There is a reason As I Lay Dying have been called the most brutal band in their genre, as vocalist Tim Lambesis sounds like a head-on collision between a cement mixer and a steamroller. With the savage intensity that could burst eardrums and cause skulls to crack, Lambesis' forceful delivery is the battering ram used to destroy peers. For those not fully satisfied by the band's crushing debut, Beneath the Encasing of Ashes, As I Lay Dying have returned in less than a year with what is sure to be the most painful split album of 2002. Accompanying them are rising stars American Tragedy, whose Converge-like technical mayhem even give America's most brutal metalcore band a run for their money here. As I Lay Dying offer five exquisite tracks that find the group venturing past the concise song formats and exploring wider ranges of time and brutality to form to their liking. American Tragedy's six songs also offer blistering technical fury at its most raw. This is not an album for the meek, yet for those who like their metal as heavy as a tractor trailer full of concrete blocks, this is a must-have album.
AllMusic Review by Jason D. Taylor