As I Lay Dying

A Long March: The First Recordings

Written by: PP on 09/06/2006 08:33:02

Be prepared to witness a hardcore album you should already know, and if not, will remember forever. As I Lay Dying's re-release of their debut album "Beneath The Encasing Of Ashes" and the original plus re-recorded version of their split album with American Tragedy is a piece of modern hardcore history never to be forgotten, a timeless stretch of unique hardcore so good they could spend 5 years on a hiatus and yet nobody could create anything as great as this album.

I can't stress it enough: Not only does it have 22 (!) songs on it, but it's also the best hardcore you've heard in the past 15 years. As I Lay Dying have slowly but surely established a hardcore legacy unmatched by anyone to date in just five years time, and this release celebrates the roots of the revolution. Starting from the very beginning, the re-recorded versions of such classics as "The Beginning" resonate more brutally than ever, and their instrumental talent progression is obvious when comparing the re-recorded and the original version on the same album. The now classic 2001 album "Beneath The Encasing Of Ashes" sounds as relevant today as it did five years ago, with each and every song being a timeless masterpiece in the history of hardcore. From the slow epics like "When This World Fades" through the fast, monstrously heavy "A Long March" to one of the greatest hardcore songs ever written ("Forever"), the album is merciless, unforgiving and dominating, trapping you against the wall and keeping you hypnotized over the awe-inspiring destruction Tim projects with his imperious vocal style.

The fact that Christian beliefs are blended in everywhere on the album doesn't bother an extreme atheist like me at all when the songs are just this bloody great. The brutality-mixed-with the odd disturbed melodies over vocals that could kill are just the best you'll find in the modern hardcore scene.

"A Long March: The First Recordings" has something for everyone - the people who love the lo-fi unproduced edge of the split EP have the original trackings, for the fans of the moderately produced debut album are treated to it in its entirey, the fans of the later, well produced material have the re-recorded material and the odd hardcore fan stumbling over As I Lay Dying for the fist time there's everything. As I Lay Dying is the past, present and the future of hardcore at its best, it's easily accessible yet captivatingly complex, and thus "A Long March: The Early Recordings" deserves nothing less than a perfect score. Anything else would be preposterous and outrageous.

10

Download: Forever (Re-recorded), A Breath In The Eyes Of Eternity, Behind Me Lies Another Fallen Soldier
For the fans of: Evergreen Terrace, Norma Jean, Remembering Never, If Hope Dies
Listen: Myspace

Release date 22.05.2006
Metal Blade

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