As I Lay Dying - An Ocean Between Us
Record Label: Metal Blade Records
Release Date: August 21, 2007
Today, there are so many bands that try to copy other successful bands, like Underoath. Back in 2001, As I Lay Dying was criticized on their debut album that they sounded identical to an older Zao. (get the UO reference now, commenters?) However, the two albums Frail Words Collapse and Shadows Are Security were when the band found their own voice. But now, their fourth album, An Ocean Between Us, shows us what we all love from this band, which is another stellar album from this San Diego, CA, five-piece metalcore band.
For starters, there's an intro, titled "Separation". It opens sort of quietly. Then a soothing guitar plays, and it builds up to an otherwise nice little intro to the craziness that you'll experience in the rest of the album. "Nothing Left" picks up from the intro, and expands its guitar even further. Then comes crazy double bass drumming, a nice rhythm guitar, and a breakdown. The song is truly magnificent. In fact, it was nominated for a Grammy but lost to Slayer. However, things do not get worse, either. They get a lot better. "An Ocean Between Us", the title song, is another wild, excruciatingly exciting song to scream (and to sing) to, with Josh Gilbert singing the chorus lines of "Is this your salvation? / Is this all you can give? / I will not stand in reflection / Of someone else’s dream." Now Tim Lambesis, front man, knows how to write lyrics.
"Forsaken" is unique, with extremely pleasant guitar playing, then comes Lambesis and his vocals. It's fast, exhilirating, and clever, with Mancino on drums, keeping up with the guitar at all times. "The Sound of Truth" is another great song, with nice guitars and more double-bass drumming. Choosing this and "Nothing Left" as singles were a great idea, not to mention the music videos for these songs tell a great story that only you can witness. The last track, "This Is Who We Are" is the best track, with a beginning sort of like "Forsaken", has amazing guitar, and closes out the album with the piano in the last minute, and it's one of the best closers I have ever listened to. However, if there's one track I don't like on the album, it's "I Never Wanted". It's not a bad track, but for some reason, I can't get into the song. It's like a barrier in my mind just doesn't let me get through to listen to it. Trust me, almost every album gives you this "barrier" that I'm referring to.
There's something about this band that I just absolutely love. I think it's the fact that the bassist does his own individual breakdowns, which are great, and sure, AILD do breakdowns, but they sound different from post-hardcore ones. This CD/album booms with ear-splitting guitar, nice, frantic double-bass drums, and Lambesis screaming with Gilbert singing passionately (that's right, passionately) through their mics. These guys are original in most aspects as well, and they're not just an average band. They're an awesome band, and a band that can write and play music very well. An Ocean Between Us is definitely a must-have to fans of this genre, and if you don't like this album, but previous installments, then I'll have to give you some Brokencyde to get through to you (trust me, you don't want that). With all jokes aside, As I Lay Dying provides another exceptional album that makes me anxious for their new one to come out. Go get this, and add it along with your collection of great music.