As I Lay Dying – “Awakened”

As I Lay Dying – “Awakened” (Metal Blade Records)

Gotta say, never knew AILD to be this intense! Right from the off this is one tornado of an album that just rips into you and doesn’t let up. AILD have an interesting mix combining the emocore vocals of Tim Lambesis with the mello death chopping rhythms of At The Gates all those years ago. But it’s their energy and vibrant pace that really socked me: considering the band have been together for over 12 years I’d be expecting something mebbe more slower or conceptual but song titles like ‘No Lungs To Breathe’, ‘Overcome’ and ‘Resilience’ say it all that this band are far from their sell buy date! If there has been experimentation then working with famed producer (and drummer of punk rock legends The Descendents) Bill Stevenson has made all the difference by bringing in some fresh perspective without changing the band’s core style. I would say he has deffo injected some punk freneticity in the songs to make them truly vibrant while also streamlining them to make them more aggressive. Lambesis’s lyrics in this album also seem to have taken a darker, more pessimistic path but it all works and reflects the maturity and experience of this San Diego crew. “Awakened” has certainly been a wake up call for me and might be the finest hour for AILD – and then some!

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