Should Christians Still Listen To Music From As I Lay Dying?
With the recent tragedy in the news of Tim Lambesis being found guilty of hiring a man to murder his wife I had to sort things out in my mind about As I Lay Dying. Not only was this a tragic event, but the whole band basically decided that they were no longer Christians. Tim is a confirmed atheist now. The main question I had was “should I even be listening to this band anymore?” I’ve concluded that listening to their music is still a good thing. The band is no longer together at this point but the music still remains and the positive messages in it are still valid. This band got me through many hard times with their positive lyrics. Here are a few good reasons to keep listening to As I Lay Dying.
No one can deny that AILD has some of the most uplifting and positive lyrics of any metal band. Couple that with the brutality of their breakdowns and lightning fast solos and you want to get up and change the world. Here are some of their lyrics:
“But Your love has set me free, as You've awakened every star that has been sleeping in the constellation of my soul. How could I go back? How could I go back to live amongst the dead?” (Illusions, Shadows Are Security)
“If music is a mirror revealing the depths of my heart then I will write the darkest song. For without forgiveness my soul is lost. All that is hope within destruction comes from You, for I have fallen.” (Within Destruction, An Ocean Between Us)
“Simplicity is not a curse where strength is humbled and the powerless rise (and the powerless rise). This is a kingdom born upside-down. This is a kingdom where the broken are crowned.” (Upside Down Kingdom, The Powerless Rise
“As we face distress we must not lose heart. Stand fast and press on, triumph awaits us! Sometimes we have to watch our whole lives fall apart before we can rebuild them again - a greater foundation.” (Greater Foundation, Awakened)
“Trying to forget is a burden we can never bear. When facing trials openly, there's nothing left to hide. New paths of strength come alive! We can overcome! No matter what it is we've faced it's now part of us (part of us). No matter what we've faced in this life we can overcome! We can overcome!” (Overcome, Awakened)
Standing Against Controversy
Not only are their lyrics positive, they also confront serious topics that many people would not. Here are some of their lyrics taking controversy head on.
Abortion: “Condemned, without given a chance to speak. Without acknowledgment they're made less than human.” (Condemned, The Powerless Rise)
“Why do we uphold allegiance higher than maintaining life? The ties of blood breaking a stronger bind.” (Condemned, The Powerless Rise)
Allowing others to die for personal comfort: “You sat and watched as I nearly destroyed myself. Never had I felt so betrayed, that you would sacrifice my life for no more than your comfort. And now your love means nothing to me. You are a coward, the antithesis of a friend.”
Nonbelievers: “I've watched them build upon these empty hearts, false hopes of lossless paradise gathering together. The dead hearts beat as one. Stillborn comfort feeding lies through answers of self-denial, divided between a dissolute self and the sorrow of sincere devotion.” (Empty Hearts, Shadows Are Security)
The Music Itself
The music of AILD is absolutely brutal and heavy! This aspect alone keeps drawing me back. It is a sound that drives the meanings behind the songs that they wrote. Tim Lambesis always seemed to find the right words to scream/growl when a heavy breakdown was about to happen. Not only that, but Nick’s solos are some of the best in the business! And Jordan’s double bass is ridiculous! Everyone remembers the first time they heard the song “94 Hours” when Jordan wailed on the double bass petal at a speed we didn’t think was even possible! The bottom line is that As I Lay Dying’s music will still live on in the hearts of Christian metal heads because they had depth to their music and lyrics. They loved their fans. And their fans still love them.
AILD has been and always will be one of my favorite bands. They get me pumped to live life and to do the best I can. Tim made a huge mistake and will be in jail for quite a long time, but his words and the music that AILD made together are a masterpiece of brutality and truth!