") but his performance is still extremely solid. // 9
Overall Impression: In conclusion, this album is meant to be listened with the speakers turned up all the way and your head soaring up and down. From some sick new originals to great covers and then fun re-mixes As I Lay Dying has created a great gift for their fans in "Decas". The guitars rock and have awesome riffage. The bass firmly captures the aura of Judas Priest. Then the drums give AILD a whole new level of heaviness. Finally the vocals are just great. My favorite original is "Moving Forward", I just love the vocals. As for covers I'm going to have to go with "Electric Eye", it's just a joy to listen too. As for my favorite re-mix "Wrath Upon Ourselves" re-mixed by Ben Weiman is just really interesting to listen too. To finish, this album is the greatest compilation record I have heard in years. Go buy it! // 9