The Powerless Rise
millarso, on may 11, 2010 10 of 13 people found this review helpful
Sound: As I Lay Dying has been one of the big guns on the modern metalcore scene for the last decade, and their newest album "The Powerless Rise" shows that they still have staying power. Still young by some people's standards, As I Lay Dying has accumulated a rabid following of dedicated fans, and their newest album, while slightly more varied than previous material, should be a crowd-pleaser. Frontman Tim Lambesis has made this his most varying performance in terms of his screams. Guitarists Nick Hipa and Phil Sgrosso have also put a lot more creativity into their riffing than previous releases. Hipa has contributed a lot more guitar solos than you will find in previous releases as well. Bassist Josh Gilbert gets lost in the mix instrumentally often, but he also offers up a heaping load of choral melodies. Jordan Mancino makes a solid and ferocious performance as well.
01. Beyond Our Suffering: starts with some sonic chaos, excellent dynamics, great starter, solo at 1:45.
02. Anodyne Sea: good intro drum fill, catchy chorus/melody, moving guitar part around 2:00, best As I Lay Dying breakdown as far as I'm concerned starting at 2:45.
03. Without Conclusion: fantastic intro riff, distinct Austrian Death Machine resemblance, solos at 0:49 and 1:29.
04. Parallels: great vocal melody and guitar harmonies in chorus, good build from 2:47 to the solo at 3:25.
05. The Plague: good verse riffing, great solo at 2:17.
06. Anger and Apathy: good high-end riffs, good clean chorus, atmospheric moody interlude at 2:18.
07. Condemned: intense main riff, thrashy feeling at points, very aggressive, solo at 2:10, a little bit of bass guitar at 1:45 (imagine that).
08. Upside Down Kingdom: good intro, bass and drums lead in, followed by guitar harmonies, album title lyric in the chorus, good riffing.
09. Vacancy: fast-moving, heavy start, good chorus layering, a little average compared to other songs, but still quite solid as a whole.
10. The Only Constant Is Change: feels a bit repetitive for first half, good chorus riff/vocals.
11. The Blinding of False Light: good addition of auxiliary percussion in quieter areas, good mixing of clean and scream vocals, great mood change at 2:40, good outro transition to end of album. // 8
Lyrics: The lyrics written by Tim Lambesis for this follow a trend of secular humanism rather than preaching (members are Christian). They mostly revolve around conviction for the way we treat fellow human beings and helping those who are suffering. "Beyond Our Suffering" is a prime example of this. The song talks of the trivial nature of our problems compared to those in terrible places. "Condemned" is about how we leave people behind every once and awhile in pursuit of other things. Many of the songs are also about the inner search for truth.
As far as Tim's vocals go, some people might think that Tim is trying to capitalize off of Austrian Death Machine's success by making the vocals more understandable and varied, but I think that they far outclass the vocals on previous albums. They show more creativity and layer. Josh Gilbert was given much more time to hone the clean melodies on this album than he was given for "An Ocean Between Us" and that makes for some excellent clean choruses. Through the production, these vocals are woven together quite well with eachother and with the instrumentation throughout the album. // 8
Overall Impression: This album really follows in the creative vein of their last release "An Ocean Between Us", but it takes everything up to a new level of intensity and value. Producer Adam D. From Killswitch Engage really did a fantastic job mixing this album and adding some creative layering. This album shines in its dynamics. It is quiet and loud in appropriate places and the songs are driven along with a purpose that can be felt while listening. The only thing that I didn't like was that I felt that the album and some song titles were a little cliche-sounding, but that didn't dissuade me from liking this album as a whole. I would definitely buy this album again if it disappeared and recommend that you give it a chance even if you haven't been an As I Lay Dying fan in the past. If you're into metalcore, it shouldn't disappoint. // 9
The Powerless Rise
BwareDWare94, on may 14, 2010 6 of 10 people found this review helpful
