This Is Who We Are [DVD] review by As I Lay Dying

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  • Released: Apr 14, 2009
  • Sound: 8
  • Content: 8
  • Production Quality: 8
  • Overall Impression: 8
  • Reviewer's score: 8 Superb
  • Users' score: 9 (78 votes)
As I Lay Dying: This Is Who We Are [DVD]
4

Sound — 8
After the success of Cannibal Corpse's Centuries of Torment' DVD last year, the folks at Metal Blade Records have done it again. This Is Who We Are' is a 3 DVD set from As I Lay Dying and it's a monster of a package! Included in the box is an exhaustive documentary on the band, a collection of high-energy live performances, and all of the band's official videos and other enticing bonus features. Those of you who are already familiar with the recorded output of As I Lay Dying already know what to sonically expect. The California metalcore giants have always made sure their Swedish death metal inspired guitar riffs are way up front in the mix while the drums and vocals jockey for position beneath it. Engineer Daniel Castleman does a smashing job capturing the intensity of the band's live show while maintaining the meticulous precision of their musicianship.

Content — 8
The live performances span concert appearances from 2007-2008 and what we find here is a quintet firing on all cylinders. The guitar team of Phil Sgrosso (rhythm) and Nick Hipps (leads) prove that all the years toughing it out on the club circuit has done wonders for their chops. On Within Destruction the guitarists channel the speed metal charge of vintage Kreator and chop it up with the mosh pit rhythms of New York City Hardcore but their skilled playing makes it sound seamless. Vocalist Tim Lambesis is the consummate frontman, striding back and forth onstage like a man possessed. His command over his instrument and crowd is veteran-like in it's confidence and delivery. How he tears through a song like Distance Is Darkness while not losing his voice halfway throughout it is a feat in itself. As captivating as the live content featured here is, it's the full-length documentary that really takes the cake. Like the aforementioned Cannibal Corpse DVD, the documentary portion takes us through As I Lay Dying's humble beginning to their current spot atop the metalcore scene today. Now stone is left unturned and director Denise Korycki makes sure that the film flows from start to finish at a compelling pace. Even if you're not a fan of the band, This Is Who We AreThe Beginning' is the kind of thing any fan of heavy music can appreciate. In the end, it's just another inspiring story of a group fighting for what they believe in and coming out triumphant.

Production Quality — 8
Not only does Korycki do fantastic with the story end of the documentary, visually she takes the almost certain low-budget of the production and lift it to Hollywood styled levels. Everything from the titles to the interview footage is top-notch while the editing (with Lia Starace) keeps the momentum moving forward. The concert stuff sounds and looks just as vibrant with ample shots of the crowds making you feel like the show is going down in the middle of your living room.

Overall Impression — 8
With three DVDs included in This Is Who We Are,' you'll have a lot of media to sink your teeth into. This isn't really a one sitting type of experience. The concert footage alone is enough to take in alone. You can go on YouTube and watch these performances on your computer but their panoramic sound and visual quality truly was meant for the wide screen of a television. Like we mentioned before, the documentary disc is gripping but if you don't have the patience or interest in that kind of thing, the live portion is essential for any fan of the band. With so many artists releasing DVDs these days, it's easy to get jaded and take them for granted. But when something like this hit's stores, it's quality is hard to ignore.

