The Powerless Rise review by As I Lay Dying

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  • Released: May 11, 2010
  • Sound: 8
  • Lyrics: 8
  • Overall Impression: 9
  • Reviewer's score: 8.3 Superb
  • Users' score: 9 (206 votes)
As I Lay Dying: The Powerless Rise
7

Sound — 8
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. Song Listing: 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.

Lyrics — 8
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.

Overall Impression — 9
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.

92 comments sorted by best / new / date

    randomucker
    I must say, I am really, really sick of the metalcore genre, and find myself just listening to death metal like necrophagist, cannibal corpse and morbid angel etc, but this album really impressed me, there are no senseless breakdowns, they are incorporated into the song well and make sense, the vocals are a huge step up, there are even some really low growls which sound awesome. It's catchy, some great MEMORABLE riffs, excellent drumming and top notch producing. Incredible album, As I Lay Dyings best by a mile. This is from someone who absolutely can't stand the metalcore/hardcore genres usually, and quite frankly I can't believe I'm saying this, but the album really deserves praise.
    metalcore123
    TheAbsentOne wrote: While I don't really mind As I Lay Dying, they're just another generic metal core band, which sucks. I really feel they have potential but just suck it up and keep the cliche metalcore going every album.
    Sorry but i don't buy this. You can't call them generic metalcore if they were one of the first bands to really cement the genre. As I Lay Dying has established their own brand of metal, and if you search UG, they have even purposely taken a step away from metalcore, to serparate themselves. I have to pick this album up still, but i thought AOBU was a great album, and it was AILD's best. You may call them generic, but i've listened to a lot of metalcore, and they definitely stand out.
    death_unknown
    Call it what you want. But this is without a doubt the best AILD record. Its way faster and heavier and shreds way more than any other records of their's. Big step up from An Ocean Between Us. Way thrashier and alot more death metal elements thrown in the mix. I've followed AILD since 2003 very closely. Beneath the Encasing of Ashes was decent for its time. Frails Words Collapse was insanely good, even though the technicality was a little low and the drums were recorded a little too loud, but also good for that time. I had high expectations for Shadows Are Security as was let down big time. That album made me lose some interest in them. It was way too cookie cutter thru out the entire album. AOBU was a big rebound from that. The speed and technicality jumped up alot. It was a very good record. I was a little nervous about The Powerless Rise. But it is by far the fastest and heaviest AILD yet. There is no reason to not like these guys after listening to this record, even if you absolutely hate the genre. Some advice though, lay off the clean vocals, or at least dont sing so high Josh. Peace easy.
    Malphas
    WOW! How can you NOT like this album? Not a single song disappointed me unlike all of their previous albums in which I found myself skipping through some of their more boring and somewhat pointless songs. This album, however.... Dear God, there isn't a single song on this that I did not find myself nodding my head to. Absolutely flawless album, could have used a song like "I Never Wanted" to give the listener a break from the Thrash-like riffing and insane shredding but still, this album pumps me up all the way through! 9/10!
    !normajean!
    It's amusing how people still call them "generic metalcore" when AOBU was something completely different for this. More thrashy than anything. And this album seems to be in that same direction. And you can't call them 'generic' when they're one of the bands who made the genre popular.
    Adam124
    Yes it's metalcore never the less but to call the album generic is quite ignorant. They veered away from the generic sound when they released AOBU. Album is ****ing brilliant. Upside down kingdom and without conclusion are my favourites at the moment.
    WARLOCK123
    Well, if you call this metalcore then it is definately the best album in the genre (imo). Seriously, UG, what were you thinking. I lowest I could see this album getting is 8/10. I would give it 9.5, the only reason it wouldm't get a 10 is because it lacks a 'softer' song.
    Amuro Jay
    TheAbsentOne wrote: While I don't really mind As I Lay Dying, they're just another generic metal core band, which sucks. I really feel they have potential but just suck it up and keep the cliche metalcore going every album.
    If this was Shadows are Security I'd totally agree. But, the band has come a long way from that.
    EpiExplorer wrote: Its as technical as a jar of a vaseline and as exciting as a toothbrush.
