Awakened is the latest album by As I Lay Dying following their 10 year anniversary compilation album Decas. The album opens with Cauterize a fast paced and in your face song with high powered riffs and blistering blast beats. Cauterize was released before the album as a lyric video and is a classic As I Lay Dying song with great suspense building into the melodic chorus and catchy vocal lines by Josh.
A Greater Foundation is the next song on the album and the first single off the record. Again it has the same sort of style that As I Lay Dying write and that fans are used to. The main riff is very fast even for most AILD songs and is perfect circle pit material. The Video features a large group of fans circle pitting around the band while at the side constructionist rebuilds a Torne down wall. The video is a good way to express the lyrical meaning of having to tear things apart in order to rebuild them better, stronger and an overall greater foundation.
As well as delivering the classic As I Lay Dying sound, the band weren’t afraid to experiment with different styling’s and progressions in both the music and lyrics. Guitarist’s Nick Hipa and Phil Sgrosso took more influences from bands which they covered in their compilation album such as Slayer and Judas Priest. This gave a fresh new look at As I Lay Dying’s music while still keeping it within their own genre and style. We see a lot more clean vocals from bassist Joshi Gilbert in the verses of songs. Rather than just saving his catchy melodies for the chorus it gives the band more diverse in each song and ultimately gives fans more ability to sing along to.
Every As I Lay Dying album has always been a step up from the last and Awakened does a great job in keeping with that tradition. Each song can be as complex or as simple as they want it to be and still give a great performance in each song. The Powerless Rise is still my favourite As I Lay Dying album but Awakened easily grows on you and is a great album to listen to. As I Lay Dying support Trivium in November and I look forward to seeing them perform some songs off this album hopefully get an even greater appreciation for it as I sing along to each song and become lost in a sea of circle pits.
Final Verdict 4/5