Band : As I Lay Dying
Album/EP : Shaped By Fire
Label : Nuclear Blast
Location : San Diego, CA
FFO : All That Remains, Killswitch Engage, Trivium
First, lets take a look at the production and mix on the album. If you paid attention to their music over the span of their career, the production and mix slightly increases as each album passes. Which is fantastic. That is something that I personally think should happen. Shaped by Fire has what seems to be the typical AILD structure. But the mix and production on this album is MASSIVE. Its a record that has songs that will translate very well live, and if you’re a fan of the band like I am, you are super excited for that. What. Think shines the brightest for AILD,is they are a band that has not broken their usual formula. Each album does sound different, but its just that. The structure is the same, but they always managed to improve their playing/ability to formulate a song.
Each track flows just as you would expect it too. They aren’t slow tracks at all, but overall they aren’t entirely fast either. They have fast parts, but its pretty much a medium-high speed metal core album. Which is fine, its what they are good at. If it aint broke, don’t fix it.
Now obviously we all know the bands past. Between Tim’s pst decisions, and the bands past music. The bands past catalog has always had a positive overtone to it. Which is something I was drawn to as a kid as well. But with Tim’s pst decisions, I feel like that definitely was the main narrative for Shaped by Fire. He went through hell and fire with his past, and now that has shaped him into the new man he has become. And to that Tim, I applaud you. I feel its a very appropriate theme. Using your past to shape your future.
Now this album honestly did take me a couple listens through, to fully back it. At first play, it just sounded like another AILD record. Which is fine. We have all been waiting. But as I listened a few more times, I picked up on a couple things. First off is that deep lyrics. Its pretty obvious that the lyrics pertain to Tim’s past. I also picked up more and more on how massive the record is. Awakened wasn’t a bad album. But compared to that, Shaped by Fire is yet another step in the right direction for the band. With modern day technology, you cant really get any better. So what you do is focus on composition. Which is something AILD has always been great at. But yet somehow they continue to make strides to perfect their craft.
Overall, I fully back this record. I’ve been a fan of this band ever since my old friend showed me “Through Struggle”. Once I heard and saw that video, I was hooked. When they released “My Own Grave”, I was super ecstatic. For them to keep this under wraps for this long, is shocking. Shaped by Fire brings back As I Lay Dying as the kings of catchy metal core. Its full of intricate guitar riffs layered of Jordans fucking insane drumming. Topped of with Tim and Josh’s perfect balance of harsh and clean vocals. Shaped by Fire is for any fan of As I Lay Dying who has been patiently waiting for them to step back into the scene.
To As I Lay Dying, if you read this, or even made it this far. Thank you From, Your Fans.
Star Rating: 10/10
Strongest Song: Shaped By Fire, My Own Grave