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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.