As I Lay Dying Shadows Are Security

Two years, three major line-up changes and thousands of record sales after the release of sophomore effort Frail Words Collapse, As I Lay Dying’s much anticipated follow-up sees the group taking no chances whatsoever. The undeniably generic formula of Frail Words has been graced with a new sense of focus — as opposed to containing a number of standout tracks scattered amongst filler material, Shadows Are Security remains consistent throughout. The standard Unearth and Darkest Hour worship is occasionally buffered by new bassist’s controversial attempts at clean vocals, which, regardless of the individual listener’s feelings towards emo backups on a metal record, are an immense improvement upon the out-of-key, infuriating whine on the previous disc. The overall mix has been tweaked a bit as well, with the kick drums sounding that much less like a typewriter, and bass cannons dropping left, right and centre with atomic force. On the whole, As I Lay Dying’s failure to provide much experimentation or variation upon the melodic metalcore formula will prevent them from expanding their fan base to the extent that they potentially could, but who really cares? It’s catchy, solid, well produced American metal with little staying power, but it’ll sure as hell provide you with a summer’s worth of appropriately groovy, hook-driven listening pleasure. (Metal Blade)