I had been excited for this album for months, and several months laterI still play this album very frequently. As I Lay Dying has had a whirlwind career these last few years, releasing stellar album after album, while continuing to develop that heavy metal sound with a little melodic flavor. At the same time, since their album An Ocean Between Uswas releasedthree years prior, AILD hasn’t taken a break. With the huge success they have had in touring they were able to take time to put their full effort into this album without having to rush. The wait was surely worth it with The Powerless Rise.
It’s hard for me to start with this album; I could go on and on with each track about how great I think it is, as each track truly is a gem in its own right. There honestly isn’t anything lacking from these tracks. AILD has always been an extremely technical band and always beyond proficient with their respective instruments. When you takefive band members who are extremely skilled with their own instruments and throw them together, you get something beautiful.
This album is just simply brutal, heavy, technical, and just masterfully structured with each song arranged wonderfully. The production is nearly flawless, making a grand balance between the crushing instruments and intense vocals of Tim Lambesis. Mixed in with Tim’s constantly strong vocals are the beautiful harmonies of bassist Josh Gilbert, who allows you to focus even more on the lyrics. There is a large amount of depth to Tim’s lyrics on any AILD album. They may not be blatently Christian lyrics, but that’s because Tim doesn’t write like others. He has some serious depth to what he is saying about life and a relationship with Christ. He wants that to hit the listeners where they are at and then let them think and digest it.
Now the lyrics aren’t the only thing that makes the album. This wouldn’t be an AILD album without the searing guitar riffs from the duel guitars of Nick Hipa and Phil Sgrosso. These guys offer up scorching guitar riffs throughout the album along with some insane solos throughout numerous songs. They drive the album along with skill and precision. At the same time there is the pounding intensity of Jordan Mancino blasting away on his drum kit and hitting it home on the double bass. This guy is a serious beast on the drums and one of metal’s finest on a drum kit.With how brutal and fast he is you arein for one heck of a ride.
As I Lay Dying fires away on all cylinders through this whole album; they start with a bang and plow their way through until they reach the finish. Condemned” and “Vacancy” are two of my favorite tracks on The Powerless Rise because of how insanely brutal they are. Any track on this album could be a favorite becausethere is so much to love about each and every track.
If you’re a fan of any metal whatsoever there is no reason you shouldn’t like this album. These guys are the head of the pack and are true powerhouses of metal. Sure the genre is overfilled with dozens of bands that sound the same but this isn’t one of them. The band members has labored away in their careers and honed their skills. They are pioneers of the genre. The level at which they play is almost untouchable to the majority of their peers. This is hands down the metal album of 2010 and I highly recommend getting this album. This issome of As I Lay Dying’s best material which is saying something with how incredible Shadows Are Security andAn Ocean Between Us are. With a band of performers that just keep getting better and perfecting upontheir past smash albums it looks like they arestill overflowing with outstanding music yet to be released to their legions of fans around the world.