Release DetailsLABEL Metal Blade Records
RELEASED ON 8/21/2007
As I Lay Dying
An Ocean Between Us
posted on 8/2007 By:
After the slight letdown of Shadows Are Security, God’s warriors of commercial metal return with an improved and enjoyable but formulaic metalcore record for the masses.
To me, a band like As I Lay Dying, as with other bands like, say, Killswitch Engage, In Flames and even Bolt Thrower, Amon Amarth and such are the Big Mac of metal--it's been around for ages, has not changed, won’t change but still when you crave one, it hits the spot perfectly.
Polished, (maybe overly so), catchy, full of hooks, choruses and soupy, melodic riffs and the expected ballads, An Ocean Between Us won’t garner any new AILD dying fans, but will certainly satiate the fans they already have. To these ears, it’s a more confident, focused record than Shadows Are Security, which seemed hesitant after the success of the excellent watershed album, Frail Words Collapse.
It’s as if the band are trying to fight off the likes of War of Ages, Still Remains, Destroy the Runner, Inhale/Exhale and other bands in the suddenly popular Christian metalcore genre that seemed to have copied AILD’s template. The band seems driven and angrier than before. Though of course, sugary Christian metalcore for Hot Topic shoppers, will never be really ‘angry’ per say, but Tim Lambesis seems a bit gruffer with slightly less accompanying clean croons, and drummer Jordan Mancino seems to be hitting the skins a bit harder, though that could be due to the still overly processed and synthetic production and mix (courtesy of Adam Dutkiewicz and Colin Richardson) the band utilizes.
Tracks like the thunderous opener (of course after the intro “Separation”) “Nothing Left”, surprising thrashers “Within Destruction”, “Comfort Betrays”, and “Bury Us All,” though still littered with the expected choruses and hooks, seem to rumble with a slightly more furious and determined gait. Of course there’s plenty of radio friendly / MTV fodder by way of the rather forgetful title track, “Forsaken”, ballad “I Never Wanted”, “The Sound of Truth” and closer “This Is Who We Are” and interludes (“Separation”, “Departed”) that will keep girls happy and move units for Metal Blade.
If you don’t like metalcore, especially overly produced, packaged, predictable Christian metalcore, you probably should not even be reading this review, but if you, like me, don’t mind a Big Mac once in while, even if there are billions served, As I Lay Dying have delivered a pretty quality effort that should see them continue to be the likeable darlings of the mainstream metal media.
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