As I Lay Dying – “Shaped by Fire”

 Posted by on January 14, 2020 at 16:38  Add comments
Jan 142020
 

Little introduction is needed for the American Metalcore legends “As I lay dying” hailing from San Diego, California. Although the band went into hiatus post Tim Lambesis’s incarceration in 2014, they came out with their 7th Studio album “Shaped by Fire” on the 20th September, 2019. Phil Sgrosso along with Nick Hipa joined the ranks on guitars in 2003 really changed the game when they released the much acclaimed 3rd Album “Shadows are Security”. Although over the years the band members had disagreement and went in separate ways to work on side projects. But that’s a different matter!

Tim Lambesis along with Jordan Mancano formed “As I lay dying” back in 2000, the name was inspired by Wiliam Faulkner’s book of the same name. The band quotes In Flames, Living Sacrifice, Iron Maiden, Slayer, At the Gates, Pantera, Megadeth, Fear Factory, Cannibal Corpse, Thin Lizzy, Shai Hulud, Dark Tranquility, Metallica, Judas Priest, and Earth Crisis as some of their influences. Predominantly a Melodic Metalcore outfit, they have experimented and worked on Thrash and Death metal genre’s in their exciting past.

They recently toured India, but it being in a different city, and due to personal commitments I missed seeing them. To be honest, I had waited quite a bit for them to reunite and can’t wait to review this album. So Without much ado, I queued “Burn to Emerge” which sets an atmospheric soundscapes setting up an epic start to the album. “Blinded” explodes up with hammering riffs with odd time signature and well-crafted breakdowns and blitzing fast guitar solo. The guitar tone complements the guttural growls and makes one groove to the beats. “Shaped by Fire” plunges right on with guitar chugs on the low B string adding a bit of djent element to the song. An interesting and melodic chorus juggles clean and guttural vocals, a tremendous riff hovers and carries the song.  

“Undertow” takes the energy to grindcore levels, the blast beats are married well with the guitar chugs and carries the song forward. What I liked about this song was the groove that has been set at its core, which will definitely get you moving around and singing to its chorus. “Torn Between” gives you a breather with its Intro but takes no time to hammer on with catchy riffs which drive the energy levels really high and melts your face with the finishing guitar solo. “Gatekeeper” got some electronica at start but punches you hard with its offbeat delivery of blast beats coupled with some crafty riffs, unbelievable screams and guitar solo which will surely get you head-banging.

“The Wreckage” and “Take What’s Left” starts off beautifully with a slow verse, but later plunges and hits you hard with maddening blast beats and guitar riffs which are more or less spread across the song. “My Own Grave” which was released in 2018, had confirmed (after much confusion) that As I lay dying was getting back to its old line-up. Nevertheless, this songs build-up was what got me excited for them. A rip roaring riot with everyone on-board going berserk and killing it. “Redefined” features Jake Luhrs of August Burns Red’s fame and has plenty of odd time signatures and breakdowns to get one grooving, and the blast beats deliver a strong neck-breaking experience to the fellow head banger.

“Only After We’ve Fallen” ploughs your head with speedy riffs as part of its chorus, something that stood out for me, and made this track my favourite of the album. The verses were crazy heavy and weren’t devoid of melody. The album ends with “The Toll It Takes” which mellows you out with its Intro and chorus but shocks you back to momentum with a choppy and rugged guitar riff throughout its verse. What a heavy and wonderful way to end the record!

Production: The production on this album was great, although I felt the bass wasn’t that loud and that’s something that could have been pumped up a little.

Conclusion: I can’t believe they came to my country and I missed them. That’s a wonderful opportunity lost for me. Nevertheless this much awaited and tremendous record which will get their fans hooked for multiple spins for sure. Go buy it!

Rating: 9/10

Written by: Ankit Sood

Tracklist

  1. Burn To Emerge
  2. Blinded
  3. Shaped By Fire
  4. Undertow
  5. Torn Between
  6. Gatekeeper
  7. The Wreckage
  8. My Own Grave
  9. Take What’s Left
  10. Redefined
  11. Only After We’ve Fallen
  12. The Toll It Takes

Band members
Tim Lambesis – vocals
Phil Sgrosso – guitar, vocals
Nick Hipa – guitar, vocals
Josh Gilbert – bass, vocals
Jordan Mancino – drums

Release Date: 20 Sept. 2019

Record Label: Nuclear Blast

Weblinks: Website / Facebook / Twitter

Video for ‘Shaped By Fire’

Video for ‘Blinded’


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