On songs like “Anodyne Sea,” As I Lay Dying puts it all together: catchy riffs, intense guitars, brutal breakdowns and melodic vocals. “Without Conclusion” is one of the heaviest songs on the CD, with unrelenting intensity and all harsh vocals. They follow that with perhaps the catchiest track, “Parallels,” which has a lot of radio-friendly hooks, but also a lot of aggressiveness.
“The Plague” is a highlight, with galloping thrash riffs and a strong vocal performance from Lambesis, who varies the pitch of his screams to avoid monotony. The guitar solo is also good. The Powerless Rise is a focused effort as well, with the 11 songs clocking in at just 44 minutes. “Condemned” manages to pack in a plethora of mosh-worthy riffs and an anthemic chorus in under 3 minutes. The album ends on a strong note with “The Blinding Of False Light.”
They've been at it for a decade, and As I Lay Dying has matured nicely without losing any of their passion or intensity. The Powerless Rise shows many different sides of the band, and they stepped up both their songwriting and musicianship on this CD, proving they are one of the top bands in their genre.
(released May 11, 2010 on Metal Blade Records)