STYLE: Hard Music RATING OUR PRODUCT CODE: 13645-3686 LABEL: Metal Blade 3984145222 FORMAT: CD Album ITEMS: 1
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Reviewed by Greg Sammons
If As I Lay Dying were intending to gain commercial acceptance off the back of this album then boy have they achieved that. This album has gained critical acclaim in every rock magazine you can think of and you can't say they don't deserve it. It's blindingly obvious from the level of musical arrangement, capability and production that this is one of the best releases of the year. For long-time fans of the band, however, there may be a slight sense of disappointment. By pandering to the more commercial end of metal they have lost a little of their rawness and innate power. Compositions such as the opener "Meaning In Tragedy", the groove-heavy "Through Struggle" or the melody-laden "Morning Waits" are all fine examples of what I'm on about. As a complete album, this really is light-years ahead of their previous releases (so much tighter and better structured) but on a song by song basis, even the above songs fail to produce a bone fide standout track. Tim Lambesis' vocals are up to their usual quality but now with a higher range, which somehow doesn't negate from its usual aggression. Also, the clean vocals play a more pivotal role this time. 2005 is the year that As I Lay Dying could no longer be ignored by the mainstream hard music scene and this is the album that achieved that.