RATING: 8/10


Making their Nuclear Blast debut, the seventh studio album from metalcore outfit As I Lay Dying is their first body of work to be released in seven years. Titled ‘Shaped By Fire’, the hard-hitting 12-song album is what many have been hoping to hear from the San Diego quintet – it’s bold, heavily melodic and louder than ever.

‘Burn To Emerge’ is a powerful instrumental track that opens up the entire record. With ‘will I ever escape? Can we ever escape?’ echoing lightly throughout as the song slowly builds in anticipation, this intro prepares listeners for what is about to come and reintroduces them to the As I Lay Dying sound we haven’t heard in a long time.

“bold, heavily melodic and louder than ever…”

The album’s title track is quintessential As I Lay Dying, offering heavy breakdowns and a seamless blend of vocals that will please many fans who have been waiting a long time to hear new material from the band. The power of this track lies within the chorus that bridges together strong guitar riffs and captivating vocals that showcase just how much talent this band holds. With an unexpected yet memorable guitar solo towards the end of the track, every single element in this song is done to perfection, making it for one of the most memorable moments on the record.

The number of influences found on ‘The Wreckage’ makes for one of the most exciting moments on ‘Shaped By Fire’. The song opens up with ambient guitars and soothing vocals, a sound not heard anywhere else on the record. However, in traditional As I Lay Dying style, it takes a mere few seconds before the song breaks down into merciless chaos that will make for a captivating live performance in the future.

‘Shaped By Fire’ is a forceful release from one of the most well-known bands in the metalcore genre”

For ‘My Own Grave’, As I Lay Dying definitely experimented with some different musical influences, incorporating them in a way that greatly compliments the sound they have evolved into. Mimicking the introductory guitar riffs at the beginning of this song, ‘My Own Grave’ coasts into a slower breakdown where haunting guitars overtake the track while the lyrics, ‘buried alive inside of my own grave and there’s no one else to blame’ softly float along before the song breaks into one last hard-hitting final chorus. With honest and relatable lyrics weaved throughout, this is sure to be a track many listeners find themselves relating to.

Stepping into this new era of their band, As I Lay Dying has brought an innovative sound that has left them sounding better than ever before. While there are sure to be some fans out there that prefer their old sound over what they produce today, ‘Shaped By Fire’ is a forceful release from one of the most well-known bands in the metalcore genre. Despite being surrounded by controversy over the years, it is clear that each member has taken this hiatus of theirs and used it to create a record that will surely please many metalcore fans out there. Some things are just worth the wait.





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