62 comments sorted by best / new / date

    ~punk-girl~
    Metallidethium wrote: Brendan.Clace : that singer...from as I lay crying.....sounds like a dying moose.... well its a good thing your going to support him cuz he does have 5 band members to feed lmao..love austrian death machine..and as i lay dying. going to buy this today
    jmh886
    fr33t0m wrote: It's disappointing to see people give this a good rating. New waves of kids keep getting tricked into this stuff, instead of finding actual metal bands that are creating art. Luckily the core trend doesn't have much life left in it so the record companies and media will just find the next genre to exploit and hopefully leave metal alone.
    i was not tricked into liking this band. i love all types of music/metal. while i agree that "metalcore" is becoming a stale genre, there are still some good bands out there.
    Brendan.Clace
    I don't think this is a dyning genre at all...look at all the fans out there for these guys, ABR, uO, Norma Jean, TDWP, etc etc etc....def not a dying genre
    Covin
    fr33t0m wrote: It's disappointing to see people give this a good rating. New waves of kids keep getting tricked into this stuff, instead of finding actual metal bands that are creating art. Luckily the core trend doesn't have much life left in it so the record companies and media will just find the next genre to exploit and hopefully leave metal alone.
    AILD are an incredibly talented band. I agree the genre is going stale, but that doesn't mean every band in the genre is. Their latest album, imo, is one of the top metal albums to have come out in the last 2 years or so. "Art" is relative... There are very, very few things in this world that we could all agree on NOT being art... You may not find it artistic, but that doesn't mean it won't find a common artistic thread with someone elsewhere. You can't really argue that because you don't like it's not art. In the meantime, I'm going to have look into this DVD. All the features remind of ZAO's 6-hour DVD set...lol
    Slow_N_Low
    Went to the No Fear Energy show and Suicidal Tendencies took the place of AILD. I was disappointed. Although AILD is metalcore, but they did switch it up a lot for Their last album. And to say that metalcore is a record company driven genre... I can't think of one metalcore band that is signed to a major label. The closest I can think of is KSE on Roadrunner.
    breakdown123
    I love metalcore but it is a dying genre. what else is there to do in the genre? every single idea has been done over multiple times
    clincher09
    fr33t0m wrote: It's disappointing to see people give this a good rating. New waves of kids keep getting tricked into this stuff, instead of finding actual metal bands that are creating art. Luckily the core trend doesn't have much life left in it so the record companies and media will just find the next genre to exploit and hopefully leave metal alone.
    Haha! I'm assuming you think Cannibal Corpse is creating art and this band isn't? Haha! Not to mention that these guys put their heart and soul into their music.
    danrawkz
    fr33t0m wrote: It's disappointing to see people give this a good rating. New waves of kids keep getting tricked into this stuff, instead of finding actual metal bands that are creating art. Luckily the core trend doesn't have much life left in it so the record companies and media will just find the next genre to exploit and hopefully leave metal alone.
    It's disappointing to see people like you who take on the metal elitist logic, where everything outside guys with long curly unwashed hair who play obscure crap that only caters to a minority. What a stupid post.
    danrawkz
    that should read 'only caters to a minority sucks', btw. WTB edit option.
    ~punk-girl~
    danrawkz wrote: fr33t0m wrote: It's disappointing to see people give this a good rating. New waves of kids keep getting tricked into this stuff, instead of finding actual metal bands that are creating art. Luckily the core trend doesn't have much life left in it so the record companies and media will just find the next genre to exploit and hopefully leave metal alone. It's disappointing to see people like you who take on the metal elitist logic, where everything outside guys with long curly unwashed hair who play obscure crap that only caters to a minority. What a stupid post.
    I agree, just because its not your style of metal doesnt mean its ok to trash it. And i seriously doubt that this guy could play guitar better than phil sgrossa. As i lay dying is the best and you dont get any more talented than austrian death machine. lay off buddy
    Metallidethium
    Brendan.Clace : that singer...from as I lay crying.....sounds like a dying moose....
    lmao..love austrian death machine..and as i lay dying. going to buy this today
    Amuro Jay
    breakdown123 wrote: I love metalcore but it is a dying genre. what else is there to do in the genre? every single idea has been done over multiple times
