Sep 252016

Rearview Mirror


Okay, I know some of you are probably laughing, or trying not to laugh. But I’m serious here. Yes, Tim Lambesis tried to hire a hit man to whack his wife and he’s now in prison for that. And yes, he’s now suing personnel at two San Diego County detention facilities for failing to provide medication to ameliorate the side effects of steroid withdrawal, leading to “painfully sensitive breast enlargement”. But even though reports of this latest occurrence are what dragged As I Lay Dying up from the depths of my memory, let’s just put all that embarrassment aside for a few minutes and reflect upon the music of As I Lay Dying.

Actually, I only want to reflect on six songs, two from Shadows Are Security (2005), two from An Ocean Between Us (2007), and two from The Powerless Rise (2010). All but one come with official videos.




Listening to these songs now seems like revisiting ancient history, even though it really wasn’t so terribly long ago. Back in those days, before metalcore had been beaten to death by tens of thousands of mediocre bands and had become a dirty word in many metal circles, and before I had drifted back into much more extreme fields of listening, I liked this band’s music. There, I said it. It’s the truth.

And the truth is, even now I get more than solely nostalgic pleasure out of re-listening to these songs after so much time away from them.The combination of melodic hooks and aggression (which got more furious over time) struck a chord a decade ago, and it still resonates.

But since I’m being honest, I’ll also have to say that the pleasure is mostly nostalgic; much of the music hasn’t weathered the passage of time as well as most other songs and albums chosen for this Rearview Mirror series, many of which date to the even more distant path.

And it’s also true (in my opinion) that there were other metalcore bands back in the hey-day of the genre that were better than AILD, and whose music has held up better over the last 10 years. I’ll mention Himsa (who were themselves the subject of another Rearview Mirror episode) as one of those, because here in Seattle we’re only about a month away from the band’s reunion show (October 29). For those of you out there who used to have a soft spot for metalcore… or still do… I encourage you to share your favorites in the Comments.

And for those who have been gagging all the way through this post, be patient. It’s Sunday, and that means there’s a Shades of Black feature ahead.


“The Darkest Nights”


“Through Struggle”


“Nothing Left”


“The Sound of Truth”


“The Only Constant Is Change”


“Anodyne Sea”


  1. Loved this band in college. Saw them live twice. Mancino is an incredible drummer, and the new Wovenwar track is decent. Pretty much lost all interest after the hitman incident.

    My love for metalcore has waned as I’ve gotten older. But the new KSE is stellar. Also I’m an unabashed Demon Hunter fanboy, so I’m already geeking out over their upcoming album.

  2. When my daughter starting making the leap from punk-pop and hard rock to metal, As I Lay Dying was one of the bands I introduced her to. We went to two of their shows and had an awesome time, and I found myself really enjoying their albums and looking forward to the next.
    But when Lambesis shot the whole thing straight to hell it was like a punch in the gut. As silly as it sounds I felt betrayed. My daughter and I had bonded through his music and live shows (as we have with dozens of other bands from various genres), I had presented him to her as someone to look up to, and he made me look like an idiot.
    Fortunately my daughter handled it very well and we had some great conversations about how celebrities are just people like us, and their true nature might not always live up to what we imagine them to be.
    I wish I could still find some enjoyment in their music, because I really did like them. But the whole left a sour taste in my mouth. And the breast enlargement thing has added a hilarious and sad twist to all of it.
    Oh well. My daughter and I still have a blast any time Slayer or Cannibal Corpse come to town. 🙂

    • I think Lambesis’ bizarre behavior left a sour taste in the mouths of a lot of people. It’s not very rational, but I can’t think quite the same way about the music as I did either. I watch the early videos and just wonder what in the hell happened to him. I’m glad your daughter rolled with it okay.

    • I definitely had a similar sense of betrayal – these guys were the first band I ever liked that could reasonably be called extreme metal, not to mention they seemed like local guys to a then-high schooler like me. I still do love their music, and listen to it now again (they’re definitely one of my favorite metalcore bands, even still), but there’s definitely a sour taste that’s remained since Tim’s conviction.

  3. Dude I have no idea what you’re talking about. AILD was a fantastic band and I still listen to them to this day. Yes Tim did something incredibly wrong but we all fuck up. Some just don’t get caught. I bet when he’s released and starts another band everyone will jump right back on bored. Metalcore lives

    • I’m mostly just expressing my own subjective tastes. Though I do think, looking back, that there were better metalcore bands out there at the height of the genre’s popularity, I really did like AILD. The music just doesn’t do as much for me now as it used to.

      You may have made a Freudian slip with the use of “bored”. 🙂

      • That was a very reasonable response, though I don’t feel like Mr Richards comes across as the sort of guy who’s going to be able to have an unbiased opinion on this matter…

  4. Their split with american tragedy and frail words collapse were my introduction to metalcore. didn’t get into anything past shadows are security but i still put on some metalcore from time to time.

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