    What you do by yourself in the bathroom is nobody's business but yours
    Nirvanarien wrote: Ofcourse you can, just because they made it popular doesn't mean that they're original. The most popular bands are often the least original. And this album wasn't ''more Thrashy than anything''. It had some Thrash riffing yes, but its still Metalcore.
    Fallacy alert! This isn't TDWP we're talking about here. As I Lay Dying have been doing this sort of style since like, 2001. There weren't as many bands doing this melodic metalcore stuff back in the day. So at the time, almost 10 years ago, this was considered original. Of course, it isn't today, which is why they're trying to progress. At least give them credit for that.
    DoomsDave wrote: *awesome*
    Remind me to buy you a drink one day.
    Dakkstar wrote: I dunno. I own "shadows are security" and I think that's as far as I'll go.
    The low point in their career, AOBU blows that out of the water.
    MegaFilth90
    Misfit-FTB wrote: So what if it's metalcore? AILD kicks ass. Only a damn fool wouldn't like it cause it's "metalcore".
    Seriously! Don't let the genre define the band, this album is amazing and thankfully not "preachy". Just give it a listen and judge for yourselves people.
    SGofawesome
    the problem with today's bands is that they listen to something and try to copy it. Bands back then would listen to it and use it as a building block to form their own unique style. Nowadays, everything is bland and not unique. Slipknot, however, is an exception.
    huevos
    I find the vast majority of metal to be boring and generic, so a genre that is based on copy-and-paste song mechanics? No thanks. I love plenty of stuff that is considered -core (PTH, DEP, TNTLLY, Sikth, etc.), and while it may into the technical camp, they have variation with extremely solid songwriting (#12's last 2 albums especially). ALID was decent for it's day, but they are now shadows of their once mediocre self's. Metalcore is fading away. It's on its last leg. Give it a year or 2 and all these fad bands will be replaced by another fad. It's the constant of every decade.
    MegaFilth90
    STifF92 wrote: as a bullet fan i can say that fever ****ing sucks. compared to this album fever is just nothing worth talking about.
    same here dude
    STifF92
    as a bullet fan i can say that fever ****ing sucks. compared to this album fever is just nothing worth talking about.
    MegaFilth90
    Oh yeah if you guys wanna hear "generic", listen to Bullet's Fever album. Hahahahaha
    justinb904
    This is definitely not "generic metalcore". I can't stand listening to anything generic sounding and I love this album.
    Echoplex
    !normajean! wrote: It's amusing how people still call them "generic metalcore" when AOBU was something completely different for this. More thrashy than anything. And this album seems to be in that same direction.
    This album and Ocean Between Us progressed from AILD's original sound, but it still fits, almost too comfortably into the cliches of metalcore. I have nothing against this band, I especially like their new material, but a slight change in style does not mean that they are changing genres/progressing completely. They still have the breakdowns/vocals/open-string guitar riffs of metalcore.
    HoneyofRuin
    theoldwizard wrote: Sometimes I think Amy Sciarretto doesn't even listen to the album she reviews...never mind, it's all the time.
    Twelve points for you. She's ****ing awful. I wrote a review for FFDP's new album and more agreed with me than they did her. It's sad.
    xXChimairaXx
    I really don't give a hoot about what genre As I Lay Dying is. I really don't care what genre any band "belongs" to, specifically in metal. If I like it, I listen to it, and don't care what everyone else thinks or likes. Too many narrow minded haters hiding behind their computers. On that note, this album is pretty decent. It's got its hooks and songs that kick ass, and a few that aren't amazing. I have to agree with the few that said 'An Ocean Between Us' was slightly better.
    Amito
    this album is very solid, as is their last one. Good stuff
    deafening
    I feel as if they do it more for the cash or some sort of mission to bring metal to a generic and mainstream arena, but I still love them for Shadows Are Security. Also, good review by Amy.
    Tikiman89
    This CD is sicknasty, the breakdown in Anodyne sounds like a born of osiris breakdown , just my opinion. AILD FOR LIFE.