Sound: Before I dive into the review, I want to clarify something. The title of this album is very easy to misinterpret. Realize that Powerless is the subject and Rise is the verb. Powerless is not the adjective to Rise as the subject. The title means the Powerless are Rising. Not that the Rise was Powerless. Just thought I'd clarify that for all those who are confused. Anyway, the sound on this album is that of a band that has evolved. Tim Lambesis has more variety to his vocals and is his usual beastly self. Nick Hipa and Phil Sgrosso have made major strides on the guitar and have some very good licks and solos throughout. Check out the verse riff from Upside Down Kingdom and the solo from The Plague for good examples. Josh Gilbert is your typical metal bassist and just fades into the music. Jordan Mancino once again destroys behind the kit. Overall the evolution shown by this band has this listener convinced that As I Lay Dying are never going to disappoint when they release new albums. // 9
Lyrics: Tim Lambesis has always written extremely intelligent lyrics. This album is absolutely no exception. Upside Down Kingdom has some of the better lyrics I've ever seen Tim compose and this album is chock full of excellent lyrical lines. Tim's vocals, as I mentioned above, are exceptionally beastly and he has a wide variety of harsh vocals as well as one or two spoken sections. Josh Gilbert's voice isn't great and he actually sounds a little bit like Brandon Saller on this album, which I'm NOT a fan of since Atreyu is such an inferior band to As I Lay Dying. One thing As I Lay Dying are known for is having Tim scream underneath Josh's clean vocals and vice versa. They're on fire with this technique and they don't appear to be letting up any time soon. // 10
Overall Impression: To compare this album to other artists within the same genre, there is absolutely no way that Adam D shouldn't have shit himself after producing this album. I think we all know how sub-par Killswitch's last album was compared to this one. I hope he went home to his boys in KsE and let them know that they'll have to step their game up the next time around because metalcore fans know what Killswitch is capable of. As for a song by song review, here it goes:
01. Beyond Our Suffering: I just don't like this song. It's easily the weakest track on the album and feels like filler more than anything. 5/10
02. Anodyne Sea: perhaps the best song on the album and the only reason that Beyond Our Suffering didn't knock The Powerless Rise down a few notches. Excellent breakdown around 3 minutes as well as Tim's usual very good lyrics. 10/10
03. Without Conclusion: very solid third track to make a good transition between Anodyne Sea and Parallels. 8/10
04. Parallels: another very solid song to tack on to As I Lay Dying's already startling career. The best clean vocals on the entire album. 10/10
05. The Plague: this is perhaps the heaviest track on this album. It has an excellent solo and is an excellent example of pure brutality. 8/10
06. Anger and Apathy: probably this album's version of "I Never Wanted" though this is quite a bit heavier. Catchy chorus and impressive guitarwork. Solid song. 8/10
07. Condemned: VERY catchy track that's rather heavy. Another solid song. 7/10
08. Upside Down Kingdom: fourth best song on the album. Very catchy with excellent lyrics. Also the track that has the lyrical line that explains how one must read the album title. 10/10
09. Vacancy: another very heavy track that doesn't sacrifice any catchiness. Great hooks and Tim's usual excellent lyrics. 9/10
10: The Only Constant is Change: another of my favorites. Very catchy (and correct) lyrical themes with excellent work from Hipa, Sgrosso, Gilbert and Mancino. 10/10
11. The Blinding of False Light: I really dig the intro to this song and it's overall feeling. It may not be the best track on the album but it's a much better closer after a very disappointing album opener. 9/10
Overall, The Powerless Rise is a very solid album with only one song that lets the listener down. Though I might be the only person who feels so about Beyond Our Suffering, I believe my points are valid. Once again As I Lay Dying have stunned their loyal fans. I can't wait to see these guys perform these songs live. // 9
The Powerless Rise
UG Team, on may 11, 2010 5 of 19 people found this review helpful
