[9 November 2011]
What’s with this recent trend of -core bands requesting for remixes of their old songs? As if Whitechapel’s terrible new EP was not bad enough, we just had to see everybody’s favorite Christcore group, As I Lay Dying, follow suit as well (although it could have been the other way round). Incidentally, the two label-mates are releasing their respective EPs on the same day of 8th November.
The bad news is that this collection follows in the dreaded EP format of original material—let’s play some covers—oh, hell yeah; remixes FTW, but the good news is that As I Lay Dying doesn’t put out low-quality work (as far their originals go), and they’ve composed three new and original tracks for this EP. Frontman Tim Lambesis also managed to bring out his iconic clean and catchy singing in the four covers (one Slayer, two Judas Priest, one Descendents) on this EP, and that is what it means to cover a song — to remain faithful to the original yet interpret it in a creative way that allows the musician to bring out their own style. Of the three new tracks, “Paralyzed” and “Moving Forward” sound like your standard, easily-likeable As I Lay Dying single, while “From Shapeless To Breakable” is your usual mosh-pit fare — aggressive, anthem-ish choruses and breakdowns are the main attractions here. An interesting note is that right after these four covers comes a medley, and although I have no idea which As I Lay Dying songs were dismembered and re-pieced together to form that medley, it sure sounds flawless enough and flows smoothly enough to pass off as one of their regular song.
As with my opinion on Whitechapel’s new EP, the last four tracks (which are remixes of old As I Lay Dying songs) on this compilation album are unnecessary, for the electronic and overly-beaty sound of synths and drum machines sound jarring combined with metal-core breakdowns, death growls, and clean singing. Alas, this is an EP made to commemorate the San Diego metalcore titans’ 10th anniversary after all, so they have the perfect excuse to come out with a record made up of mostly bonus materials that would make a diehard fan happy but a casual listener shake his/her head in dismay. Skip this record if you belong to the latter group.