    BwareDWare94
    How the hell did Adam D produce this and not shit his pants? Killswitch's last album blew so much I hope he went home to the boys and said "Guys we gotta step it up a notch." Just thought I'd post that again, because it's true.
    brobocop
    Are you guys kidding me? This is the most AILD has branched off in their whole career. It's extremely original for a genre like metalcore and yall should give um credit for that. It's an awesome album.
    huevos
    Before I started streaming the album, I made a list in my head of the genre cliches: -Pedal point riffs -Chugging palm muted power chords -Melodic chorus -Clean vox for contrast (usually in the chorus) -Obligatory pinch harmonic Bridge section to Solo in Parallels was slightly interesting, but when channeling Between the Buried and Me, it shouldn't be done so half-assed. Beyond our Suffering started out alright, had old-school/Converge -core style to it, but lacks variation. All in all, the most interesting part of the band has got to be the drummer. The funny thing is that with the songs being so simplistic, they lack direction. Riff salad after riff salad. It's a travesty to call these songs. The only interesting "song" was Anodyne Sea and even then...
    Ryan14
    I can't stop listening to the breakdown for 'Anodyne Sea'. Eargasmic.
    Invert-blu
    L0lDJ wrote: DoomsDave wrote: "Metalcore". Kind of like when Nu-Metal hit the scene. But if my Dad then, said, "Korn is the worst thing I have ever heard in my entire life. Put on some Ozzy", he wouldn't be ridiculed. If he had said "This is just another Nu-Metal band", that's hating. That's hating, and so is everybody else who individually condemns genres. It's hatred. People listen to these specific, albeit up-and-coming genres because it suits them. The rest of you can **** off and listen to your holier-than-thou-art, washed up metal. Because we all know nobody wants to let their core interest in music die. These criticisms only speak one thing in my mind: a call for help, in the most apathetic way possible. What better way to rationalize that fact by ignorantly scrutinizing the tastes of others. Hatred. It speaks a lot about who you are. This man, Speaks the truth.
    Indeed, the SOUND of truth. lol I couldn't resist...
    dedguy666
    niejel wrote: is AILD worth listening to? I listen to Alesana, Bullet For My Valentine and Trivium, practically core-ish. I think you'll dig AILD. But they scream A LOT more than those bands listed. If you haven't heard them, I suggest you listen to Frail Words Collapse first, then Shadows, etc in the order they were released. please no flaming, just asking.
    crazysam23_Atax
    TheAbsentOne wrote: While I don't really mind As I Lay Dying, they're just another generic metal core band, which sucks. I really feel they have potential but just suck it up and keep the cliche metalcore going every album.
    Agreed.
    by will alone
    Fearbefore, i agree, it does sound LoGish, but i still think LoG is much heavier, and i think they have better rhythems, but this album is definitely good, the main problem i had was that they didnt mix up their tone as much as on AOBU, so it sounded a bit repetitive. Oh, and
    "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.
    lol, this makes absolutely no sense, i dont know what she was trying to say here.
    FearBefore
    Can't be bothered sifting through all the comments to see if anyone already brought this up, but am I the only one who thinks that Condemned has walked right off a Lamb of God CD? So Tim may not sound like Randy, but the beginning is very LOG. The CD however, is growing on me. Parallels is catchy as shit, and Anodyne Sea follows closely. Nothing jumps out though, like previous songs. A for effort for though!
    Shreddinator666
    niejel wrote: is AILD worth listening to? I listen to Alesana, Bullet For My Valentine and Trivium, practically core-ish. please no flaming, just asking.
    Definately still worth it, this album is far better than Fever in my opinion, and I'm a huge Bullet For My Valentine fan.
    homebrew1709
    It's pretty simple: if you were not a fan of AILD before The Powerless Rise, the album probably isn't gonna convert you into a die-hard fan. But for those of us who already were fans of the band, The Powerless Rise is right up our alley! AILD's albums seem to have gotten heavier over time as opposed to some other bands (ahem, Bullet for my Valentine & All That Remains, I'm talking about YOU!). This album is definitely faster and more thrash-like than any of their previous releases and I really like it. If this album isn't heavy enough for you, you ought to get your head checked!
    dedguy666
    i totally screwed up that post there. but that's what i think. anywho, i bought this album this morning and i think it's their fastest and heaviest work to date. good stuff!
    niejel
    is AILD worth listening to? I listen to Alesana, Bullet For My Valentine and Trivium, practically core-ish. please no flaming, just asking.
