As I Lay Dying: Frail Words Collapse

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As I Lay Dying: Frail Words Collapse
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As I Lay Dying: Frail Words Collapse
Metalcore
Metal Blade Records
July 1st, 2003
Release length: 44:14
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Many are unaware that this is not As I Lay Dying‘s first full length. Frail Words Collapse is the second full length album, but the first to be released on Metal Blade Records. This release has pretty much turned the band into a house hold name for the metalcore fans out there, but is all this excitement really deserved?

Yes and no. While there are some great songs on the release, such as “Forever”, the release has a lot of tracks that are just boring as hell and have some riffs and melodies that are growing old already. There are also moments that just sound amateurish, such as the use of singing vocals, but low and distorted so they are moreso in the background, that aren’t in harmony with the music, as well as high pitched shouts that are obviously strained and sound painful. Another issue about the release is the recording quality of the bass kicks, which sound as though they were recorded with the microphones at a distance in comparison to everything else played on the kit.

While some of the tracks on here do have some nice, melodic riffs, such as “Collision” and “The Beginning”, one thing that stands out the most are some of the breakdowns on this release. The very first one on “94 Hours”, and on the track “The Pain of Seperation” are fine examples. Sadly, you also have absolute garbage like the forced high pitched scream leading into the most emo, HIM-like whiny singing vocals you could ever hear at the end of “Distance Is Darkness”. It honestly sounds like the vocalist had a temper tantrum in the recording studio! Maybe they said he couldn’t have any more milk and cookies? The whininess even carries over to the introduction (as well as randomly throughout the track) of “Behind Me Lies Another Fallen Soldier”, which, whether it is meant to be anything like the previous “singing” attempt or not, completely ruins the song.

The rest of the album is nothing that spectacular you need to worry about, as “Distance Is Darkness” probably made you take the CD and throw it. If not, then you heard some decent tracks like “Undefined”, “The Pain Of Seperation” and “Elegy”. However, that means you also heard the aptly named tenth song “Song 10”, which sounds like something a hippe jam band would come up.

As I Lay Dying shows off a lot of promise on this release, but there is just so much wrong with the album that all the positives seem overwhelmed by the negatives. From production issues, to a three year old tantrum in the studio that even God wouldn’t forgive (the band is Christian, hence the reference), this is one CD that should be avoided unless you’re a fan, and that into metalcore. Granted some of the songs on here are awesome, but it’s not worth buying this CD factory sealed. If you really need to have some of the songs, just buy the MP3s at an on-line story, just make sure to sample them first as a precautionary measure.

01. 94 Hours – 3:10
02. Falling Upon Deaf Ears – 2:31
03. Forever – 4:42
04. Collision – 3:11
05. Distance Is Darkness – 2:38
06. Behind Me Lies Another Fallen Soldier – 3:03
07. Undefined – 2:16
08. A Thousand Steps – 1:45
09. The Beginning – 3:29
10. Song 10 – 4:16
11. The Pain Of Seperation – 2:57
12. Elegy – 4:47
Overall Score: 3.5/10

Digital review copy of this release provided by Metal Blade Records.