As I Lay Dying's fourth studio album, An Ocean Between Us peaked at number 8 on the Billboard 200, and number 1 on the Top Rock chart. The band has performed at Wacken Open Air, With Full Force, Soundwave Festival, Sounds of the Underground, Warped Tour, and Taste of Chaos. In 2007, As I Lay Dying won the "Ultimate Metal God" award from MTV2 at the first annual "All That Rocks" special, was named "Artist of the Year" at the San Diego Music Awards in 2008, and was nominated for a 2008 Grammy Award for the song "Nothing Left". The band wrote and recorded their latest album, The Powerless Rise on the course of a three year process and was released in May 2010. It has been considered by many to be their best work yet.
Debut and split album (2001–2003)Edit
After leaving the band Society's Finest where he played guitar, vocalist Tim Lambesis formed As I Lay Dying in 2000.Starting out as a duet with drummer Jordan Mancino after they first met as a band in February 2001,the title of the band was taken by the novel of the same name by William Faulkner, although there is no correlation between the band's musical theme to the theme of the novel.
Pluto Records took interest and offered As I Lay Dying a recording contract. After accepting the offer, one month later the band entered the studio to record their first album Beneath the Encasing of Ashes, which was released in June 2001. In 2002. The band recorded five songs for a split album through Pluto Records, with San Diego heavy metal band American Tragedy. As I Lay Dying realized it needed to expand to a five-piece to include another guitarist and a bassist. Mancino commented "we started going on tour and we needed obviously more people than that." Since they had no "solid" members besides Tim Lambesis and Jordan Mancino, the band recruited friends to perform with them and from there on the group encountered several line-up changes; bassist Noah Chase departed from band in 2001, Brandon Hayes and his subsequent replacement Aaron Kennedy departed in 2003; soon after forming the band The Tokyo Smash in Tulsa, Oklahoma.
Frail Words Collapse (2003–2004)Edit
During early 2003, when As I Lay Dying's contract with Pluto Records expired, the band from there undertook realization of their opportunity to pursue other record labels. After extensive touring and an increase in popularity, As I Lay Dying was offered a record deal with Metal Blade Records in March 2003. As I Lay Dying accepted the offer and Pluto Records owner Brian Cobbel was supportive of the band moving to Metal Blade. Lambesis commented "since we've been on the label, they've really gone out of their way to market us differently than they've marketed other bands in the past and have really pushed us as a newer sound for the label.".
In July 2003, the band's second studio album, Frail Words Collapse was released. Produced by Lambesis, the album peaked at number 30 on Billboard's Independent Album chart, and number 41 on the Top Heatseekers chart. William York of Allmusic thought the band "doesn't really add anything new to the mix from a musical standpoint" with the release, although praised it for being "solid enough and well executed, and the production is adequate." Sherwin Frias of Jesus Freak Hideout had similar sentiments and commented "As I Lay Dying didn't exactly break many boundaries in making this record", but praised that each song is "executed so well (and with such precision) that nary a song misses its target." Touring followed to promote the album with the bands Himsa, Shadows Fall, The Black Dahlia Murder, Killswitch Engage, In Flames, Sworn Enemy, and Hatebreed. Music videos for the songs "94 Hours" and "Forever" received rotation on the networks of FUSE and MTV2's Headbanger's Ball
Shadows Are Security (2005–2006)Edit
As I Lay Dying entered Big Fish recording studio in Encinitas, California in January 2005 to record their third studio album. Shadows are Security was released in June, and debuted at number 1 on the Independent Albums. It was the band's first release to enter the Billboard 200 at number 35, and sold about 275 000 copies. Wade Kergan of Allmusic called it "one of the strongest releases of 2005," and commented that new guitarists Phil Sgrosso and Nick Hipa, make the band "stronger." Rod Smith of Decibal Magazine commented "Tim Lambesis’ finely honed roar in bittersweet instrumental matrices augmented by occasional clean vocals by bassist Clint Norris . Guitarists Phil Sgrosso and Nick Hipa whip up a melodic cyclone on 'The Darkest Nights'." Guitarist Evan White had quit the band due to personal reasons after his mother had died. All the clean vocals where sung by Dave Arthur of Kings To You, because they sounded in the studio more powerful than Clint Norris'. Guitarist Phil Sgrosso recorded bass on the album, to get the recording finished in the given time.
As I Lay Dying began touring to promote the new record by making appearances at Hell on Earth, Winter Headline Tour, Ozzfest, and a tour with Slipknot and Unearth. The band was on the second stage alongside Rob Zombie, Killswitch Engage, Mastodon, The Haunted, and It Dies Today. At the fee of $75,000 the band could have chosen to perform on the headliners stage but refused the offer as they thought it was "not worth the money." The band raised its profile in 2006 through its support slot on the Taste of Chaos tour in the US alongside bands such as Deftones, Thrice, Dredg, Funeral for a Friend, and Story of the Year. In May 2006, Beneath the Encasing of Ashesand the songs from the split album were re-released as A Long March: The First Recordings, through Metal Blade Records. The album contained the original and re-recordings of the songs from the split album, and was released as the band preferred to re-release the material rather than have fans pay large sums of money to listen to early releases. The re-release peaked at number 3 on Independent Albums, and 129 on the Billboard 200. In the summer of 2006 As I Lay Dying closed the Sounds of the Underground Festival. Bassist Clint Norris left the band on good terms in November 2006 with the desire to focus on his marriage. The band auditioned ten bassists, although none proved successful. Lambesis received demo tapes from a band called This Endearing, of which bassist Josh Gilbert was a part of. Lambesis wanted to "sit on it" and wait for the band to record more material. However, This Endearing disbanded and Gilbert was then recruited as As I Lay Dying's new bassist.
