AS I LAY DYING - Shaped by Fire
They say “Anticipation keeps making you wait” and now the anticipation is finally over. It’s been almost 7 years since we have heard from As I Lay Dying and the question on everyone’s mind, I’m sure, is was it worth the wait? My answer is a giant yes.
The album starts with a chant like intro "Born to Emerge" ushering us into track number two "Blinded" and the answer to all of our questions is answered. The shredding guitars and killer drums prepare us for Tim Lambesis’ grinding vocals and immediately get our heads banging and hair swinging to what is destined to be a classic metal song. As we journey on, the title track, "Shaped by Fire," reminds us of why we all fell in love with the band. Between the growling vocals that switch like lightning to a progressive melodic vibe on almost every track there is no doubt that we have a great metal album on our hands.
"Undertow," "Torn Between" and "Gatekeeper" lead us up to, in my opinion, what is the best song out of this 12 song album that amazingly doesn’t have any tracks that need to be skipped. "The Wreckage" starts off with a nice little slowed down vibe and then balls up its fist and punches you in the eardrum like a hammer. "My Own Grave" takes us on an adrenaline rush of epic proportions and leaves us anticipating the remainder of the album as you realize this could be one of the best As I Lay Dying albums ever made.
By the time you get to song nine, "Take What’s Left," you will feel like you drank a few energy drinks and your blood will be pumping and if you are like me you will want to crank it up and start a mosh pit in the living room. "Redefined" is simply and honestly just a brutal all-out assault of metal proportions. At this point I realize, we just have two songs left.
"Only After We’ve Fallen" roars like a rabid lion with Tim’s crunching vocals and guitar riffs that will make your heart pump faster than ever. We come to the last track, "The Toll It Takes" and it kicks off with a few seconds of slowed down music and then comes out of the gate with pure rage and power that you just can’t help but start the process of listening to the entire album all over again. - Nuclear Blast