As I Lay Dying - Shadows Are Security
American band As I Lay Dying dwell somewhere in between a swedish melodic death metal sound (In Flames, The Haunted, At The Gates) and a thrashy american style of metal that slightly touches the metalcore scene, but only slightly. The last thing may not be surprising as the band in fact started as a metalcore band, but over a period of two albums (Beneath The Encasing Of Ashes, 2001 and Frail Words Collapse, 2003) they have been adapting to a more metal approach.
The first week this album was released in the USA it sold approximatly 33,000 copies and made it in the Billboard list. The scene for this kind of music is apperantly big over there and is increasing slowly but sure. I, however, do not really feel so strongly about this type of standard, melodic, cross over metal. Sure, there are a lot of double bass drums, nice riffs and passages, a nice production to fit the aggressive approach they want to project, some nice leads and solos. So far, so good - but where are the songs? It gets very monotonous as the songs are built pretty much the same way and the vocals are grinding on and on in the same tone and expression and only increase the monotonous feeling. Clean vocals are also used here and there during refrains and other bits, but it does not really help as they are quite average.
Musically it's quite ok, but as a whole this does not work itself over the average bar. A bit more elements implemented in the music and some work on creating distinctive moods in the music that breaks off - then it will be way more interesting. This will, just as the sales figures tell, most likely appeal to the american market way more than the european. We simply like it more melodic and characteristic than this, and not least we like it to have a much more personal feeling.