May 182010

As time has passed, we’ve found ourselves listening less and less to metalcore bands that really made a big impression on us a few years back. You could chalk it up partly to changes in our musical tastes and partly to our feeling swamped by the flood of generic metalcore bands trying to capitalize on what used to be the latest fad by combining chug-heavy riffs and growling with rancid emocore clean singing. In fact, we started this blog in part out of frustration with that phenomenon.

But listening less and less doesn’t mean no listening at all. There’s still something about metalcore (done right) that triggers the same positive feeling we had when the genre first emerged.

As I Lay Dying is one of those metalcore bands whose albums have consistently struck a chord with us — and in fact, we’re probably doing them an injustice with the metalcore label, because it’s become something of a bad word in our vernacular.

So, we’ll just toss that label aside and say this: The band’s new album, The Powerless Rise, is song for song their best one yet, and we’re really digging it.

The cool album cover by J. Bannon features a red-eyed skull exploding from below, and a similar image is on the fold-out CD insert, but with the explosion coming out the top of the skull. It’s a fitting image, because The Powerless Rise includes some serious skull-exploders — some of the most intensely aggressive music As I Lay Dying has yet produced. Take off your neck-braces and prepare to injure yourselves all over again, because this album overflows with music that will compel you to bang yo heads.  (more after the jump, including a track to stream . . .) Continue reading »