Sound: For their fifth album, As I Lay Dying, who've cycled through over 20 members during their existence, are an exercise in consistency. The band isn't attempting any guitar acrobatics or gymnastics, even though there are some shreddy guitar blasts that are present on The Powerless Rise. The band does what it has always done well: manufacture breakdowns, scream bloody murder, toss a melodic chorus into the mix and keep the knobs cranked to 11 at all times. While one might hope for AILD to take a left turn here or experiment there, the band stays the course. "Anodyne Sea" and "Parallels" are the album's most potent punches to the face, with the former boasting a Killswitch Engage-like chorus and a mid-tempo middle part that feels quite artsy when played loud. The strongest point of the album and the band's sound is the guitar work of Nick Hipa and Phil Sgrosso, which meshes well with Tim Lambesis' growls. "Without Conclusion" doesn't take any sharp veer to the left, but if you like to run on a treadmill or do cardio, then you should get this loaded onto your iPod, yesterday. The same goes for "Anger and Apathy," which also has a quirky guitar-centric opening before it launches into a full-bore assault of 'core. // 7
Lyrics: Lambesis has a very hardcore style of lyric writing. That is, he adheres to a positive bend, says things that make you think and that have some thought behind them. He could easily front a hardcore band, thanks to the sentiments in his lyrics. One of the album's most memorable moments is the clean chorus and harmony on "Anger and Apathy," which is the cleanest vocal I've ever heard on an AILD record, so it's refreshing to see them going that route. These parts are almost "eem" in scope, without being whiny or lacking balls. // 8
Overall Impression: This is a solid album for As I Lay Dying fans; it delivers exactly what you'd expect it to without suckerpunching you with any sort of surprise. While this deep into an impressive career the band consistently scans over 150,000 records- one might wonder why the band hasn't made a stylistic leap of faith, but there's also something to be said for sonic stability and being the port in the storm that people know will always be there when the ship comes in, so to speak and to slightly mix a metaphor. The band may have had a bunch of different lineups but the songs remain the same: quality, moshy metalcore. Turn it up. // 7
The Powerless Rise
Snowman388, on june 18, 2010 2 of 2 people found this review helpful
Sound: As I Lay Dying have arguably started "mainstream" metal. They've been featured on Billboard, MTV and the radio while still performing alongside Behemoth. That's a recipe for success and popularity in both the general masses and the metal community.
"The Powerless Rise" steps up the brutalness in their music with deeper growls present in "Beyond Our Suffering" and "Without Conclusion". Layered guitar lines and pounding, warp speed drumming is also present here, and will definitely keep respect within the metal community and not be titled as mainstream, radio friendly or sell-outs (as Bullet For My Valentine and Avenged Sevenfold have with each turn of the moon).
On the other end of the spectrum, "Parallels" is more "radio friendly" and directed at their mainstream listeners. Consisting of a catchy melodic intro, a mid tempo break down and clean vocals in the chorus, this is definitely their next MTV hit.
This album stays fresh through the variation present. Only four tracks have clean vocals, and only seven have a recognizable breakdown. There are elements of black and thrash metal, along with death metal growls, but hardcore is the most prominent. "Anger And Apathy" and "Vacancy" show a punk side to the band, while "Condemned" and "The Plague" display the focus on thrash riffs.
Despite this variation, the last three songs seem to drag on and are unoriginal. "Vacancy" seems too similar to "Anger And Apathy", while "The Blinding Of False Light" can't seem to nail the slower tempo melodies. The penultimate track ends and the final track's intro sounds exactly the similar, that I hadn't even noticed a new song had started. // 8
Lyrics: Due to the decrease of clean vocals present and the deeper, more brutal growls, the lyrics are not easy to understand. Though, both the clean and growls do sound more developed.
One high point in terms of lyrics is "Upside Down Kingdom". It describes how if we all go against the norms of modern society, the current problems will cease to exist. "This is a kingdom born upside-down. This is a kingdom where the broken are crowned." This songwriting is rarely found in this form of brutal singing, where most bands just go to sound as twisted and demonic as possible. // 8
Overall Impression: As I Lay Dying easily outshines it's competitors in the mainstream metalcore genre, while it definitely is up there with the rest in the metalcore scene for the metal community. Amazingly, neither groups shun As I Lay Dying, which is a rare feat for a band to accomplish.
