As I Lay Dying - Shaped By Fire review


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Band: As I Lay Dying
Album: Shaped By Fire
Release date: September 2019

01. Burn To Emerge
02. Blinded
03. Shaped By Fire
04. Undertow
05. Torn Between
06. Gatekeeper
07. The Wreckage
08. My Own Grave
09. Take What's Left
10. Redefined
11. Only After We've Fallen
12. The Toll It Takes

It sure ain't easy detaching myself from the musicians knowing that Tim Lambesis tried to get his wife killed.

It probably helps that I wasn't much of an As I Lay Dying fan when news hit of Tim Lambesis being arrested for trying to get a hitman to kill his wife. Sure it was a crazy and shocking story, but it didn't hit me personally the way it would've if I was a fan of the band and I would've felt actually betrayed. So it's also surprising for me that after all that, Tim is out of prison and he reconnected with all of the former members, so there's gotta be a reason for that other than the lukewarm reception that the other members' post-As I Lay Dying project, Wovenwar received. I am not the best person to ask for the benefit of the doubt, so instead let's just talk about their reunion album, Shaped By Fire.

Coming along in a genre that is already about a decade past its prime, Shaped By Fire can comfortably challenge Killswitch Engage in consistency, at least compared how much their genre colleagues like Bullet For My Valentine, All That Remains or Atreyu have fallen off. The race between Shaped By Fire and Atonement is quite close, but I lean more towards the former. And listening to how tight and authentic the record sounds, I'm fairly convinced that the reunion was more than just a cash grab that some people accused it of being. And what's even better about it is how it also doesn't feel like a rehash of what they've already done.

Sure this is still pretty much a melodic metalcore record, clearly an As I Lay Dying record, so whatever you've come to expect from such a thing you'll find here: catchy hooks, chuggy riffs and plenty of mosh-worthy moments; sometimes indeed feeling a tad formulaic. But Shaped By Fire does enough different from the previous records to not be a mere cookie cutter copy, just take a listen to the death/thrash sound that "Gatekeeper" has or the melodic death metal ones present in songs like "Take What's Left". There's obviously traced of the album's background to be found in some of the grief that the album evokes at times, which isn't hard to notice even just by looking at the tracklist.

It should come as no surprise that the album's title is centered around fire, especially considering how much this album feels like the myth of the Phoenix applied. Even while leaning a bit too much on one formula but trying to do some things differently, it is the performances in the album that really won me over.


Written on 30.10.2019 by My opinion is objective, sorry if you don't agree, but you're wrong.


Comments: 2   Visited by: 49 users
02.11.2019 - 07:47
Totally glossed over their "Christian" roots by the way,
one of which embodied the phrase "sitting duck"...pass.
02.11.2019 - 13:30
Thanks for posting this review. The album definitely won me over as well. I never thought I "liked it" but it ended up being something I listened to over and over, more than anything else at the latter half of this year. I really adore the album and haven't heard anything like it.

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