Review: As I Lay Dying – An Ocean Between Us (2007)


 As I Lay Dying is one of those bands that you either love…..or love to hate. For some strange reason they are often spoken in the same breath as Atreyu and Bullet For My Valentine; love them or hate them, people dislike this band for the wrong reasons. Most people associate As I Lay Dying with mainstream pop sensibilities that the previously mentioned bands, as well as Killswitch Engage, have used to their advantage to gain major record label attention. In reality, As I Lay Dying are merely a California metalcore band taking advantage of what they can while it lasts. Is there anything wrong with that? Let me answer that question for you, after listening to their latest release, An Ocean Between Us the answer is a resounding no.

Featuring a barrage of standard hardcore vocals, the album is not a major change from the formula that we have seen from the band previously, however, the chops and aggression have grown exponentially. Sometimes in the course of a band’s history, especially in the metal community, bands being exposed to a mainstream sound are often overcome with the urge to conform. As I Lay Dying has shown that special ability tht only a few bands possess–being able to combine popular likeability (i.e. your kid sister will like some of the melodious hooks), while you can switch to the next track and be blown away by an old school thrash riff punching you square in the jaw. I will admit that before An Ocean Between Us I only had a passing interest in this band because they sounded too generic to me. Well, the truth is, I just never gave the band the proper time of day to appreciate their efforts. Well, I can safely say now, that I will pay attention to all forthcoming releases after this one.

While the first two songs make up a pretty standard issue melodic enfused distraction from dangerous headbanging, the next track, “Within Destruction” will surely reduce your shoulder blades to a case of the wiggly jello jigglies. Upon first hearing this track, I was surprised to hear how closely it resembled oldschool thrash! Yes, it was still metalcore, but the metallic thrash side of things really showed through causing me to realize that not only was As I Lay Dying not intent on hitting the mainstream with sicky sweet choruses, but they were also showing their hardcore fanbase that the metal wasn’t anywhere close to dying. How can you not respect that kind of attitude?

In conclusion (don’t you hate it when people end shit like that? It sounds so stupid!), our little new wave of metal in the U.S. is not going anywhere if bands like As I Lay Dying continue to pump out hard hitting riffs that don’t clone Euro melodic death metal time and time again. Melody is fine, but give the folks some thrash to dance to while you are at it. The boys from Cali have got the formula. Good on you fellas!


Memorable Songs: Within Destruction, Bury Us All, The Sound of Truth

Sounds like: Walls of Jericho, All That Remains, Destruction, Killswitch Engage

  1. Separation – 1:15
  2.  Nothing Left – 3:43
  3. An Ocean Between Us – 4:13
  4. Within Destruction – 3:54
  5. Forsaken – 5:18
  6. Comfort Betrays – 2:50
  7. I Never Wanted – 4:44
  8. Bury Us All – 2:23
  9. The Sound of Truth – 4:20
  10. Departed – 1:40
  11. Wrath Upon Ourselves – 4:01
  12. This Is Who We Are – 4:54

Tim Lambesis: Vocals 
Jordan Mancino: Drums
Josh Gilbert: Bass
Phil Sgrosso: Guitar
Nick Hipa: Guitar
Metal Blade Records



4 Responses to “Review: As I Lay Dying – An Ocean Between Us (2007)”

  1. 1 deadwing
    September 5, 2007 at 1:56 pm

    Interesting…I’ll have to give this band another go myself. I think the point here is that generic doesn’t necessarily mean talentless–just uninspired. But all it takes to change that view is one good release, and–unfortunately, for a new talent such as this band–all it takes is one bad release to bring them back down. We’ll see what they have to offer in the coming years, and if they can use their newfound success to pave the way with exciting sounds and solid song writing.

    The true disappointment comes when a band you’ve grown to love falls flat on their face–not once, but twice in a row. No names shall be mentioned…

    As for your conclusion, “In essence…” is always another good closer.

  2. 2 ICED
    December 7, 2007 at 1:41 am

    Why the HELL are two great bands KRUGER and ICED EARTH in WORST section? WTF they are two of the BEST albums of the year out of hundreds of well known bands. And there are 700,000 worse albums.

    WHATS WORSE is that there are some very average albums rated as some of the best of the year!! LOL I won’t be back here unless bands aren’t fukin PICKED ON. Btw listen to a better variety of metal – only ONE of my top 50 are even listed there – Dream Theater.

  3. December 7, 2007 at 3:30 pm

    Its not the band its the albums they released. Kruger’s album wasn’t bad, but it was also sub-par in comparison to a large portion of music I listened to this year. As for Iced Earth, I am a big fan, I have every album leading up to FA, but I thought that album sucked. Sorry. As for not having to more of a variety of metal? I challenge you to list your top 10 and make it more diverse. I have death metal, thrash metal, speed metal, progressive metal, black metal, melodic death metal, etc. BTW, our new site is http://www.allmetalresource.com

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WarGlory’s Top 10 of 2007 (so far)


1. Circus Maximus - Isolate

2. Abigor - Fractal Possession

3. 3 Inches of Blood - Fire Up the Blades

4. Municipal Waste - The Art of Partying

5. Dream Theater - Systematic Chaos

6. Threshold - Dead Reckoning

7. As I Lay Dying - An Ocean Between Us

8. Behemoth - The Apostasy

9. Megadeth - United Abominations

10. Agent Steel - Alienigma


1. Iced Earth - Framing Armageddon

2. Aria - Armageddon

3. Kruger - Redemption Through Loooseness

4. Machine Head - The Blackening







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