'Decas' is a compilation, a sort of 10th anniversary thank you note to those who have stuck with As I Lay Dying over the years. It is a collection of remixes and covers that the band has enhanced by throwing in three new songs.
Rock, in whatever form, is one of the most adaptable, versatile and diverse genres in music. Most folk may consider rock music too loud/fast/dumb blah blah blah... but rockers can and often do turn it down while everyone else is unable to turn it up.
Better still, Metal mongers cannot be beaten when it comes to mixing things up a bit. Just ask Rammstein and Arkona. With 'Decas', I rest my case. As I Lay Dying may be a 'Metal core' outfit but the fact is the covers and remixes here show that they have hidden depths and capabilities.
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The covers, Slayer's 'War Ensemble', Priest's 'Hellion' And 'Electric Eye' and Descendent's 'Coffee Mug' are good but do not stray far from the template of the originals. The three new original tracks, 'Paralyzed', 'From Shapeless To Breakable' and 'Moving Forward' (so Americans do understand irony) open the album and are pretty standard AILD stuff that manage to avoid being overshadowed by the cover tracks by the skin of their teeth.
However, things become really interesting with the remixed versions of 'Beneath The Encasing Of Ashes', 'The Blinding Of False Light', 'Wrath Upon Ourselves', 'Confined' and 'Elegy' where the mixing of Metal, experimental and techno proves quite refreshing after the Metal assault of the first half of the album.
Overall 'Decas' is no bad album and does enough to interest most hardcore AILD fans, even if it might be just momentarily.
Mixing new stuff with cover tracks can be a double edged sword and I suspect the band have a few cut fingers after finishing this project but maybe now might be a good time to start pursuing more diversification because this album shows As I Lay Dying has some surprisingly creative hidden depths.
There is more than enough here to suggest that AILD is perfectly able to drag Metal core in general and itself in particular out of their collective doldrums if it cared enough to do so.