For a band recovering from scandal, As I Lay Dying gave its audience exactly what they needed; a straightforward record. With Shaped By Fire, As I lay dying returned to form, and paved the way for their future albums.

As I Lay Dying was hit hard after the arrest and sentencing of front-man Tim Lambesis in 2013. Rather than getting lost after Lambesis’ imprisonment, the band-mates Phil Sgrosso, Nick Hipa, and Josh Gilbert got themselves together. The album is somewhat different from As I Lay Dying’s typical offering. However this time, they focused on mixed breakdowns and strong clean vocals. There is a little variety of technical skill found within the album tracks. It’s like they’re showing off of the band’s capabilities in the metalcore genre, It’s like a return to the time before Awakened.

 Shaped by Fire is a solid record, however the band made no effort to break any new ground in the genre. Tracks like ‘My Own Grave’ and the title track ‘Shaped By Fire’ were a declaration that As I Lay Dying made that they have no intention of slowing down. Every track on Shaped By Fire is strong, with technical riffs, headbangable breakdowns; it is a very energetic record. Guitarists Phil Sgrosso and Nick Hipa did a very good job with the riffs.

Drummer Jordan Mancino is pretty much one of the best in the genre. His style is so deep, and it went along really well with the riffs with constant double bass. On the other hand, I wasn’t really impressed with the bass in the album. Their previous recordsshowed much better bass performance. Vocalists Tim Lamebsis and bassist/backing clean vocalist Josh Gilbert were among the best vocal pairings in metalcore. Overall the album is really good and is recommended, and would easily get a 7/10.

Edited by: Bishoy Nader