As I Lay Dying
Shadows Are Security

Poor old Metal Blade, they can’t catch break. Hoping to bottle the magic of their prior albums, they signed Unearth, The Red Chord and As I Lay Dying, in hopes of riding the hype their debut albums garnered in the metalcore scene. Alas though both, The Oncoming Storm and Clients were over hyped and under achieving, and now As I Lay Dying can be added to that list.

Shadows are Security is utterly under whelming; a disappointing, safe album of well-produced and formulaic metallic metalcore. It lacks the emotion and melodic rigor of Frail Words Collapse (itself an over rated album), and contains 12 virtually forgetful, interchangeable, characterless songs. Granted the over processed drums from Frail Words Collapse has been replaced by a slightly more realistic sound and overall the production is superb, with a solid Bay Areas crunch, but the songs just don’t do anything for me at all.
From opener “Meaning in Tragedy” through “Confined”, “Empty Hearts” and discordant closer “Illusions”, very few moments of this album were worth repeating. Only “Repeating Yesterday” and “Mourning Waits” captured the somber energetics of their last effort (ie; “Behind me Lies Another Fallen Soldier”) as now AILD seem content to rumble and roar in a more brazen, straight up thrash approach. Some may welcome this more direct less ‘emotive’ take on metal as they seem to fall more in the All That Remains, Shadows Fall, God Forbid and Lamb of God, more ‘American metal’ mainstream metal umbrella.
For the new or casual metalcore fan whose might be experiencing AILD for the first time, you might enjoy “Through Struggle” with its typically predictable clean chorus and stout breakdowns or even the sturdy, energetic gallop of “The Truth of My Perception”, but for the more discerning metalcore fan, they just don’t provide enough melodic depth or stern grooves, they just flirt with each without convincingly committing to either.
Now, as a stand alone album and if you hadn’t heard Frail Words Collapse or albums by The Taste of Blood, Darkest Hour, Still Remains and Fear My Thoughts, you might be impressed with Shadows are Security, but if you’ve been exposed to better, more varied song writing and far less predictability, this album just comes across as a band going through the motions. I listened and listened, waiting for some sort of light to come on, but it never happened and each subsequent listen furthered my relative apathy for the album.
Considering the hype, Shadows are Security isn’t even close to being the best metalcore album of 2005, heck its not even the best Christian metalcore record of this year as Still Remains, Symphony In Peril, Foreknown, and even label mates Winter Solstice fared better than this. If you want a truly impressive Christian metalcore album go seek out last years superb A Chorus of Obliteration by The Showdown.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Erik T
June 19th, 2005

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