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An Ocean Between Us

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Album Review

As I Lay Dying offer album number four with new bassist Josh Gilbert, who replaces Clint Norris (who left to get married and settle down). An Ocean Between Us offers several new aspects in the band's sound: the churning hardcore is still very much at the center of the band's sound, as are the twin lead guitars of Nick Hipa and Phil Sgrosso. Tim Lambesis is still the growling, razorbladed behemoth he always was, but Gilbert now offers melodic vocals on some choruses, effectively widening the band's reach even if it takes fans a while to get used to it. "Forsaken" will probably be the greatest shock, with its purely melodic, even majestic classic metal intro. The fury comes, to be sure, but not until a full minute in, and the opening riffs sound like outtakes from Metallica's Ride the Lightning LP — by the time of the chorus, with Gilbert singing melodically, the listener will wonder whose record is on the spinner. There are far more trademark moments on the set as well, such as the title cut, which begins at 95-mph and ramps up to 120 and is pure pummeling power. "Wrath Upon Ourselves" will delight the faithful as well with its knotty stomp-and-start fury — though the choruses, with the same kinds of melodic vocals, may disturb some. Change is inevitable in music as well as in everything else. The elements that made As I Lay Dying such a successful thrashing metallic unit are still in place; they are the marrow in the band's sound. These new developments reveal one thing: As I Lay Dying's members understand that progress is necessary for satisfaction and survival. The writing for this recording is an entire notch up — more sophisticated yet utterly unpretentious — and this new textural element in their sound feels natural and welcome.

Biography

Formed: 2001 in San Diego, CA

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '00s, '10s

As I Lay Dying are a metal-hardcore crossover band from San Diego, California. The group formed as a trio in 2001 with vocalist Tim Lambesis, drummer Jordan Mancino, and guitarist Evan White, and shortly thereafter released Beneath the Encasing of Ashes. A split CD with the American Tragedy followed the next year. In 2003 the band signed with Metal Blade and released Frail Words Collapse. After the album's release, White left the band and the remaining core of the group, Lambesis and Mancino, drafted...
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An Ocean Between Us, As I Lay Dying
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