Well finally, the release of the new album 'Awakened', from As I Lay Dying! The last album was more like an EP because the second side was all different covers of old metal tunes so, only it was only a half a record of new stuff. This album makes up for the wait! Many have heard the preview song "Cauterize". While that is a great track, the album gets better as it goes on. The second song "A Greater Foundation", which the band released a video of, brings it up a notch, and doesn't let go all the way until the end. The riffage is pretty new sounding, even if you are getting used to their style and songwriting formulae. There are more 'clean' vocals on this album, and that would only bother me if the choruses weren't so good. Much like older albums, the sing alongs carry the melodic part of the album, and contrast the heaviness well. Some of the soloing on this one is more blazing, while keeping the tonality we have been hearing from this band as they improve. The song 'Whispering Silence' is almost catchy enough to earn a spot on the radio! Hope that doesn't scare you off. 'No Lungs To Breathe' should get you back into the grind. Even though I see this album as more accessible, it doesn't mean that its less 'heavy'.
I have seen a lot of positive comments about the production of this album, and for good reason. It is a very 'clean' production, but also very even and upfront. Nothing is hidden such as the aggressivness of the guitars, or the pounding of the drums. Many people are even saying that this is AILD's best album. At this point I cannot disagree with that point of view. I'm pretty hooked on it, and don't often 'revert back' to an older album. The sing-a-longs are immediately catchy, a few listens and you got the words. The seemingly 'predictable' parts that you know are coming, arrive differently than you expected. It is an album that sounds like there was a lot of hard work put into it. This is definitely a must listen for anyone who liked any of the older albums. And, if I was to play some AILD for someone who had never heard them, I might start them off with a few songs from this album.