Register Forgot login?

© 2002-2020
Encyclopaedia Metallum

Best viewed
without Internet Explorer,
in 1280 x 960 resolution
or higher.

Privacy Policy

Melodically Great, Heavily Repetitive - 65%

Petrus_Steele, September 24th, 2019
Written based on this version: 2005, CD, Metal Blade Records

Shadows Are Security unveils eleven new and fresh tracks with the twelfth one being a re-recorded version of Illusions, featuring Jason Moody of No Innocent Victim, which is another San Diego based hardcore/metalcore band from the early 90s. Control Is Dead features the legendary Daniel Weyandt from the pioneering band, Zao. It's no surprise that Tim is inspired by him based on what's been heard in the band's debut album.

As for the music, I think Tim found his mark when it comes to his vocal range, not to mention how the music is strongly influenced by thrash metal, yet it's more polished and more of the "melodic metalcore" direction but some hard extent. The guitars are definitely more melodic than before, the drums are more sonic, and some of the heard clean vocals sound much better. From what I gathered, this is where the band founded their solid lineup.

I believe it's one of their more famous songs to play. Meaning in Tragedy doesn't sound any different than what Frail Words Collapse sounded in the past, yet the music still sounds fresh enough. The rhythms melodically sound original. Confined unleashes more brutal drumming by Jordan, while the music is more melodic with the addition of some great-sounding backup vocals. Pretty bone-chilling. The Darkest Nights generally contains more melodic rhythms and prolong clean vocals, compared to Confined's short but impactful cleans. Repeating Yesterday has quite the experimental intro, which sounds like the band's early dark work. As the song kicks in its riffs and heavy approach, it succeeded to stay true and original. Plus, it has a piano outro to complement the experiment. Through Struggle, thankfully, continues the melodic approach with additional vocals, which at this point is always welcomed. The only tiny problem was the breakdown outro: not only it sounded bad but very unnecessary for such a great song.

Losing Sight mostly sounds catchy and very repetitive. The vocals by Tim, especially, sounded annoying. Not sure for the reason behind such songwriting, but this was bad. Empty Hearts in one of the heavier tracks on the album that sounds entirely different, which means the band isn't repetitive as it might as one might think when it comes to their overall musical approach. However, this song is no different than Losing Sight when it comes to Tim's vocals. The music, too, wasn't that impressive. Reflection also follows the same path. Although it's more melodic and had a sweet melodic death metal-esque opening and remained heavy, the band was doing much better in their stronger melodic approach that was heard in the first two tracks. The amount of heaviness that's being heard is very repetitive, not to mention how similar it sounds to Losing Sight. The Truth of My Perception I believe failed to deliver because of how personal it sounds, compared to anything else this album offered. At this point in the album, the music doesn't transition to something fresh (like you've heard it all). Hoped to hear something huge, but Control Is Dead with Daniel Weyandt didn't deliver anything. The music is mostly the same as before. Morning Waits sounds very different during the verses, but the chorus and bridge aren't any different than what you've already heard. At least it has potential. It shouldn't come to a surprise when Illusions sounds better than the original version, but it's labeled like Empty Hearts; where it doesn't offer anything other than repeating riffs. I guess it's also simply just a bad track.

Experimental is one way to label this third approach by the band, but very repetitive is more suitable and accurate. Whatever the guys were writing or wanted to shine down upon the world, it was badly approached. I was quite intrigued with the melodic rhythms and the clean vocals, as well as Tim's screaming and unclean vocals, compared to the repetitive heavy riffage and lower unclean vocals. I can only hope the majority of this weak release by the band isn't going to be their direction. The best songs are Confined, The Darkest Nights, Repeating Yesterday, and Through Struggle for pretty much being the most powerful songs.

My music scares ppl LOL! - 70%

BlackMetal213, April 9th, 2016

As I Lay Dying is one of the most credible bands within the metalcore genre. Like it or not, they have been at it since 2001 with their borderline hardcore punk debut album "Beneath the Encasing of Ashes". It wouldn't be until their next album that they really found the sound they were looking for and would pretty much retain until their current hiatus. Unfortunately, while they are one of the more credible metalcore bands, they really don't sound too different from other bands in the scene. This album is not their finest work, but it's probably number three for me, with "The Powerless Rise" being first and "Frail Words Collapse" being second. I'm not a huge fan of this band but I really dug them seven years ago when I was entering high school and, even now, I can listen to them without cringing too much. "Shadows Are Security" is AILD's third album and was released in 2005.

