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May 28, 2024

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As I Lay Dying
Frail Words Collapse (Metal Blade Records)

By: Vinnie Apicella

Imagine a combination of early In Flames or The Crown, with their aggressive yet targeted rhythmical strike fronted by the Death screams of Philip Anselmo and before long, "Frail Words" aren't the only things to collapse! There's more to the twelve track story. For instance, the unexpectedly Gothic penmanship where interrelational outpourings of devotion, love, and loss bleed through a barrage of Death Metal style intensity where technically targeted melodies and well executed harmonic breaks compliment a breakneck pace that flees the confines of yesteryear's Metal-Core fusion and forges an unlikely combination of passionate wanderings and rude awakenings. The production's raw, particularly on the percussion, very dry, adding an almost underground quality noticeably present on the opening bombast of a "94 Hours," fade out to "Distance Is Darkness," and the entirety of "The Pain Of Separation." While many Death-gone-Gothic groups have failed to live up to youthful potential, As I Lay Dying leaves it all out in the open by replacing gratuitous Death Metal, H/C and Thrash elements like malevolence and moral decay with inner turmoil trampling the trials of a tortured soul without the sacrifice of speed, intensity, or vocal coarseness -- rare in these changing times. The resulting, "Frail Words Collapse" is an invitingly catchy, edgy yet traditionally-inspired dark and domestic creation that's on a level with many of Gothenburg's greats.
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