Archive for the ‘as i lay dying’ Category

As I Lay Dying – An Ocean Between Us (2007)

October 12, 2007

Christian speed-metal/scream-a-lot-about-death band As I Lay Dying returns to the scene with their fourth studio album, An Ocean Between Us. Picking up bass player/vocalist Josh Gilbert adds some much-appreciated melody to the bass-drum-and-heavy-metal-guitar-barrage, and hints at P.O.D. circa 2003. Though the intensity of the music no doubt takes talent, As I Lay Dying doesn’t appear to have any aspirations to bring anything new or spectacular to the table–this album could be five years old and no one would know it.

Though seemingly afraid to mention God by name (we wouldn’t want to be too obvious, would we?), An Ocean Between Us seems set-out to portray truth and hope in grim circumstances: “For there is still beauty inside this dying world” (“Wrath Upon Ourselves”). Therefore, the lyrics have some weight–too bad you have to read most of them instead of listen and be able to decipher. Needless to say, the instrumental “Departed” is a hauntingly charming break from the usual thrash-rock action. An Ocean Between Us–though never original enough to rise beyond the usual Christian metal sound–presents credible, ultimately positive Christian lyrics to those who may be in need of some hope in life.

As I Lay Dying seems content in resting in their gloomy, dark imagry (just glance at the album art, complete with the cliché skull and all), for words like “decay” and “ruin” pervade throughout the album. However, the final track, “This is Who We Are”, concludes with a hopeful piano line to symbolize the subtle joy that still can be found in this otherwise sad and sinful world in which we dwell.

– Jake Kauffman

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