This album is obviously guitar-driven. The riffs go from heavy to melodic and extremely catchy. There are plenty of metalcore breakdowns and chugs to go around. The band begins the album with a no bullshit introductory song, "Meaning in Tragedy". This song doesn't start with a spoken word intro or an acoustic one, like a lot of metalcore bands tend to do, but rather a Gothenburg-esque guitar riff. Most of the riffs here follow the same pattern and unfortunately do very little to differentiate themselves from one another, which is a major gripe I have with this album. These guys really would have done better here if the breakdowns were reduced drastically. You really don't need one in every damn song, which is one gripe I have with metalcore overall. If some of these breakdowns were replaced with solos, this album would be far more impressive. "Empty Hearts" has a solo in the latter half of the song and although it's fairly generic for the most part, it is still a welcomed addition that should be incorporated more. But hell, even this solo leads into a breakdown. "The Truth of My Perception" also contains a solo but these two songs are really the only proper examples of this. The beautifully melodic "Repeating Yesterday", which is probably the main highlight of this album, doesn't even contain a solo, and it really could have benefitted from one. Most of these songs just feel incomplete. Aside from "Repeating Yesterday", "The Darkest Nights" is perhaps my other favorite song from this album. It's really catchy and not all that special, but for nostalgic reasons, I'd put it up there as one of the best offerings from this band overall. Really, if you took out the breakdowns and added solos, you would have more of a melodic death metal album than a metalcore one as influences of Swedish melodeath and even a tad bit of thrash metal are fairly commonplace here.

I swear Tim Lambesis has to be one of the most generic vocalists to ever come out of metal. He uses the same scream throughout the entire album with little to no variation, except to change from a lower growl to a higher pitched scream. This takes away from a lot of the emotional atmosphere this album could have possessed. There are some average to decent clean vocals provided by different personnel but they sound generic and have become a very common trait in modern metalcore. I will say Tim is a talented musician who has utilized his talents much better with his solo project Austrian Death Machine, which would be conceived three years following the release of this album. His vocals are just too bland to me and take away from the music rather than adding onto it.

Unfortunately, this album is really nothing more than average. It has moments of real promise and creativity but of course, these moments become overshadowed by boring vocals and breakdowns. I still enjoy this album a little due to nostalgia but that's about it. Oh well, we all have to grow up someday I guess.

Nothing new - 65%

Deathandthrashlover, October 7th, 2015
Written based on this version: 2005, CD, Metal Blade Records

Just as the title says this is nothing new. If you've ever heard any metalcore band from the early to mid 2000's then you have already heard As I Laying Dying's "Shadows Are Security". This album follows a pretty predictable formula, down tuned guitars, breakdowns, tons of double bass drumming, and harsh/clean vocals. Thankfully the cleans on this album are to very small parts.

A big issue I have with this album is not the generic formula and the overuse of breakdowns, but the lack of bass on this album. The only time you seem to hear any bass work is when it drops just before a breakdown which is sad, I love to hear the bass in the mix. Another Big issue is the vocals.Tim Lambesis tries his hardest to sound "brutal" but it just doesn't cut it for me. It feels to cookie cutter "extreme vocals" kind of feel, it feels emotionless.

Now onto the guitar work. Any backbone to a good metal album should be killer riffs, but does this album deliver? The answer is no. But this not from a lack of trying. The guitars play at fast tempos and are down tuned and sound heavy, but it seems after just a minute or so into the song they lose all steam and lose all the energy. This might be forgivable if every song didn't suffer from this, and given the length of the album all the songs just seem to blend together. Even the drumming falls victim to just fading into the background. Not to give it credit, it does try to put into the songs, but the issue is it all sounds the same. So just like the guitars the drumming fades out, and it just gets hard to tell when songs end and began. I wouldn't recommend this album unless you happen to be a fan, but if your not a fan of As I Laying Dying then feel free to pass this album up.