The metalheads will want to check out the first and third tracks, while the mainstream will want to check out "Parallels". A few tracks could have been shortened, and the album could have done without the final three tracks. This would have resulted in a more streamlined and better album. // 9
The Powerless Rise
dementiacaptain, on may 11, 2010 1 of 2 people found this review helpful
Sound: As I Lay Dying has come to provide us with what some consider as the perfect metalcore. With their thrash influence and amazing musianship, they won me over on the last album an ocean between us. This album I would say gets the perfect balance of the last two records: the aggressive riff-tastic feel of ocean, and the melodic leads of shadows are security. The album shows a little progression in sound from the last record, but it still sounds like AILD, which is typical as they progress in sound very slowly. // 8
Lyrics: Lyrics are where any metalcore outfit lacks. Of course some will eat up the big words and "meaningful" phrases but I don't expect the lyrics to be spectacular. Tim Lambesis is heavy, I think that he has a unique aproach to singing, I describe it as a roar. Though the words cause nothing "stronger than indifference" (Anger and Apathy) the delivery is as always superb. // 7
Overall Impression: As I Lay Dying sounds like themselves and no one else. I can't think of anything musically that makes this album bad, it is just a rock solid effort, but if I was forced to offer one piece of advice, it would be to back off the clean vocals, they are a little overpopulated on some of the choruses (think the song an ocean between us). I love that there is a more solo happy feel to this album, because Nick and Phil can really tear it up. Beyound Our Suffering is definitely the heaviest track off the record and my favorite. If I lost this, (hard to do I'd have to lose my entire laptop,) I would definitely get it again, Because it is a solid album front to back. // 8
The Powerless Rise
guitar_jew, on may 13, 2010 1 of 3 people found this review helpful
Sound: 'An Ocean Between Us' was a huge step forward for metalcore monsters As I Lay Dying. So you'd expect the follow up to be continuing in that direction, but that's not what you get in 'The Powerless Rise.' By no means a bad album, I was expecting another album of odd song structures held together by tight riffing. But nearly every song on this record follows the same 'verse chorus' structure, making it terribly predictable throughout. Not only that, but enough of the riffs are pretty forgettable.
But when they get a song right, they get it damn good. The first three songs('Beyond Our Suffering,' 'Anodyne Sea,' and 'Without Conclusion') beat you in the face, before coming to the horrifyingly cliche'd "Parallels," where the clean vocals actually remind me of Saosin's Cove Reber. The remainder of the album after that is a mass of metalcore that isn't unique at all. Guitar solos appear on every song on this record, which beats the point of what made them so refreshing in this band's last effort. Each of the songs might be good individually, but it makes for a bland album, a forgivable sin in this case considering the monster album that will inevitably be held up as the standard for judging this one. // 7
Lyrics: The lyrics are typical of frontman Lambesis, from commentary on the dishonest nature of society: "Stand on conviction, and you will walk alone," from 'Anodyne Sea,' to something reminiscent of Three Days Grace in 'Anger and Apathy': "I need to know that feelings of discontent are stronger than indifference for those too weak to stand," to criticisms of their own Christianity: "While religion tries to blame what we cannot see, I accept that part of the problem is me," presumably inspired by their time on tour with many bands with an anti-Christian stance. Lambesis' vocal style hasn't slacked at all. He's easily one of the best vocalists around today. // 9
Overall Impression: I'll admit I was disappointed at first, but considering what they were following up, it's hard to chastise the band for it. It's no 'An Ocean Between Us,' but it's still a pretty good album. I'd recommend getting it. The diversity from their previous effort isn't to be found here, but I imagine anyone who's ever liked any of their albums will like this one. 'The Powerless Rise' is worth getting. // 7
The Powerless Rise
Skillet_Panhead, on may 17, 2010 1 of 1 people found this review helpful
Sound: In 2007, San Deigo metalcore band, As I Lay Dying released their fourth studio album, An Ocean Between Us, which greatly launched their career forward. Now, 3 years later, they've released their follow-up, The Powerless Rise. So the question stands, can they build on what they accomplished on their previous album?
The answer is yes. Right from the get-go this album reflects everything they've learned over the years. Beyond Our Suffering starts off with what almost seems to be pure noise, until you listen closer and hear lyrics and a guitar riff leading up to its explosive introduction.
Anodyne Sea keeps the pace chugging forward with more blistering riffs and powerful vocals. Here we also catch our first glimpse of bassist Josh Gilbert, once again singing great clean vocals in the form of, "In my convictions I've found my own grave, but amongst the dead we all fade away." Anodyne Sea is easily an album highlight.
Next up we have Without Conclusion. I'm personally a huge fan of pick scrapes being used as part of a riff, as opposed to being merely a transition between two, and the intro to this song makes good use of this technique.
The album continues getting better and better until we come upon Condemned, where it hits the roof. This is definitely the most brutal song on the album, from its infectious stop/starts to the great solo near the end.