    TheUsedRocker
    Before I started streaming the album, I made a list in my head of the genre cliches: -Pedal point riffs -Chugging palm muted power chords -Melodic chorus -Clean vox for contrast (usually in the chorus) -Obligatory pinch harmonic Bridge section to Solo in Parallels was slightly interesting, but when channeling Between the Buried and Me, it shouldn't be done so half-assed. Beyond our Suffering started out alright, had old-school/Converge -core style to it, but lacks variation. All in all, the most interesting part of the band has got to be the drummer. The funny thing is that with the songs being so simplistic, they lack direction. Riff salad after riff salad. It's a travesty to call these songs. The only interesting "song" was Anodyne Sea and even then...
    Even though I completely disagree with you, I can accept this, as you gave REASONS as to why you thought it wasn't that great. Kudos to you, man. I personally think that TPR is AILDs best album ever, and one of the best albums I know have in my library, my favorite songs being: 1. Anodyne Sea - I love the riffs in this song. Trashy, yet melodic at parts. And then comes that breakdown... O_O Yum. 8.5/10. 2. Anger and Apathy - Once again, the riffs are awesome and melodic. All around great song. 9/10. 3. Upside Down Kingdom - The intro riff is great. Really great. And I love the breakdowns. Fast paced and thrashy. 8/10. 4. The Only Constant is Change - Oh my goodness. I practically shit myself when I heard this song. The intro is melodic (+) and the first verse riff is thrashy-ish and delivers something to mosh to. Then the intro comes back with some rhythm in the chorus, again very good. At 2:45 is where I almost shit myself. This riff goes down as my favorite riff EVER. 10/10. Just my opinion on my favorite songs from this amazing album. All in all the album deserves a 9.5/10. Keep it up As I Lay Dying! P.S. AILD is definitely still metalcore, but in my opinion, that's a plus!
    cfredr12
    I'm pretty disappointed. Nothing jumped out as great. All these songs just sound like filler songs. I'm kinda guessing that deep blue by pwd is gonna go the same direction. They're ditching the complexity and variety of their last albums for a bland, generic sound. If all you care about is heaviness and brutality just stick to deathcore
    Musicus77
    this is AILD's best album ever i cant stop listening to it, it's so ****ign beautiful it makes me cry tears of happiness
    Slaytan666
    EpiExplorer wrote: Its as technical as a jar of a vaseline and as exciting as a toothbrush.
    I disagree, but that is still F-ing funny.
    TheMarrtyr13
    DoomsDave said it the best, but i like stuff from SaS, TPR and AOBU have to be my favorite albums now.
    dementiacaptain
    haters suck a turd. this album is beasty. i dont even get into all that metalcore shit really and i still love everything as i lay dying has ever done.
    tbag2325
    Metalcore is fading away. It's on its last leg. Give it a year or 2 and all these fad bands will be replaced by another fad. It's the constant of every decade.
    People have been saying that for years.
    How the hell did Adam D produce this and not shit his pants? Killswitch's last album blew so much I hope he went home to the boys and said "Guys we gotta step it up a notch."
    Well said. And Anodyne Sea has the greatest AILD breakdown ever
    FallenByohazard
    I wish Aild werent defined as metalcore. they had their moments in shadows, and a lot of gay bands based their riffs off songs such as through struggle. i wouldn't say theyre much of a metalcore band, however, but id say theyre their own genre.
    /-Vince-\
    Honestly, I feared The Powerless Rise would suck, but damn this album is great, really!
    amp435
    "Metalcore". Kind of like when Nu-Metal hit the scene. But if my Dad then, said, "Korn is the worst thing I have ever heard in my entire life. Put on some Ozzy", he wouldn't be ridiculed. If he had said "This is just another Nu-Metal band", that's hating. That's hating, and so is everybody else who individually condemns genres. It's hatred. People listen to these specific, albeit up-and-coming genres because it suits them. The rest of you can **** off and listen to your holier-than-thou-art, washed up metal. Because we all know nobody wants to let their core interest in music die. These criticisms only speak one thing in my mind: a call for help, in the most apathetic way possible. What better way to rationalize that fact by ignorantly scrutinizing the tastes of others. Hatred. It speaks a lot about who you are. Couldn't have said it better myself.