AS I LAY DYING – Shadows Are Security

AS I LAY DYING - Shadows Are Security


Metal Blade Records
Release date: June 14, 2005

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“A rolling stone gathers no moss;” a proverb that doesn’t apply in the American Metal scene. There are just too many bands playing almost exactly the same music. This situation can also be found in the European scene with the genre called Metalcore. This quintet that hails from San Diego tries to bring new blood in the American Metal industry by combining the “Göthenburg” sound with some elements from the Hardcore scene.

As I Lay Dying were born back in 2001 as a trio, and after a month, the group entered the studio to record their debut album Beneath the Encasing of Ashes. Without losing any time, the band went on the road, where they formed their music character. The release of a split CD with a band called American Tragedy gave As I Lay Dying the opportunity to sign a deal with Metal Blade Records. The release of their debut album during Metal Blade era, Frail Words Collapse, was followed by intense touring that steadily built the band’s reputation.

Strengthened by the road, and with their lineup both solidified and contributing equally to the songwriting process, the band returned with a new spawn called Shadows Are Security. The album has a definite Melodic Death Metal direction in a Swedish way, bringing to mind bands like At the Gates, In Flames, Soilwork, and The Haunted. The music arrangements have a compact rhythm section with melodic riffs and intense drumming. The Hardcore elements have to do with the straightforward approach of the songs and the snarling vocals. The tactful presence of clean vocals can be considered as the one and only NuMetal influence, due to the band’s American ancestry.

The album opens with “Meaning in Tragedy,” clearly showing the origin of their influences from the Swedish Death Metal scene, especially in Dark Tranquility’s way. “Confined” is next, with a headbanging rhythm section and some clean vocals that add sound diversity. “Losing Sight” is rather monotonous, since it comprises one main riff, the classic growling vocals, and very good drum work. The combination of clean and aggressive vocals in “The Darkest Nights” have something from Crematory’s style, especially in the Act Seven era. “Empty Hearts” is an At the Gates-ish song with distinct riffing, Slayer–ish drums, featuring one of the few, yet quite good, guitar solos. “Reflection” is a song with an In Flames orientation, featuring the dueling guitars wrapped in a flawless sound production. The tempo slows down in “Repeating Yesterday,” a very atmospheric and melancholic song that could be the best on the album if only there was a guitar solo. “Through the Struggle” and “The Truth of My Perceptions” should be found in future live playlists because they will provoke relentless headbanging and crow-surfing in the front rows. The band’s potential for riff-making is shown in full force within “Control is Dead” and “Morning Waits” — two songs that underline the determinative role of the sound production. Last in line is “Illusion,” which has a rather annoying intro with static sound, a song that justifies the Hardcore origins of the band, with a steady rhythm and a lot of attitude behind the microphone.

Surely this release will help As I Lay Dying in terms of publicity and will flutter the dovecotes in the American Metal scene. On the other hand, the band needs to find a more distinct sound because the feeling you may of “I’ve heard that before” is all over the album.

Just hope that your town is in As I Lay Dying’s tour schedule!


  • Dr. Dimitris Kontogeorgakos

    Dimitris was a reviewer and interviewer here at Metal Express Radio. He has a diploma in Physics, a Masters in Medical Physics and a doctorate dimploma in Nuclear Medicine (this is the reason for his Dr. title). He was given his first Heavy Metal tape at the age of 12 which was a compilation entitled Scandinavian Metal Attack. The music immediately drew his attention and there he was listening to the first Iron Maiden album, trying to memorize the names of the band members. That was it! After some years, he stopped recording tapes and started buying vinyl records, spending every penny in the local record shop. The first live concert he attended was Rage co-headlining with Running Wild.

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