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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’.