Originally written by Jason Jordan.
Like Erik Thomas, I do consider myself to be a metalcore connoisseur. So, naturally, when the opportunity to review the latest from As I Lay Dying arose, I fought Erik to the death in order to claim the review rights. Even though Thomas’s blood is on my hands, I have no regrets simply because Shadows Are Security not only elevates the band’s stature in the metal community, but also proves why they’re at the forefront of the subgenre.
Taking hints from In Flames, Unearth, among others, As I Lay Dying are out in full force on this particular excursion. The messiness of Frail Words Collapse has been cleaned up significantly; no longer does the double-bass sound so unrealistic, and all other instrumentation has been slightly polished in an attempt to streamline the overall sound. Where Shadows Are Security differs, mainly, from Frail Words Collapse is in the standout track department. As a whole, the former is a much stronger and more cohesive outing than its predecessor. But, at the same time, the group’s failed to provide its targeted audience with any end-all-be-all numbers. In other words, there really aren’t any “94 Hours” or “Forever” on here, though all the improvements do indeed hike As I Lay Dying’s credibility upwards. Compositions such as the opener “Meaning in Tragedy,” the groove-heavy “Through Struggle,” or the melody-laden “Morning Waits” are all fine examples of the guys’ latest offering. Tim Lambesis’s vox aren’t radically different from anything else we’ve heard before, though he does enter high ranges at certain points and generally peppers the album with loads of aggression. Also, what’s more, the clean vocals play a more pivotal role on this go-around.
Like I said earlier, the amount of standout tracks on Shadows Are Security are kept to a minimum. However, these guys have improved over the past couple of years and have subsequently birthed a worthwhile, metalcore release. Furthermore, it seems as if their position on top of the metalcore heap is deserved. Fans of the subgenre should seek this one out, but I suspect that task will be far from arduous.