Released: August 21, 2007
Reviewed by Andy Seabright
Christian metalheads As I Lay Dying have come a long way since their inception in 2001. With a meager handful of albums under their belt, they have shot to the top of the metalcore scene with such classics as Fail Words Collapse and Shadows Are Security. Now they present everyone with their latest effort An Ocean Between Us.
This isn’t just a standard As I Lay Dying album, far from it. This album is faster, harder, and to say the least, just plain crushes. With an unproblematic yet perturbing intro, the album quickly kicks in with “Nothing Left”, the album’s first single. And as the album progresses, you notice subtle changes, like with the departure of bassist and backing clean vocalist Clint Norris, we are introduced to the newest member of the group, Josh Gilbert. Gilbert’s vocals are different but add an exceptional tone to an already powerful sound.
Some songs on An Ocean Between Us reflect a more thrash-oriented approach while maintaining that lovable manner As I Lay Dying has. For example, the song “Within Destruction” captures a total Slayer influence, while on the opposite end of the spectrum the song “Wrath Upon Ourselves” opens with an ugly, noisecore style that fellow Christian metal pals Norma Jean have embossed to their technique.
Although the album is fast and ferocious, it does capture a melodic style as heard on “Forsaken” and the tune “Comfort Betrays” demonstrates some impressive soloing. The album pulsates with the resonance that many metal records should have. As I Lay Dying shows everyone with An Ocean Between Us that they aren’t just a flash in the pan and that they’ll be around for quite some time.