    Yep. Everything is 0-8-7-5, if you know what I mean. Like, get this: I love AILD but Shadows are Security was a few good songs, and then everything else sounded the same. It sounded like most boring metalcore bands with the same old riffs. That's why I'm glad that some bands change. AILD took a different approach on AOBU, and KSE were never really the 0-8-7-5 kinda guys anyway. And so on and so forth. Anyway, I got the DVD the other day, and I gotta say, I was pleased. The documentary flowed almost flawlessly, and the concert footage even had a bit of documentary footage in it to bridge the gaps between points in history. And there was a lot to see. Two hours of documentary, an hour and a half of concert footage (which was pretty good, especially in the small venues), and the bonus disc detailed on the personality of the band members. So there's a lot to see. It's probably one of the better documentaries out there.
    HavokStrife
    jmh886 wrote: i really doubt they played the same song twice buddy. i am going to that same show and aild is my favorite band on the bill. how can i take you seriously if you work at a store called who we are for a living? how bout them apples?
    How am I supposed to take someone who can't read damn english seriously? I said "they should sue themselves for plagarism" meaning they have TWO songs that sound the SAME. And the store is called "Wegmans" and the slogan is "Who We Are". Though, I'll give you the potshot, the store is a dump and I wouldn't listen to anyone that works there either. What the **** grade are you kids in?! And I thought I didn't know how to read..
    danrawkz
    Almost every metal band has 2 songs that sound the 'same', seriously. It's just the way it is.
    ThatWouldBeJon
    metalcore dying? maybe but with bands like AILD and ATR and shadows fall fueling it i dont think its gonna be dead anytme soon
    jonhc55
    nkbrocker wrote: adrianjunger wrote: Why on Earth is the picture on the front page of the bassist who quit before AOBU? Probably because he will be in the documentary since it captures footage from before AOBU.... and prob cuz he was part of the bands progress, but im not sure.
    His name is Clint Norris and he will be in the documentary and he did all the clean vocals on Shadows Are Security and the bass lines were made by Phil Sgrosso.
    ismellfunny13
    jonhc55 wrote: nkbrocker wrote: adrianjunger wrote: Why on Earth is the picture on the front page of the bassist who quit before AOBU? Probably because he will be in the documentary since it captures footage from before AOBU.... and prob cuz he was part of the bands progress, but im not sure. His name is Clint Norris and he will be in the documentary and he did all the clean vocals on Shadows Are Security and the bass lines were made by Phil Sgrosso.
    Actually Dave Arthur from Kings to You did the clean vocals
    derekderek
    bought this dvd yesterday and it is very good. long documentary, concert footage (with excellent quality) from tiny stages to festivals, outtakes, all their videos, even more live footage on the bonus dvd. what more could you ask for? i think this even ranks up there with the lamb of god dvds.
    Vedicardi
    breakdown123 wrote: I love metalcore but it is a dying genre. what else is there to do in the genre? every single idea has been done over multiple times
    yeh, getting worse than thrash and power metal combined
    MustangMan311
    Metal Blade's also releasing a Black Dahlia Murder DVD / Documentary in the next few weeks / months.
    a7xf@n43v3r
    HavokStrife wrote: This says it's a live DVD, and in that case it's not worth the plastic the DVD is made out of them. I just saw them Lamb of God, Bodom, God Forbid, and Municipal Waste, and they were BY FAR the worst band on the tour, and maybe one of the worst metal acts I've ever seen. All they do is headbang to stobe lights and the crowd loves in. The guitarists never move, the lead singer has the most monotone growl in metal, period, and I don't care to hear the bassist whine in the background about his goldfish dying or something. Not only that, but they never think outside the box, and after about three or four songs they sound the same. I mean, I thought they opened with that Forever song but then halfway through the set they're like, "this is for all of you who have been around for a while, it's Forever!" and I'm just like, WTF, you should sue yourselves for plagarism. But that's "Who They Are." Seriously, Who We Are, that's the slogan of the store I work at.. how can I expect to take it seriously?
    did you really have to type all that, couldn't you have just ignored this whole thing altogether? I can't wait to get this, they're not the best band out there but they kick the shit out of most of the newer bands
    MattA7Xfan4Life
    the reason why they sound like every metalcore band is b/c they were the original metalcore band, and everyone else sounds like them!
    xXChimairaXx
    the documentary was very inspiring. awesome dvd and some amazing cool guys. it would be sweet to hang out with them.
    pinballwizard92
    Picked this up the other day, pretty sweet. Lots of stuff on the 3 discs, will definatly keep you entertained for many hours. Also, it's not Clint on the cover, it just looks like him.
    fr33t0m
    It's disappointing to see people give this a good rating. New waves of kids keep getting tricked into this stuff, instead of finding actual metal bands that are creating art. Luckily the core trend doesn't have much life left in it so the record companies and media will just find the next genre to exploit and hopefully leave metal alone.
