Formed in 2001 in San Diego, California, this US metalcore band saw their career take off in the mid-00s with a series of excellent albums and an exhilarating live act. The original core of the band comprised Tim Lambesis (vocals), Evan White (guitar) and Jordan Mancino (drums). With the addition of bass player Noah Chase they made their debut later in 2001 with Beneath The Encasing Of Ashes. The brutal assault of the music and the shredded intensity of Lambesis vocals was somewhat at odds with the overt Christianity of the lyrics, although the bands rapidly expanding fanbase was drawn equally from the hardcore and Christian markets.
After a split album with fellow San Diegans American Tragedy, the band switched from the small Pluto Records label to the more established Metal Blade Records. Personnel changes saw Chase replaced by Aaron Kennedy and additional guitarist Jason Krebs brought into the line-up. The 2003 release Frail Words Collapse built upon the blueprint of their debut albeit with a polished and slightly more melodic approach.
The band cemented its burgeoning reputation with a series of high profile support and festival slots, with many commentators arguing that their true forte was live performance. Further line-up changes saw the recruitment of bass player Clint Norris and guitarists Nick Hipa and Phil Sgrosso, with the latter playing an important part in the writing and recording of 2005s Shadows Are Security, an album that topped the US Independent chart and also reached the mainstream Top 40. Less in thrall to the Scandinavian metal sound of In Flames than on their previous releases, the album saw As I Lay Dying blossoming as an original creative force and its success was due reward for their boldness.
In 2006 Metal Blade issued a compilation set documenting the bands Plutos recordings, with the originals by now attracting high prices on the second-hand market. Josh Gilbert replaced Norris on the bands fourth studio album, An Ocean Between Us, released later the following year.
Source: The Encyclopedia of Popular Music by Colin Larkin. Licensed from Muze.