This is possibly the most controversial new single in a long time. As I Lay Dying have released a new single My Own Grave, their first new music since 2012, with the same lineup that they had when they disbanded six years ago. And it’s one of the best metalcore songs I’ve ever heard.
From start to finish, the song is a masterpiece. It is very much As I Lay Dying’s recognisable style and structurally quite similar to A Greater Foundation, one of my favourite AILD songs. The main riff is seriously headbang inducing, the slick solo over the bridge is fantastic, the drums are phenomenal, Tim Lambesis’ screams are as solid as if they’d never stopped being a band, the lyrics are brutally honest and self deprecating, the chorus is arguably Josh Gilbert’s best vocal performance, and it closes with a brutal breakdown.
I never expected to see As I Lay Dying back with this lineup. I certainly was expecting new music from Tim under the AILD name, but with different band members considering the animosity that seemed to be there in the aftermath of his arrest. It’s good to have them back.
When I first seriously got into metal, and in particular Christian metal, As I Lay Dying and Underoath were like the grandfathers of the genre. They pioneered it, they defined it, they owned it. While I never got massively got into them at that time, I was devastated when they both broke up a very short period of time apart not long after I discovered them. It wasn’t because I was massively invested in them, though I did enjoy their music that I did know, but because of what they represented. There are so many amazing bands that would not have formed without the influence of As I Lay Dying and Underoath. The recent reunions of both these bands means so much more than the band members riding off the reputation of the band names. It means more fans will be inspired to form amazing bands. It means that fans like me get to see these masters play live when the opportunity looked like it had passed. I was lucky enough to see Underoath live last year, with my very sheltered upbringing seeing them when they were still a band was not a question considering it was borderline criminal to even be listening to them.
It also represents reconciliation for the band members themselves. When Underoath broke up, the band members practically hated each other. When Tim was arrested, the rest of As I Lay Dying were very adamant in their support for Meggan Lambesis and condemnation of Tim’s actions, and rightfully so. But for this band to get back together, and especially with Nick Hipa involved, it speaks volumes about how Tim clearly wants to make amends for what he did. The lyrics for this song back that up. That, above all, is why I will support this band reuniting.
And for those undoubtedly wondering, Don Vedda (who released his debut album yesterday) has confirmed there is an album coming and that he contributed to the writing of some of the songs (while his music is best described as pop-rock, he was a guitarist for Jamie’s Elsewhere for a few years so this is definitely plausible).
So that is why, to me at least, this reunion and single is something I will wholeheartedly support. If you can’t forgive what Tim did and refuse to listen to their music, I will 100% respect your position which is still an entirely fair response to the situation. Just don’t go down the hypocritical self righteous avenue of a certain well known publication who like to cherrypick their moral stance.
You can watch the music video for the phenomenal song below: