Decas is a compilation of cover tunes, remixes, re-recordings, and a few new tracks from popular American metalcore act As I Lay Dying. The way Metal Blade has tracked this CD, you get the new tunes right at the beginning, then the covers, and ending with the remixes and re-recorded tunes, which was a pretty smart idea.
Overall, the three new songs here are quite good. "Paralyzed" is a heavy number but littered with melody and scorching guitar solos, while "From Shapeless to Breakable" is a brutal track equal parts death metal and hardcore, chocked to the gills with crushing riffs, pounding drums, and Tim Lambesis' mix of growls and screams. The last new piece, "Moving Forward", sees the band toss in plenty of pop leanings into their metalcore mix with some soaring clean vocals and loads of hooks. On to the covers, Slayer's "War Ensemble" is given a pretty brutal and mostly hardcore slant, while Judas Priest's "Hellion/Electric Eye" is interesting hearing Lambesis & bassist Josh Gilbert trade off growls and clean vocals as guitarists Nick Hipa & Phil Sgrosso lay down some impressive six string pyrotechnics. "Coffee Mug", originally by the Descendents, is a relentless hardcore/punk affair, all 40 seconds of it. After the pretty brutal re-recording of the strong track "Beneath the Encasing of Ashes", you get a host of remixes which, unless you are a really loyal fan, are for the most part throwaway. These industrial/club/hip hop remixes just don't fit here, other than for curiousity sake, and I'm sure most metal fans who buy this release will ultimately wind up skipping them over.
Decas is not essential by any means, but for As I Lay Dying fans I'm sure it will be a must have. Casual listeners would be better of sticking with any of their studio efforts.
"From Shapeless to Breakable"
"War Ensemble" (originally by Slayer)
Tom Araya, Jeff Hanneman
"Hellion" (originally by Judas Priest)
K. K. Downing, Glenn Tipton
"Electric Eye" (originally by Judas Priest)
"Coffee Mug" (originally by Descendents)
Stephen Egerton, Stevenson
"Beneath the Encasing of Ashes" (re-recorded medley)
"The Blinding of False Light" (Innerpartysystem remix)
"Wrath Upon Ourselves" (Ben Weinman remix)
"Confined" (Kelly "Carnage" Cairns remix)
"Elegy" (Big Chocolate remix)