Boring, generic, brutal - 30%

gasmask_colostomy, May 27th, 2015

I distinctly remember hating this album the first time I listened to it. I thought that it sounded generic, tried too hard to be brutal, and that the vocals - particularly the vocal rhythms - were atrocious. Have I changed my mind? To be honest, I rarely listen to this album because metalcore is not my favourite type of metal, though I have a tolerance for the faster-paced variety that bears more similarities to melodic death metal. One thing you can certainly say of As I Lay Dying is that they never wimped out and went for the emoting clean-sung chorus on every song, nor do they skimp on riffs. This album sits closer to melodeath, and maybe even death metal, than any of the pathetic post-hardcore bands that are essentially Avril Lavigne songs with a screaming singer, so it's all up to content as to whether the band triumph here.

There's a small triumph for As I Lay Dying, but no greater reward. They do have a good riffing style that is reasonably intricate, which includes all the standard chuggy parts and beatdowns you would expect from a metalcore band. What annoys me is that this style doesn't have a lot of merit in itself: I don't want to listen to more than a couple of BOOM-BOOM-lick riffs or chug-chug-chug-chug-slightly different lick riffs per album and this album has about that quantity on each song, so I get tired as fuck by the time I'm halfway to the end. There are, however, some melodies that borrow strongly from the In Flames template and they give the songs more fluid rhythms and individual identities. 'The Darkest Nights', for example, uses one such melody almost from start to finish and, although there isn't much progression in ideas, ends up a lot more satisfying than the following 'Empty Hearts', which goes for "brutal" mode and sounds insanely repetitive, barring an aggressive thrash/death solo that shows up towards the end. The drumming style ditto, because there isn't anything going on to keep me interested, wherein lies my biggest complaint with metalcore - the rhythms are so, so predictable that I feel the song can't go anywhere unexpected. I assume that the bass player is similarly half-assed, because I don't recall hearing him do anything at all on this album.

Now, let me come back to that thing about the vocals. Many would say that Tim Lambesis is a decent metalcore singer, because he has a sufficiently good scream and rarely uses cleans, thus clearing up a common problem in the genre of only sounding semi-serious about metal. In my opinion, he comes up against an entirely different problem - namely that he isn't very good. There's a reason why Killswitch Engage got to be leaders without their instrumentalists ever doing anything spectacular and that's because they had good vocalists who were the focal point of every song. Howard Jones had a good range of different styles, so could bring emotion to the lyrics, while Jesse Leach always sounds more desperate and alive than your common metalcore vocalist. Lambesis has an almost mechanical delivery that neither pulls at the heartstrings nor makes me raise my fist in salute, but rather makes me wish for a guitar solo sometime soon. His lyrics are often indecipherable and seem unsuited for such an inhuman, roaring style, since they are about faith and struggle. His rhythms are horrible, with a very slow, stressed delivery on many songs that chops up the already chuggy style even more and leaves the album with zero momentum, added to which his cleans are weak, so even the rush of a melodic section loses its appeal.

I'm not even going to bother looking at the songs, because they all sound almost the same - forced and featureless. My technique for listening to this album is to find a riff I like (usually the melodeath parts, but a few metalcore ones) and concentrate on that until a melody or solo gives me something to actually enjoy. Ignore the vocals, ignore the drums, ignore the bass, ignore the generic parts; just focus on about ten minutes of mediocre melodeath. Sounds great, right?

Damn Good Metalcore - 85%

metal22, January 19th, 2013

Metalcore is a bit of an awkward genre to write reviews for. Even though it is a fantastic style of metal, there are few things that make each band unique from one another (not the fault of the bands it is just a very limited genre). 'Shadows Are Security' however is one of the few metalcore albums that stands high and proud above the rest, along with Caliban's 'The Opposite From Within' and Killswitch Engage's 'The End of Heartache'. Never mind those records though, I will explain to you why THIS album is in the top 3 of metalcore.

