This year, As I Lay Dying released another album that adds on to their legacy. “Awakened” is a by-product of the band’s evolution while they maintain their individualism. I feel with every new release, this band just gets heavier. Never mind the metalcore sounding An Ocean Between Us, what you can expect from this new album is chugging riffs and rapid drum-parts. Still pertaining to their original sound, this album is also full of melodic choruses and clean vocals by bassist and vocalist Josh Gilbert. Overall, this new release is bound to attract old As I Lay Dying fans as well as some new ones.
This album starts off with the track “Cauterize”. The intro consists of a classic scream from vocalist Tim Lambesis accompanied by chugging riffs from guitarists Nick Hipa and Phil Sgrosso. The verse follows this same rhythm, until the chorus hits. The chorus is everything you can expect from As I Lay Dying; melodious riffs, clean vocals, and repetitive drums, but keeping it very headbang worthy. The band even incorporates a breakdown about two minutes into the song. Overall, the rest of the album follows this same prototype, but a few songs stand out. “Resilience” starts off with a high-tuned, harmonious riff and follows into a much fast-paced track which I can imagine a crowd moshing heavily to during a live performance. I’m quite fond of the drums in the intro of “No Lungs to Breathe”. I’ve always thought drummer Jordan Mancino to go beyond the expectations of listeners. I’m also fond of the bass intro in the track “Defender”. The lyrics are analogous to previous As I Lay Dying material. Lambesis writes uplifting and inspiring lyrics with a strong metaphorical language. Overall, this album is well thought of, with divergence from previous material but only enough to where they still stick to their roots.
My only complaint about this album is it takes a few listens to really find those tracks that really stick to you. Not like An Ocean Between Us, where one listen and immediately you become attached to tracks like “Nothing Left” and “The Sound of Truth”. But this factor doesn’t take away much from this album; it’s still exhilarating and any As I Lay Dying fan can appreciate it.
With a well put together album, As I Lay Dying conquers once again. They proved that they have enhanced their sound but at the same time stuck to their roots. As an overall explanation, this band can never fail.