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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