Sound — 9
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. Song listing: 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.
Lyrics — 9
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.
Overall Impression — 9
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!