Kicking things off we have 'Meaning In Tragedy' which sets the mood for the rest of the album. After hearing this with its dual guitar harmonies, furious screams and breakdowns, I had a good idea of what the entire record would sound like, and I was right. It follows into 'Confined' with the same formula, which is an awesome formula that keeps the rest of the album catchy, heavy and sometimes beautifully melodic. Some of the tracks on this record have guitar riffs that are really profound. 'The Darkest Nights' has some axe melodies that are very brutal yet strangely uplifting. There are some extremely heavy moments that even stray away from metal core and into thrash and occasionally death metal (check out the intro to 'Empty Hearts').

The drums on this release are phenomenal, with endless assaults of double bass and blast-beats. Very rarely does Jordan Mancino stop pummelling the kit and it is his constant fury that keeps us hooked, meaning that we never lose interest during the album. Inevitably there are many breakdowns here, as is tradition for metalcore. These veterans know where to put them though, so after a brutally catchy chorus all instruments come together for a ground-shaking headbanging session. Even if you are on your own you will feel the need to smash inanimate objects and play air guitar (I did).

Another reason this album stands out are the growls of vocalist Tim Lambesis. After listening to the album once you really notice the anger and emotion in his screams, which is what metalcore should be about - emotion. The production is absolutely flawless, which is very important in metalcore as it amplifies the emotional, heavy and melodic aspects of the album. 'Reflection' is the albums strongest track as it combines every type of song the band have, with heaviness followed by moody, melodic riffs and breakdowns. Epic stuff.

'Shadows Are Security' is something of a holy grail in a world of good but predictable metalcore albums. Every song is excellent and the production quality is about as clear as it gets, resulting in a record that always sounds fresh when you listen to it, and never becomes old. If you feel like you need to let off steam then this is the album for you. Pure pit-worthy anthems.

Make this the next metalcore album you buy folks.

Adventures in -core land II:Emo Stephen Hawkings - 83%

Evangelion2014, December 19th, 2010

You know the common gripes that metalheads have about metalcore? Too many breakdowns, the whiny clean vocals, the pop song structures and the shameless repetitive Gothenburg worship? Well, the main strength of this album is it largely avoids these pitfalls and creates a solid listening experience.

Production wise, it's squeaky clean as you would expect from any metalcore act this mainstream. As usual, bass is nowhere to be found. The only thing really out the ordinary is the amount of delay present on the drums, it's enough that you can still hear a bit of each drum hit by the time another comes up.

Structurally you either have a standard verse chorus format or a more melodeath influenced song setup where a handful of riffs largely are the driving force of the song. Guitar work consists of one guitar playing disjointed, stop-start melodic death type riffs consisting of single notes on the high end of the scale, occasionally developing a minor variation on the riff but usually opting for hammering one riff into your head. The rhythm guitar usually plays breakdown-esque chugs. Sometimes both guitars abandon this format and instead fully utilize their potential to create dueling harmonies such as in 'Meaning in Tragedy' and the simultaneous tremolo lick around the one minute mark in 'Morning Waits'. Unfortunately, soloing is largely forgone on this album, a short solo popping up in 'Empty Hearts' and 'Truth of My perception';sadly the solo work is mostly aimless wandering around the scale without too much direction. The strongest moments of the album are where the band steps out of the confines of the metalcore genre and experiment a bit, like the tech death like riff in 'Truth of My perception' and the brooding tremolo intro in 'Reflections'.

It wouldn't be a metalcore album without those dreaded core elements, but for the most part they actually help the album rather than hurting it, as I don't believe the album can stand up purely on it's metal elements alone. The guitar work is too limited and repetitive, with a sense of disconnect and a lack of groove (or catchiness) resulting from the fragmented riffing. The drum work is also fairly basic, without a lot of interesting fills coming from the fact that the drums usually follow the rhythm guitars.

Fortunately, the (post) hardcore elements prop up the weaker metal portion of the sound. The lyrics are either generic Christian themed prose or your stock emo lyrics, but the vocalist manages to deliver his growling with enough conviction and anger that it doesn't hurt the album. The choruses in some songs using clean vocals are keep the riffs from getting stale, as do the breakdowns, which are used sparsely enough and built up to properly so they have their intended intense crescendo effect rather than being a chore to listen to. The hardcore elements also bring in a bit of variation in melody, such as the mathcore like riffs in 'illusions' and the melodic climax in 'Repeating Yesterday'. A slight problem is results from the stupidity of the lyrics in that song when a robotic Stephen Hawkings like voice repeats what sounds like bad emo poetry. Similarly in the opener 'Confined' the whiny chorus is somewhat cringe inducing with the lyrics 'How quickly I forget that this is meaningless'. As I said before though, the cliche metalcore elements don't show up too often and ultimately thats what makes this a rare specimen: a good metalcore album.