Upside Down Kingdom opens with a nice bass riff, courtesy of Josh Gilbert, before the rest of the guitars come in with a great melody to contrast it.
The rest of the album continues at about the same pace--fast, heavy, and melodic. The band doesn't really slow down much for this album, but it's not a bad thing in this case. // 9
Lyrics: The lyrics are great as always. Tim Lambesis lets you know where he stands, and has the vocal talent to back it up. His vocals are also a lot more varied this time around, venturing into lower growls as well as his higher shrieks that were common on the last album. Josh Gilbert's clean vocals are also in tip-top shape here. Upside Down Kingdom is a great showcase of both Lambesis' and Gilbert's lyrical/vocal talents, with the chorus, "Simplicity is not a curse where strength is humbled and the powerless rise. This is a kingdom born upside-down. This is a kingdom where the broken are crowned." // 9
Overall Impression: To pass this off as 'generic metalcore' is doing this album AND this band a great disservice. As I Lay Dying was there when the genre first began to peak out of the cracks and gain popularity, but now they are taking the steps forward to make it their own. An Ocean Between Us began the march forward 3 years ago, and The Powerless Rise is a definite showcase of the band's progression. This is a solid album and every song leaves you wanting more, but not in a sense that they're all lacking, but in the sense that you just don't want it to end.
Album highlights are Anodyne Sea, Without Conclusion, Condemned, and Upside Down Kingdom. // 10
The Powerless Rise
IN54N1TY, on may 19, 2010 1 of 8 people found this review helpful
Sound: There's nothing more disheartening than buying an album 3 years in the making after a tremendous previous effort and realising said album has took a complete step backwards. That and getting a horrible disease. As I Lay Dying's phenomenal 4th album "An Ocean Between Us" really stood out to me as one of the best 'metalcore' albums ever made. It combined solemn, infectious melodies with bitter, pummelling, frankly awesome thrash (and obviously metalcore) tunage, creating a stellar vibe to an album echoing promise that these same epic traits may continue. However on their latest album they've decided to kick it back and keep it old school with standard metalcore. There is nothing else to say about it. It's standard metalcore. Obviously this will please tonnes of the metalcore community as many unfortunate times before great metalcore bands have fallen slave to the mainstream and completely sold themselves out to become hard rock superstars or some sh*t like that and never really tend to have something going for them. But these guys really did have something. I'm not saying they should have sold out, I wouldn't want that, I respect this band too much. And this album in my honest opinion. But with the truly unbelievable songs of AOBU I, and I'm sure many other people, can't deny they expected AILD to make something a little more... exciting. Boring song after boring song pours out of the speakers, never holding any interest, ingenuity or thought to swoop up and take your ears by surprise, bar about 3 songs. Each riff feels like it's been heard before. The screaming patterns awfully familiar. The vocal melodies almost exactly... Waaait a minute... They DID try to continue on from AOBU! Oh thank God they tried to keep the ball rolling. But unfortunately that's the thing. "Tried". And now the ball is slowly cruising backwards with nothing to kick it back into place. Ok, that all seemed very critical, but like I said, loving a band that's made no mistakes for the entirety of their career and then completely backfiring on their most anticipated album really is a kick in the head. I won't be a complete scrooge, there are a few little diamond moments on this album. For instance the chorus of the first single "Parallels" is just heavenly. The whole song in fact shines through as a highlight on the album. "The Plague" and "Without Conclusion" are awesome little thrash ditties that happily remind me of AOBU. And "The Blinding Of False Light" serves as a great, promising ending to an otherwise dull album. // 4
Lyrics: Tim Lambesis as usual brings a total onslaught of screams and growls that really do compliment the songs, one thing on this album that I'm glad has stayed the same. I commented on the vocal patterns earlier but I can't really complain seeing as it's not an area to really comment on. It's metalcore, a lot sounds the same. Tim's lyrics have have always been interesting, inquisitive and thought provoking. That pretty much remains the same on this album, but a little bit too much of the same. There are some awesome ideas in here, "Beyond Our Suffering" talks about how we all think we know pain when we really don't; "It seems our problems solves themselves when we look beyond us to those truly in Hell". "The Plague" clearly talks about government and the conformity they try to put on us like a "plague". I was quite pleased to see Tim writing about this as even though he talks about the subject in the same way as other songs, the concepts behind them are pretty damn awesome. // 7
Overall Impression: I think the main reasons why I dislike this album is a) obviously I don't like many of the songs and b) I didn't get a vibe off it as their last one did. Everything on the last album seemed sensible and well put together but "The Powerless Rise" does seem like a b-sides disc or a little EP that's released between albums. It seems effortless and just made for the sake of it. I have tried 3 times altogether to find something good out of this album but every time I can't help but be bored by the clich hooks and song structures and 'return-to-roots' metalcore. It does make me sad because this band as proven has tonnes of potential. They almost won a Grammy for Christ's sake! And they may soon return to the awesomeness they portrayed 3 years ago. But for now the utterly confused album and album name "The Powerless Rise" remains As I Lay Dying's most powerless effort to date. // 5
