As the opening track “Separation” ends, it immediately surges right into “Nothing Left” Upon first listen, it sounds a bit recognizable. Perhaps a subtle ode to Metallica’s Master of Puppets. It’s almost as if As I Dying wants you to know that An Ocean Between Us (Metal Blade Records) is going to be an opus of their own.
With an increased amount of technical brutality, As I Lay Dying have constructed a more focused and well-structured metal composition. As the record continues, their first single “Within Destruction” comes with plenty of the rapid-fire drumming of Jordan Mancino. Guitarists Nick Hipa and Phil Sgrosso provide riffs that bring out more than just a good breakdown. They add more textures and atmosphere when combining with frontman Tim Lambesis’ distinguishable roar.
“Forsaken” forges ahead, bringing along a European tinge in the vein of bands like In Flames or Soilwork. While the Gothenburg influences are there, new bassist Josh Gilbert also takes over the reigns of providing the clean vocals. Maniacal and intricate guitars help guide the listener through Lambesis’ heartfelt lyrics of personal struggle such as "our selfishness consumes us/until the whole world is not enough/forgive the day that I erased your name/for it’s the memory of me that will decay."
As “Comfort Betrays” continues the sonic barrage, the influence of Christian metal pioneers Living Sacrifice comes through as the song reminds me of something you can find off Reborn. Any technical aspects found on Shadows Are Security are now magnified at least three-fold. While Lambesis as been at the production helm in the past, they brought in Killswitch Engage guitarist/producer Adam Dutkiewicz to help smooth out the edges per se.
The record ends on a strong note with “This Is Who We Are.” With lyrics such as without the burden of our hearts/none of us would have ever found you/for You are are faithful when we are not, it’s a defining proclamation of conviction and faith. The beautiful piano piece that ends the song is poignant so say the least.
Bottom Line: A definite progression from their last record, As I Lay Dying constructed one of best releases of 2007, metal or not. A must have for any heavy music collector.Powered by Sidelines