Emotionless and Predictable - 50%

Five_Nails, July 24th, 2010

As I Lay Dying was a band that I was into when I listened primarily to metalcore. It’s been a few years since then, but because I recently picked up their album “Shadows Are Security” for my brother, I decided to give it a few spins and review this very Christian and much lambasted album by a widely considered poser and sub-par metalcore band.

Maybe it’s the result of nostalgia toward songs like “Confined” and “The Darkest Nights”, but I have come to enjoy a couple of songs on this album. Still, this album is held back by too much predictability, too many breakdowns, and Tim Lambesis’ weak attempts at gutturals that become nothing other than a garbled low growl. Lambesis’ mix of screamo yells in the vein of other Christian bands like Underoath and attempt to be one of the many greasy haired “hardcore brave believers” that American fundamentalists have exploited to oil their propaganda machine, does nothing to enhance the music, but gives true metalheads something to hate. Once in a while there are some clean vocals placed in the choruses of different songs. Those vocals are pretty good and would have improved the album if they were the only ones on it because Lambesis’ weak “br00tal” become the most annoying part of the album (aside from every boring, emotionless, generic, down-tuned breakdown).

The drumming is a painfully obvious attempt to add some thunder to the metalcore mix of this album and generate false energy to some very boring sections of this album. Every double bass kick brings in so much echo and distortion that even some black metal drummers could take a page out of As I Lay Dying’s book of false distortion. The snare is generic eighth note hits here and there sporadically scattered between breakdowns, double bass kicks, and long instances of cymbals crashing. The drumming adds about as much to this album as the vocals, and none of it is memorable.

The riffing in this album is one of the best parts. Where almost every other element of this album is really predictable, the riffing brings in some personality and emotion. Songs like “Reflection”, “The Darkest Nights”, and “Confined” have good openings with their riffs but the guitarists run out of steam by about the second minute of each song on this album and repeat and repeat and repeat each riff as if they’re trying to lull the listener into a blissful trance of metalcore that just won’t end. The problem is that this bliss they believe they’re creating is as boring as any Grateful Dead concert without the comedic addition of LSD. There are few, if any, solos on this album, which probably would have proved to be as arbitrary as the rest of the guitar playing save for a few interesting riffs here and there. In all, the riffs are all that the album has going for it and even then they are barely passable.

The longer I listen to this album, the lower its score goes, and with good reason. As I Lay Dying is one of the reasons that I became so quickly sick of metalcore. With their generic drumming, crappy vocals, arbitrary riffs, and generally emotionless and boring songs, I’m glad I didn’t disappoint myself four years ago by buying this album and realize that all the lambasting, all the accusations of being posers, and all the statements that this band sucked were completely true.

A change for the better - 85%

Metalwontdie, July 8th, 2009

On As I Lay Dying’s third full length Shadows Are Security they change their style in the direction of melo-death with the occasional metalcore break downs and a more melodic sound. Fortunately Shadows Are Security is heavier, more entertaining, and much more mature than on Frail Words Collapse. The average length of each song is longer and the choruses are much better especially on Confined, The Darkest Nights, and Through Struggle. The tempo is somewhat faster than on Frail Words Collapse though most songs are still mid-tempo.

The songs themselves are much more entertaining and to the point than they were on Frail Words Collapse. The albums production is clearer and adds a heavier sound to Shadows Are Security. The two guitarist leads, riff writing, and song structure is more mature and definitely more metal. The harsh vocals are more sinister and the clean vocals are definitely in the metalcore style fortunately they work really well on Shadows Are Security providing great choruses. The bass is audible but like on As I Lay Dying’s most recent album An Ocean Between Us just provides rhythm. The drumming is just as solid as it is on all of As I Lay Dying focusing much more on fills and double kick bass than on hand drumming.

