Some hardcore just plain kicks ass….this is definitely the case with As I Lay Dying, formely known as Life Once Lost. True to their name, you can feel the pain they exude while they struggle through the death of several people, ideals and themselves. I was really impressed with how they managed to take hardcore and give it character. The insane ferociousness was countered appropriately with slower softer parts which served as a vehicle for the coming slaughter. Amazing! Another rarity possessed by As I Lay Dying is the band’s time: Tight and dead on. “Torn Within”, track 2, is the ultimate song for hating your lover or past lover. Where the hell was this song when I broke up with my first girlfriend? One can relate with the lyric, “..tearing me from within, screaming to be released but held fast by your love…” A few tracks later we find “When This World Fades” which is in memory of someone clearly important to the band. You can feel the pain through the lyrics and the hurtful sound. Busting through the last few songs to fast will leave you senseless but satisfied. “Beneath the Encasing of Ashes” is a killer recording with transforming music wrapped up in a tiny little package.