Building upon the foundation that AILD has laid over the past several years, growing from a small San Diego outfit slowly and deliberately into a priority national act, the band has become Metal Blade Records' biggest sellers with an extremely devoted following. AS I LAY DYING has the goods to take it all the way and stake their claim as the metal band you need to know about in 2007 and beyond.
It didn't take long for the once exciting sounds of metalcore to devolve into metalsnore but, thankfully, a few bands have lead the charge toward keeping the (sub)genre's lifeblood flowing with enthusiasm and even ingenuity. Among them? As I Lay Dying. The San Diego-based outfit returns with the kind of killer guitar hooks (courtesy of Phil Sgrosso and Nick Hipa), dynamic vocals, and a drum and bass attack that creates an aftershock bound to be felt for the remainder of the decade and long into the next. The radio-friendly title cut stands as an exemplar of the unit's true strengths, while "Comfort Betrays" and "Within Destruction" are pure metal mayhem that will inspire the listener to wield a healthy sense of righteous indignation. Among the other fascinating cuts are "Forsaken," "I Never Wanted," and the soaring "The Sound of Truth." The band may try a little too hard during moments of "Wrath Upon Ourselves" and "This is Who We Are," but on the whole, An Ocean Between Us
proves that As I Lay Dying is an unstoppable force worthy of sustained attention and capable of transforming and transcending the musical parameters in which it was born. --Jedd Beaudoin