The weaknesses of Shadows Are Security unfortunately take away a lot of points. First off Shadows Are Security like most metalcore/melo-death albums has very few solos I talking about maybe four solos at the most for the entire album and they are always very short. The second half of this Shadows Are Security is much weaker than the first half only having one standout track Through Struggle. The final weakness is that on the album closer Illusions it opens with over a minute of pointless static then starts one of the best opening riffs on the album unfortunately the rest of the song doesn’t live up to the greatness it could have achieved.

Overall Shadows Are Security is a very solid album fortunately As I Lay Dying would improve upon this release with their most recent album An Ocean Between Us. Best songs are Meaning In Tragedy, Confined, The Darkest Nights, and Through Struggle. I recommend this to fans of As I Lay Dying and melo-death metal.

-5 points solos are almost non-existent
-7 points weaker second half of album
-3 points Illusions could have been a much better song

Decent Metalcore - 75%

Oxidane, June 20th, 2009

Shadows Are Security is ALID’s third full length album, and it’s their best effort to date. It contains a mix of brutality, emotion and atmosphere I have never heard before.

This album contains a lot of variation. It’s his main quality. You don’t feel like you’ve been listening to the same song for 43 minutes. It’s like a song sorted out in 11 tracks, with each of the tracks visiting a different atmosphere. This concept makes the album very stimulating. As I Lay Dying found an interesting way to write metalcore. It’s far from typical generic stuff. It has sort of a melo-death influence in the musical structure.

Tim Lambesis must be at his best. His vocals are very powerful and aggressive on this album. In other words, he seems to be utterly pissed on every track. The vocal rhythmic patterns always seem to fit into rythm of the songs. Some choruses contains catchy clean vocals but they are overdubbed by growls.

The guitar work on this album is truly interesting. It seems to contain technical aspects that are rarely found in the metalcore scene. The lead guitars are very melodic and catchy at some points. Needless to say, the solos are goddamn average and lack of presence. That’s a pretty sad fact because the rest of the guitar work was written with effort. The rhythm guitars are chuggy, but in a limited way. It’s just a filler. Rhythm guitars often harmonize during these chugging parts.

The drums are insanely pounding and aggressive. At some points, the drums are highly energetic, giving a drive to the track. They aren’t taking up too much space in the songs, their presence seems to be perfect. The bass drum usually follows the guitar chugging, emphasizing the chugging and exposing the harmonization and leads.

If you’re a fan of metalcore this album is for sure a work of art. I believe it is a unique kind of effort that is rarely found in the metalcore scene.

Restraint is dead. - 80%

Diamhea, November 13th, 2007

Not bad at all. For some reason As I Lay Dying really lost something after Shadows are Security and failed to replicate the scintillating fusion of unrestrained melody and choppy rhythm passages present here. This album basically takes all of what made Frail Words Collapse enjoyable and seriously beefs up the production values, all the while streamlining the overarching approach and going straight for the jugular as opposed to inveigling the listener with experimental departures like "Forever." While that does signal some concern due to the memorability of some of the atypical elements present on Frail Words Collapse, it doesn't necessarily matter much in the end here.

Lambesis' barking aside, the emphasis is almost universally on the surge of the melodic lead. This is where the higher production values are felt most, as the leadwork features a razor-sharp, slicing aural edge that cuts to the forefront of the mix with ease. While the rhythm is more subdued and lacks punch in comparison, the band has the wherewithal to crank it up during the few fleeting core intervals or breakdowns that sporadically surface. "Confined" features a real neck-jerker of a breakdown near the end that proves on it's own that this style has potential. "Through Struggle" is a bit more refined in it's approach, but follows a similar path. For some reasons many of the breakdowns are accompanied by an accentuated bass drop, which has always struck me as interesting. Seems like this is one of the cases where the band that did it first did it best. Shame it spawned such a menagerie of inferior coattail-riders...

