December 9, 2011
Dallas, TX USA
Review by Chris Apaliski
Photos by Terry Walsh
As I Lay Dying
As I Lay Dying is no stranger to those in the hard rock community. Over the past decade, this 5-piece metal core unit from San Diego, has gone from an underground band whose first release was on Dallas based Pluto Records, to one of the more recognizable names on the Metal Blade Roster. This winter, they have embarked on their A Decade of Destruction tour to commemorate their 10 years of existence.
Their performance at The Door in Dallas, Texas was exactly what one would expect from this veteran band. The room was full of energy despite the hit or miss sound group's usually encounter in this non-descript venue. The crowd was composed of a bunch of angst-ridden teenagers and early 20-somethings, all in their look-alike "non conformist" uniforms of all black. There was also an entourage of girls in the audience somehow convinced they too loved metal, head banging and fist pumping away.
The stage setup was complete with a drum riser about 8 feet off the ground and enough stacks of wall to wall guitar cabinets to make any metal band proud. From the moment As I Lay Dying took the stage - and began to rip through "The Sound of Truth" from the album An Ocean Between Us - it was obvious this past decade of playing together had created a near flawless, incredibly tight band.
Vocalist Tim Lambesis roamed the stage and growled with gut wrenching intensity. Guitarists Nick Hippa and Phil Sgrosso mixed their instruments with a healthy dose of shred, combined with the ever popular breakdowns that AILD are known for. Drummer Jordan Mancino performed an excellent drum solo towards the end of the evening. He fully on his game all night and stayed completely in lock with bassist Josh Gilbert.
The light show was constantly changing as the set moved at a breakneck pace, while the band hit songs from as far back as their Metal Blade debut. Tracks such as "Forever" and "Through Struggle" seemed to whip the crowd into a fury. Newer tunes such as "Anodyne Sea" and "Parallels" proved the newer material clearly not only resonated with the audience, but musically proved the band is still heading in the right direction.
The night closed with "Nothing Left" with "Confined" as the encore. Both were superb tunes, snarling and mean sounding like you want your metal to be. Throughout their set, As I Lay Dying continuously reinforced why their popularity continues to grow. The set list displayed a full compliment of metal brutality coupled with monstrous half time breakdowns and double bass all over the place. It was loud, heavy and energetic - everything a metal show should be. If you're a fan of metal core, you definitely owe it to yourself to check this band out the next time they come to an area near you. It's definitely worth the price of admission.