Its hard to believe that a veteran metal band like San Diegos As I Lay Dying could be just hitting their stride now, some 10 years and five full-lengths into an already stellar career. Still, even after just one listen to the quintets latest, The Powerless Rise, you cant ignore the obvious: One of modern metals best just got better.
Similar to their approach on 2007's Grammy-nominated An Ocean Between Us, the band chose to employ the production prowess of Adam D. and record a majority of the album at singer Tim Lambesis own private studio. The end result is The Powerless Rise; the first true collaborative effort between the current AILD lineup.
Although they didnt know it at first, the bands creative potential kicked into overdrive with the introduction of bassist/singer Josh Gilbert in 2007, who played on Ocean but was not involved with the writing. For the previous two albums, the brunt of the instrumental development was spearheaded by guitarist Phil Sgrosso, whose penchant for melody and riff-conjuring suited the notoriously powerful drum stylings of drummer Jordan Mancino, complimented the lead guitar work of Nick Hipa, and exacted Lambesis's vision for the bands' overall intensity. The aforementioned format remained the same on Powerless but with the addition of Gilbert's musical contribution, added yet another facet to an already established creative dynamic. The result is an album built upon the strength of its parts and the remarkable ways in which those parts become a cohesive whole.