Anyway, the vocals are more of a mixed bag. Lambesis is pretty tolerable on the whole, but recycles the same vocal patterns over and over again. It grows rather tiring by the midway point of the album, even while I found myself constantly coming back for Shadows are Security's melodic element. The guest vocalists who contribute on the chorus of "The Darkest Nights" make it a highlight on it's own, and more clean vocals would have gone a long way to establishing this record as a modern classic rather than an isolated snapshot of the best a sub-genre has to offer. I also really dig the atmosphere during a lot of these songs. I know, atmosphere on a metalcore album? It happens, especially later in the procession on tracks like "Morning Waits" and "Repeating Yesterday," both of which summon a gloomy slant that finally equals the anguish of Lambesis' lyrics.

All of this considered, "Meaning in Tragedy" is the song you should track down if you want to see if Shadows are Security is your cup of tea. It contains all of the great elements: the biting leads, the crunchy breakdowns, a great melancholic passage (around 1:40), and manages to fit it all in just above three minutes. This is a very accessible album, and proves that there was great potential in As I Lay Dying's formula. I can't believe that a chance encounter of me finding this CD lodged behind a couch at a college house party kicked off my association with the band. The first two records are good stuff, but they definitely lost something afterward. As I Lay Dying's (and metalcore's) best.

(Revised/Updated 6/2/14)

Better than before, but still too generic... - 70%

NonEsDignus, March 25th, 2007

First off, I’m not really a fan of As I Lay Dying’s previous two albums. However, this album is a slightly a step forward from those earlier efforts, but retains the As I Lay Dying sound.

There are several small details that bring this album up a lot in my mind though. First off, the drumming is higher in the mix than usual, which is very good for this band because that is one of their stand-out features. There are more parts where the double-kick drum goes fast and long which is great sounding. Specifically the drumming in the track ‘Control Is Dead’ is superb, and makes the song sound more Melodeath than Metalcore at some parts, which I like.

Another improvement for AILD are the vocals on this album. Of all the features of Metalcore that I dislike, it’s probably the vocals that get me the most. Usually it’s this monotone yelling thing that is neither high nor deep, just kind of…. there. While AILD does this on most of their songs, this album switches it up a little bit. I mean it isn’t completely different, and they do their generic style most of the time, but there are parts where he goes a little higher than usual and it adds a nice accent.

However, this album still has the same shortcomings that AILD has always presented. The guitar lines are pretty generic and interchangeable. And while the vocals are better, they still aren’t great. Also, what is with that last track that starts with a few minutes of fuzz? It’s a real annoyance, especially since the actual song is pretty good after the fuzz.

So, over all, if you liked As I Lay Dying’s earlier output you will like this album. However, I also recommend this album to fans of Melodic Death too, because it has it’s parts where it could honestly pass as Melodeath. If you’re looking for powerful vocals or soaring guitars, this isn’t the place to look though.

Some “stand-out” tracks from this album are: ‘Confined’, ‘Reflection’, and ‘Control Is Dead’.

Sounds like a dishwasher... - 57%

burningsynthetic, February 28th, 2007

I was a little attaches to their earlier release, Frail Words Collapse, so I thought I would give their newer release a try. Upon first listen I really, really hated it. The biggest problem for me is the sound, it tries too hard to produce it differently and have the infamous "wall of guitars" sound to it. They fail to pull it off, the sheer sonic fury can only be realized as the bands best effort to drown out all other sound. The guitars are what can be great about songs, the riffing and solos and with metalcore the occasional breakdown. However with the production you never can truly pick out notes or who is playing what once the songs get going. This gets to be frustrating for me, as I often enjoy throwing on a CD and playing along with it on my own guitar. The drums as well just sort of blend in to the rest and are often too quiet and lack any sort of punch or musical dynamic to them.

Such a pity, too. I had hoped for this release but it turned out to be the most expensive drink coaster I'd ever buy. I will admit that after selling the CD off to a friend and later getting it back about 5 months later I gave it another chance. All things aside the sound of the disk is still a major problem but now I feel as if the best quality of the album is the vocal work, it is the only thing that really sticks out. It has energy to it and really seems to be top notch compared to other metal core releases.

Stand out tracks are few but still worth a bit on their own; "Through Struggle", "Confined" and "Reflection". In very small segments this album can be worth it, however it's not the sort of of disk you'll find yourself going back to time and time again, the tracks are just too insipid and not very memorable.

Bottom line, if you are just getting into the band, get this release last and pick up any one of their other efforts.