As I Lay Dying, The Powerless Rise

Jon Wiederhorn

By Jon Wiederhorn

on 06.14.11 in Reviews
Sonic diversity and rage that rivals the best death metal

In part, As I Lay Dying’s fifth album, The Powerless Rise, was an apology to their oldest fans for the more commercial approach they took on 2007′s An Ocean Between Us. Not that The Powerless Rise is free of melodic choruses or hum-along guitars, but the primary objective here is to prove how fast and heavy the band can still be in an age of commercial metalcore. “Beyond Our Suffering” opens the album with crashing thrash beats, speedy guitar runs and layered vocal howls. The tempo only picks up with “Anodyne Sea,” which adds feral blastbeats to the band’s assault. If there’s a formula to The Powerless Rise, it’s one of sonic diversity and rage that rivals the best death metal — a construction As I Lay Dying virtually introduced to Christian metalcore a decade ago. It would take a small miracle for the band to surpass the passion and fury of this album. All we can do is pray.