The Powerless Rise
opeth714, on may 19, 2010 0 of 0 people found this review helpful
Sound: Producing consistent albums for years, As I lay dying have a solid back catalogue, and although this album has progressed slightly, it only adds more. The band although highly capable and talented, seem to be much tighter on this album. The sound hasn't changed, it has just grown deeper and more layered, solidifying this band as one of the top metalcore bands. A good range of songs, with riffs and styles from many areas, some thrashy parts (Without conclusion), some melodic, (Parallels), some death metal elements. Although people will criticise it for not being different, I feel they haven't gone in the other direction and made it a sell out album. They have made the logical next album and just added to their sound. // 9
Lyrics: The lyrics can be a little generic in places, but in general they are ok. The theme of the album is good, addressing many issues, with some very deep meanings in amongst the words. As ever Tim Lambesis and Josh Gilbert have done a sterling job, and it sounds like a lot of effort has been put into the vocals, and fitting it with the music. Nick Hipa and Phil Sgrosso do a great job with the guitars, and more solos in this album make it fun! Some of riffs seem to get lost behind the sound though, but overall, very good. Jordan Mancino, although sometimes a little uncreative is one of the tightest drummers in metal and plays as well as ever. // 8
Overall Impression: In terms of comparing AILD to other bands in this genre, I do think they stand tall, being masters of their trade. This is album is highly enjoyable, (its blasting from my stereo as I write). Its different to the last couple and whether it is better than An ocean between us is debatable, but I think they are both very good. Some of the songs are a little unmemorable (as with each album in the past), but most stand out and are really quite catchy! The album has a definite rhythm to it, which is a very good thing. Some of the song titles are a little unimaginative, but this doesn't take much from the album. Overall it is a very good folluw up, and it will only strengthen the band. // 9
The Powerless Rise
unregistered, on may 28, 2010 0 of 0 people found this review helpful
Sound: First off, I am a huge fan of AILD and have been for many years. But this might be where the album falls short most noticeably. The production quality is top notch, as we've come to expect from As I Lay, the musicianship is as impressive and concise as ever, and the clean vocals feel much more natural and less forced than previous releases. That being said, in my humble opinion this album cannot hold a candle An Ocean Between Us. While the songs are a bit more melodic and complex, they lack the pure power and grit I'd always come to AILD for. Memorable riffs are few and far between, a stark contrast to the previous album, which was a headbanger's best friend and a workout playlist in and of itself. I understand that artists like to explore new sounds as their careers lengthen. But this just doesn't sound any different from other albums in the genre to me. // 6
Lyrics: It's a metal album... I can't lie for a second I rarely listen to this type of music for lyrics. If you do, I have a lot of respect for you, as I can rarely make out more than a few words here and there. I can tell you that the overall performance is impressive. Tim Lambesis seems to have honed his skills as a screamer even more, and the clean vocals feel much more thought out and less forced than they did on previous recordings. I'll go ahead and call this the strong point of the record. // 8
Overall Impression: It seems I'm the only one, as most reviews of this album praise it, but I was sorely disappointed when I took the time to listen to The Powerless Rise. Perhaps I was listening to the wrong AILD songs previously (My personal favorites are Elegy, Confined, And Ocean Between Us, Comfort Betrays, Within Destruction, Nothing Left, and Wrath Upon Ourselves) but I was anticipating potent melodic riffs, skilled musicianship, and the usual AILD package that separates them from their fellow mainstream metal acts. Surely, they're still great musicians. I love the band, they're still one of my favorites, and this is decent music. But to me, this album sounds like any other release. Which is the exact opposite of what I expected out of AILD. Perhaps there's something I'm missing. I'll continue playing the new album and hopefully learn to appreciate it. But for now I'm very disappointed. // 5
The Powerless Rise
Kriss7x, on september 26, 2011 0 of 0 people found this review helpful
Sound: As I Lay Dying have been a big name in modern metalcore music for quite some time now, and with their new album release, titled "The Powerless Rise" shows strongly that they're here to stay. As I Lay Dying have built up a strong and dedicated fanbase over the years and with their newest album, will solidify their place in metal music today. Vocalist for the band Tim Lambesis has spent much more time in the studio for this album than previous ones, and it shows through greatly. Guitarists Nick Hipa and Phil Sgrosso have given much more variation in their styles and riffs in this album. Nick has also put more solos on the table for this album. Bassist Josh Gilbert shines through as the backup vocals in some of the melodic choruses and shows a strong performance on the bass in the album. Drummer Jordan Mancino also has great drum fills, rhythms and superbly tops off this album.