    Big_Rat
    Just got this! It's ****ing epic! You get so much in it, takes ages but it's a great DVD!
    ImagineTheThorn
    jmh886 wrote: HavokStrife wrote: This says it's a live DVD, and in that case it's not worth the plastic the DVD is made out of them. I just saw them Lamb of God, Bodom, God Forbid, and Municipal Waste, and they were BY FAR the worst band on the tour, and maybe one of the worst metal acts I've ever seen. All they do is headbang to stobe lights and the crowd loves in. The guitarists never move, the lead singer has the most monotone growl in metal, period, and I don't care to hear the bassist whine in the background about his goldfish dying or something. Not only that, but they never think outside the box, and after about three or four songs they sound the same. I mean, I thought they opened with that Forever song but then halfway through the set they're like, "this is for all of you who have been around for a while, it's Forever!" and I'm just like, WTF, you should sue yourselves for plagarism. But that's "Who They Are." Seriously, Who We Are, that's the slogan of the store I work at.. how can I expect to take it seriously? i really doubt they played the same song twice buddy. i am going to that same show and aild is my favorite band on the bill. how can i take you seriously if you work at a store called who we are for a living? how bout them apples?
    He didnt say that was the name of the store, he said it was the slogan.
    Kite2411
    I'm not a big fan of As I Lay Dying, but I still went to see them when they came around with Protest the Hero and The Human Abstract. Nedless to say, I was impressed. They really do give it their all and give one hell of a show. If "Colors-Live" by Between the Buried and Me is any indication on what these types of DVD's are capable of, I can't wait to pick this up.
    nkbrocker
    adrianjunger wrote: Why on Earth is the picture on the front page of the bassist who quit before AOBU?
    Probably because he will be in the documentary since it captures footage from before AOBU.... and prob cuz he was part of the bands progress, but im not sure.
    \m/[-_-]\m/
    I saw them live about a year ago and the kicked ass. If them ever come again, I'll be the first to buy tickets. AILD owns. \m/
    HavokStrife
    This says it's a live DVD, and in that case it's not worth the plastic the DVD is made out of them. I just saw them Lamb of God, Bodom, God Forbid, and Municipal Waste, and they were BY FAR the worst band on the tour, and maybe one of the worst metal acts I've ever seen. All they do is headbang to stobe lights and the crowd loves in. The guitarists never move, the lead singer has the most monotone growl in metal, period, and I don't care to hear the bassist whine in the background about his goldfish dying or something. Not only that, but they never think outside the box, and after about three or four songs they sound the same. I mean, I thought they opened with that Forever song but then halfway through the set they're like, "this is for all of you who have been around for a while, it's Forever!" and I'm just like, WTF, you should sue yourselves for plagarism. But that's "Who They Are." Seriously, Who We Are, that's the slogan of the store I work at.. how can I expect to take it seriously?
    gr1170
    Cliche metalcore at it's finest. Still, one of the few straight metalcore bands I can stand. Their great live.
    jmh886
    HavokStrife wrote: This says it's a live DVD, and in that case it's not worth the plastic the DVD is made out of them. I just saw them Lamb of God, Bodom, God Forbid, and Municipal Waste, and they were BY FAR the worst band on the tour, and maybe one of the worst metal acts I've ever seen. All they do is headbang to stobe lights and the crowd loves in. The guitarists never move, the lead singer has the most monotone growl in metal, period, and I don't care to hear the bassist whine in the background about his goldfish dying or something. Not only that, but they never think outside the box, and after about three or four songs they sound the same. I mean, I thought they opened with that Forever song but then halfway through the set they're like, "this is for all of you who have been around for a while, it's Forever!" and I'm just like, WTF, you should sue yourselves for plagarism. But that's "Who They Are." Seriously, Who We Are, that's the slogan of the store I work at.. how can I expect to take it seriously?
    i really doubt they played the same song twice buddy. i am going to that same show and aild is my favorite band on the bill. how can i take you seriously if you work at a store called who we are for a living? how bout them apples?
    philrox
    master_ofmetal Its the name of a song from there Shadows Are Security album.
    Actually.. "This Is Who We Are" is off of An Ocean Between Us.
    hourglass09
    I went to the No Fear Energy tour, and it was their 1st day on the tour and they were good, but not amazing. LOG was the best and Bodom and AILD were about the same to me. One of my fav. bands though.
    lylewithans182
    lmao, i love how with any band when someone is like "they suck" its always "no YOU suck, this is the best band ever!"