AS I LAY DYING – An Ocean Between Us

AS I LAY DYING - An Ocean Between Us
  • 8/10
    AS I LAY DYING - An Ocean Between Us - 8/10


Metal Blade
Release date: August 21, 2007

User Review
0/10 (0 votes)

For a Christian Metalcore band, As I Lay Dying has broken down some major barriers, thanks in part to their new release An Ocean Between Us. Yes, there are still plenty of Thrash elements. Yes, singer Tim Lambesis still barks his lyrics, but most importantly, the guitar and bass lines are melodic. It seems that even Hardcore bands realize that just the right sprinkle of commercial appeal can equal major success.

It’s unfortunate that most Metalcore bands insist on inaudible lyrics. The sheer mastery of songwriting is lost once Lambesis opens his mouth. Still, the backing vocals are pretty good, especially on the album’s title track “An Ocean Between Us.” Thankfully, the religious themes are not overpowering. Simple references to things like “salvation” are not so hard to swallow.

Throughout An Ocean Between Us, the band uses canned production sounds. This actually adds a layer of complexity to the disc, and doesn’t take away from the intense speeds of the guitar.

As with most Metalcore acts, As I Lay Dying perform their craft at a lightning fast pace. Five tracks in is “Forsaken,” which features a great musical interlude and some progressive programming. Surprisingly, Lambesis is almost audible here, and again the backing vocals are superb. “Comfort Betrays” features some of the fastest guitar shredding ever recorded – truly amazing. Perhaps most shocking is “I Never Wanted.” Metalcore bands don’t have power ballads, but this one comes darn close. Lambesis tones it down a little to a yelp instead of a bark, but new bassist Josh Gilbert blows him away in the vocal department. Yes, Gilbert’s voice is pure and shows a sense of depth that does not seem out of place on a Metal Blade Records release. It is good that As I Lay Dying realize it’s alright to be both heavy and emotional. No harm, no foul.

“Bury Us All” is relentless, with syncopated rhythms and more of those lightning fast riffs. The same is true of “Sound of Truth.” A lengthy guitar solo featuring some classic finger tapping starts off “Departed,” which soon segues into “Wrath Upon Ourselves.” The eerie echo at the end of “Departed” is completely shattered with the brutal screams of Lambesis. In fact, it seems his vocal chords are nearly shattered by the end of the track. Again, guitar solos in the song are great, just on the short side. Josh Gilbert also provides clean vocals for “Departed.”

An Ocean Between Us closes with “This Is Who We Are.” More clean vocals from Gilbert fight with the screams from Lambesis. At some points, the song sounds very military, perhaps due to the overly syncopated rhythms and the message of the track. Still, it seems a fitting way to end a ferocious release and the feedback meshing with a piano is a nice, ironic touch.


  • Allyson B. Crawford

    Allyson was a reviewer here at Metal Express Radio, based out of Kettering, Ohio, USA. She works as a journalist at a local television station, and has a Graduate Degree in Rhetoric and an Undergraduate Degree in English with an emphasis on British Literature. She also owns and operates, a website dedicated to the Glam Metal movement. Her first Glam tape was Poison’s Open Up and Say … Ahh! She got the cassette for Christmas when she was in fourth grade. Her passion lies somewhere between the bars and notes that created the soundtrack to the never ending Rock 'n' Roll party that was the '80s. She considers Aerosmith's Rocks and Mötley Crüe's Shout At The Devil her all-time favorite albums.

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