It doesn't feel like it's been 10 years since AILD's first release Beneath The Encasing Of Ashes. Unfortunately I can't say I've been a fan for ten years being that I didn't discover them until Frail Words Collapse two years later, but that's really besides the point.
As you probably already know Decas is a release celebrating their ten year anniversary. A big number for any band these days, especially in the overly crowded genre that is Metalcore. Bands come and go, but bands like As I Lay Dying continue to top the genre and inspire many new bands.
Decas offers us 3 fresh tracks, 3.5 covers (Hellion is less than a minute and really just a lead into electric eye.) a re-recording of Beneath The Encasing Of Ashes (the song, not the whole album obviously), and 4 remixes spanning multiple albums done by 4 different artists.
Firstly, the new tracks. Let's just say that if these new tracks are indications of how the next full length album will be Fans should have no worries. As I Lay Dying seems to somehow get better with each release, they continue to create fresh sounding songs, while keeping their core signature sound. It's kind of hard to describe, but As I Lay Dying play metalcore that stands out from metalcore as a whole. In a fantastic way. 'From Shapeless To Breakable' is probably my favorite of the three new tracks. They seem to be incorporating more and more melodic death metal influence with each release, while still being able to fit in a clean vocal section and a great hook.
I don't have much to say about the re-recording. Other than that it somehow sounds more like As I Lay Dying now. To me their original album seemed to take quite a bit of inspiration from the likes of Zao and Living Sacrifice (both bands being huge inspirations to them), but now it sounds much more like their own song.
The covers are pretty awesome. I've been listening the 'War Ensemble' cover for a while now thanks to Homefront, but it really is a powerful cover. The 'Electric Eye' cover is really well done too, and it's nice to see As I Lay Dying try something a little different, yet still make it their own.
The remixes are a take it or leave it kind of deal. I know many people have mixed feelings about dubstep, and many down right hate it. I imagine many people will skip over this portion of the album, and in all honesty you won't be missing out on the As I Lay Dying experience if you do skip it. I for one used to only listen to techno and I have some appreciation for dubstep so I can enjoy the remixes. although I'm not a fan of Ben Wienmans remix. It just seems to all over the place.
Overall Decas is a good ep, but it leaves me wanting a full release. I still can't believe The Powerless Rise is over a year old now. Time is really flying by. The three new songs are fantastic and the covers are really well done. Hopefully we'll get word of a new full length soon, but for now Decas is a good way to whet your appetite a bit.