For Fans Of
Ok, before we get into the specifics, it is worth noting that ‘Decas‘ is not a full-length, EP or collection of entirely new work. Hence, there is a bit of perspective that needs adopting here. This isn’t a release bound and graded on the same criteria however, there is still intrigue in what entertainment this intermittent offering can give the listener.
Released to coincide with San Diego based Christian metal stalwarts As I Lay Dying‘s 10th anniversary as a band, ‘Decas‘ is a compilation of new material, cover tracks and the odd remix thrown in for good measure. It is noteworthy enough to commend AILD on surviving a decade within a genre that has commonly been picked apart and subsequently seen lesser bands fall. However, while this general release is only for those ardent fans, the symbolism is perhaps more poignant. AILD are deservedly still flying the metalcore flag due largely to their sincere, adaptive and enduring take on the genre.
In a blunt sense, for the casual listener the first three tracks are really what ‘Decas‘ is all about. Opener ‘Paralyzed‘ infuses the sounds found on most recent studio albums ‘An Ocean Between Us‘ and ‘The Powerless Rise‘, with its subtle melodic riffs and thrash based rhythm sections. ‘From Shapeless to Breakable‘ has its heavy and controlled moments, while ‘Moving Forward‘ is a little on the softer side utilising bassist Josh Gilbert‘s clean sung vocals.
Although already appearing on the Homefront cover/compilation album, it is worth reminding that AILD can pull off the traditional thrash metal sound quite well. It certainly was one of the better covers on the aforementioned release and on ‘Decas‘, the song proves that AILD can cover Slayer with impressive ease.
The remixes is where this release gets a bit messy. We love you Ben Weinman. We love your work in Dillinger. But in this instance, the remix simply doesn’t work. It’s like trying to mix beer and chocolate milk, while both are good on their own, when combined it just comes off as muddled and not quite right.
Fans will at the very least find something to love on ‘Decas‘. The small selection of new tracks will endear and there is a certain charm to hearing the band cover Slayer, Judas Priest, The Descendents etc. but that’s about the overall extent of it really.
‘Decas’ is essentially intended and dually designed for pre-existing fans. It is more symbolic than it is engaging. What ‘Decas’ provides is worthy recognition of a band that continues to survive in an often cruel scene. There’s some decent bits to pick out from here but not much else.
2. From Shapeless to Breakable
3. Moving Forward
4. War Ensemble (Slayer cover)
5. Hellion (Judas Priest Cover)
6. Electric Eye (Judas Priest Cover)
7. Coffee Mug (Descendents cover)
8. Beneath the Encasing of Ashes (Re-Recorded Medley)
9. The Blinding of False Light (Innerpartysystem Remix)
10. Wrath Upon Ourselves (Benjamin Weinman Remix)
11. Confined (Kelly “Carnage” Cairns Remix)
12. Elegy (Big Chocolate Remix)