Tim Lambesis, the man that many (but not all) As I Lay Dying fans will leap through flawed mental hoops to defend, can’t stay away from the music industry, it seems. After the immensely sub-par and forgettable ‘My Own Grave‘ single from last year – that some people frothed over like they’ve never heard this band or a litany of other notable 2000’s metalcore acts before – As I Lay Dying are now following it up with ‘Redefined‘.
This new but paint-by-numbers AILD song actually features Jake Luhrs from August Burns Red, which is pretty disappointing to see on two fronts. One: I know that Jake is a very forgiving and spiritual dude, but I really would’ve thought better of him. Two: I also don’t think it’s wise for another well-known band member in metal music to jump in bed with Tim and As I Lay Dying right now. Not even that, Jake’s guest feature doesn’t even stand out that much either. I honestly had to look it up elsewhere online to find out that he’s only in the song’s second verse for just four lines of lyrics, for all the good it does.
Moving on, despite this song’s name, ‘Redefined‘ doesn’t redefine shit. The super-dated and typical AILD metalcore riffs that are slapped all over this track? Yawn. The meh-tier breakdown that arrives after 2:26, with Tim belting “redefined” over the top of it? Double yawn. That guitar “solo”? Getting real sleepy. The old ‘An Ocean Between Us‘ vibes and overly repetitive choruses driven by bassist Josh Gilbert that couldn’t hold a candle to the very same band’s work from a decade ago? Well and truly snoozing by now. There’s zero merit here; predictable song structure, barely exciting riffs, and uninteresting hooks alike. It sounds like old bits and pieces they’ve kept on the back-burner since from their hiatus.
It might not be poppy, with the band still being heavy and all, but that doesn’t make something good right off the bat. It being in drop C also means jack shit. After all, you can get better and more interesting metalcore from plenty of other bands today, like: Bury Tomorrow, Architects, Silent Planet, Parkway Drive, Killswitch Engage, and so on. All of whom have members that didn’t try to murder their wife.
All that’s really been “redefined” for As I Lay Dying is their now in a loose comeback era because they had to take time off due to their frontman trying to have his wife killed via hitman, who thankfully was an undercover cop and Tim’s ass was then promptly sent to jail. A sentence of which he only served about two and a half years on what was initially a six-year sentence. (I’m just throwing that little fact in there for the inevitable “BuT hE sErVeD hIs TiMe” comments that’ll no doubt come this article’s way.)
‘Redefined‘ also feels like a desperate lyrical plea that just because someone fucked up in the past, that doesn’t mean that they can’t use that agony and pain to better themselves into something positive and make a change. Which is a true enough philosophy: you can be better than your weakest, slimiest, and most cowardly moments, but not all sins are equal. Furthermore, actions speak much louder than mere words (and new songs) do, and Tim – whilst trying to be honest with fans and media and in him also doing charity work – still has a long way to go in the eyes of many.
Yet that sure as hell won’t stop As I Lay Dying from cashing in on nostalgic fans who want metalcore over morals. And honestly, if their new music was good, I could MAYBE understand where most people are coming from in their support for the vocalist and the band currently. But it ain’t good, and I just cannot understand that perspective at all.
But hey, at least this isn’t an awkward discussion video of AILD sitting around a table, trying their best to justify why they’re back with Tim now for a good 30 minutes. It’s the small blessings that get me by.