Under The Influence #61: Tides Collide on “Awakened” by As I Lay Dying!

Little did we know at the time, but the sixth studio record from San Diego Californian Metalcore Monsters As I Lay Dying would be their last for some 7 long years after its 2012 appearance via Metal Blade Records. Produced by Descendants drummer Bill Stevenson with recording split between The Blasting Room in Fort Collins Colorado and Lambesis Studio in San Diego, it saw “Cauterize” and “A Greater Foundation” as singles with an increasing volume of Thrash riffs appearing. The legendary Colin Richardson (Fear Factory, Machine Head, Trivium) handled the mixing with a cover of “Electric Eye” by Judas Priest also completed in the sessions. The band were at the top of their game, earning Loudwire’s Metal band of the year award and tearing up the US like a tornado on the Mayhem Festival. It was less than a year later later that frontman Tim Lambesis would be arrested and the rest of that story, we all know…

Justin Wong from Tides Collide comments: “There are a multitude of albums that have garnered my entire attention and respect, but only a few have my complete soul attachment. Until We Have Faces by Red is my all-time favourite album, and has been since it released back in 2011. However, my favourite metal album (and is my all-time second favourite album) is Awakened by As I Lay Dying. “Awakened” released on the 25th of September in 2012 and received numerous awards upon its release, as well as securing the 11th spot on the US Billboard chart, and featuring on other major American and international metal charts. When Awakened released I was in year 10, so I was 16 at the time, and I think being so young made the impact of the lyrical content hit a lot harder, and the theme of Awakened was something I could surprisingly relate to. I was truly amazed by all elements of this album, specifically instrumentally, vocally, and most importantly at the time, lyrically. In 2012, I viewed As I Lay Dying’s vocals (both screams and cleans) as some of the best in the industry, so when both the vocal styles collided (which there is cleans in every song), it truly brought out the raw talent in just the vocals themselves. The guitar riffs, solos, bass lines, drumming breakdowns were mind blowing and showed me just how heavy and melodic an album could be. Whilst the guitar work, drums, and vocals were absolutely outstanding, it was the lyrics that I truly bonded with. Being a 16 year old and not knowing the views adults had on life, it was a shocking revelation, yet somehow a comforting feeling knowing that what I was experiencing at the time… was just how life is. And the darker parts of life don’t necessarily get better as you transition to adulthood, they are always with you. Awakened showed me that no matter how successful you are, how well people perceive you, darkness is always lingering, and it’s within you to find the right path no matter how long it takes, or how much it drains your soul. “There can be hope for everyone”.

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