01. "Beyond Our Suffering" - This song starts it off with a bang in classic AILD style, heavy riffing, chaotic drumming and Tim's brutal screams throughout.
02. "Anodyne Sea" - Starts of at a fast pace, awesome breakdown styled riffs and melodic chorus. Great melodic solo/interlude at around 2:03. Intense breakdown around 3:00. Overall probably one of my favorite songs of the album.
03. "Without Conclusion" - Very fast pace, great riffs throughout. Two solos in this song at 0:49 and roughly 1:29.
04. "Parallels" - Intense double bass drumming, Great vocals throughout the chorus and nice guitar melody to fit with it. A calm interlude leading up to the solo sets the tone for it perfectly.
05. "The Plague" - Awesome riffs, this song shows the ranges and variation Tim is capable of. The chorus appeals to me mainly due to the drum beat, great song overall.
06. "Anger And Apathy" - Amazing intro guitar harmony, quickly breaks into fast double bass drumming with riffing to match. Nice melodic chorus once again. Nice interlude at around 2:20 brings an atmosphere to the song, which goes straight into the final chorus which brings the song to the intro harmony played once more to finish.
07. "Condemned" - Nice main riff brings it into an aggressive feel throughout. Fast paced, dissonant solo at around 2:10.
08. "Upside Down Kingdom" - Nice intro with the drums and bass guitar, the guitars follow shortly after to bring in the vocals. Nice breakdown in this song, melodic chorus with guitars to match, very nicely done.
09. "Vacancy" - Moderately fast and heavy intro leads into a short solo lick to bring in the first verse. Some nice riffs in this song. Melodic chorus once more, one of my favorite chorus' in the album, also just after the chorus showcases a fantastic riff. Great song.
10. "The Only Constant Is Change" - The song fades in slowly at the beginning, bringing in strong, aggressive riffs and drumming. Nice chorus riff, I feel this song is fairly average compared to the rest of the album.
11. "The Blinding Of False Light" - Probably one of the more atmospheric songs of the album, with melodic singing, quiet areas, and moody guitar riffs throughout. The song changes around half way to a much heavier style, with harder drumming, but still refers back to the melodic guitars. This was definitely a good song to end the album on as it finishes it off perfectly, fading out slowly. // 9
Lyrics: The lyrics written by Tim Lambesis for the album talk about conviction for the way we treat others. The band, all being Christians reflects on the lyrics strongly, as they speak of helping the weak and needy and how we take some people for granted as per say. Overall I think the lyrics are put together well and show great intelligence and understanding. // 9
Overall Impression: I feel this album differs from their early releases, but is based loosely on "An Ocean Between Us" but a much harder and more solid album. The producer, Adam Dutkiewicz from Killswitch Engage done a great job on mixing this album and giving it his own touch. This album as a whole is a much more solid release than their last. I can't think of an aspect of this album I actually dislike. If it were stolen or I'd lost it then I'd definitely buy another copy. If you're into metalcore, whether you've heard this band before or not, I recommend you check them out! // 9