An Ocean Between Us (2007–2009)Edit
In 2007, As I Lay Dying started recording a new album titled An Ocean Between Us, which was released on August 21, 2007. Debuting at number 8 on the Billboard 200, and number 1 on the Top Rock chart with first-week sales of 39,000, the album was the highest charting release for the band. Co-produced by Killswitch Engage guitarist Adam Dutkiewicz, and As I Lay Dying, and mixed by Colin Richardson, the album received generally positive reviews. Christa L. Titus of Billboard commented "Whatever the differences between As I Lay Dying's personal desires and what its fans demand, this album surely acts as a bridge," praising the song "Comfort Betrays" for its guitar solo. Scott Alisoglu of Blabbermouth.net described the album as "a well-rounded and often thrashy metalcore album, as the band has struck an effective balance between aggression and accessible melodies." Thom Jurek of Allmusic praised the band for expanding its musical range by including melodic choruses and clean vocals such as they had previously done on Confined from Shadows Are Security. It was the first time for bassist Josh Gilbert to be featured on an As I Lay Dying record since the time of the departure of previous bassists, Evan White and Phil Sgrosso.
To promote the album, As I Lay Dying performed at the Warped Tour 2007 in August, and toured through Europe in September with Darkest Hour, Himsa, and Maroon. The band was awarded "Ultimate Metal God" by MTV2's "All That Rocks", and was nominated for a Grammy Award in the category of "Best Metal Performance" for the song "Nothing Left". Other nominees included Slayer (who won the award), King Daimond, Machine Head, and Shadows Fall. They played some of the 2008 Warped Tour, as well as the Taste of Chaos UK 2008 Tour with headliners Atreyu.
On April 9, 2009, their DVD This Is Who We Are was released in the Europe. On April 14, 2009, the DVD was released in United States. Almost a month after its release, This Is Who We Are was certified Gold in the US.
The Powerless Rise (2009—present)Edit
As I Lay Dying have written 6–7 songs on September 28, 2009 for their new album. On November 23, 2009, Josh Gilbert announced through Twitter that half of the record is recorded. As I Lay Dying announced the title of their new album The Powerless Rise. On May 7, The Powerless Rise was posted in its entirety through MySpace Music. The streaming lasted until May 10. The album was officially released on May 11, 2010. The album received generally positive critical acclaim, with one critic saying "Fans of metalcore in general, and As I Lay Dying in particular, will be more than satisfied with The Powerless Rise, as the band's gradual progression and consistency makes this their best album."
As I Lay Dying have stated on numerous occasions that all of the members of the group are Christians, but never have stated they are a Christian band. When asked if they're a Christian band or Christians in a band, Tim Lambesis stated on the band's FAQ, "I'm not sure what the difference is between five Christians playing in a band and a Christian band. If you truly believe something, then it should affect every area of your life. All five of us are Christians. I believe that change should start with me first, and as a result, our lyrics do not come across very 'preachy.' Many of our songs are about life, struggles, mistakes, relationships and other issues that don't fit entirely in the spiritual category. However, all of these topics are written about through my perspective as a Christian." During an August 2010 radio interview, Lambesis once more made a statement regarding the band and his faith, expressing that his world view as a Christian "always comes across in our lyrics in some way or another."
- Tim Lambesis - Lead Vocals (2001 - Present)
- Jordan Mancino - Drums (2001 - Present)
- Phil Sgrosso - Rhythm Guitar (2003 - Present)
- Nick Hipa - Lead Guitar (2004 - Present)
- Josh Gilbert - Bass Guitar, Clean Vocals (2007 - Present)
- Clint Norris - Bass, Clean Vocals (2003 - 2006)
- Aaron Kennedy - Bass (2003)
- Noah Chase - Bass (2001 - 2002)
- Evan White - Lead Guitar (2001 - 2002, 2003)
- Tommy Garcia - Lead Guitar (2002 - 2003)
- Jasun Krebs - Rhythm Guitar (2003)
- Justin Foley - Drums (2009)
- Aaron Newberry - Bass (2007)
- Brandon Hays - Bass (2002 - 2003)
- Chris Lindsom - Rhythm Guitar (2003 - 2004)
- Chad Ackerman - Rhythm Guitar (2002)
- Brandon Young (drums on the song "When This World Fades")
- Tommy Garcia (appeared at least once on every record to date)