"some music was meant to stay underground..."

70000 Tons of Metal - The World's Biggest Heavy Metal Cruise

As I Lay Dying - "Shadows Are Security" (CD)

As I Lay Dying - "Shadows Are Security" CD cover image

Reviewed by on September 27, 2005

"a brutal mix of speed on drums, screaming vocals, and guitarists that play so well together, you'd think they've been doing it for decades"

Shadows Are Security contains a brutal mix of speed on drums, screaming vocals, and guitarists that play so well together, you'd think they've been doing it for decades. To much surprise As I Lay Dying is only 5 years old and with Shadows Are Security they see their third major label release.

Shadows Are Security opens hard with Meaning In Tragedy a track that defines the search and struggle for identity. The track contains more "screamy" like vocals from lead singer Tim Lambesis. It plays hard and fast with drummer Jordan Mancino keeping the pedals busy all track, as he does most of the album. The next track was the bands first single from the album, "Confined". This is the first track on the album we get to hear part of the "emo" influences in the band with backup vocalist Clint Norris. Confined takes center stage of the album quickly. It keeps the up-tempo rhythm the band is so well known for going, and adds a good variation of vocals, especially in the chorus of the song. Darkest Nights is the next track that uses a very melodic blend of singing and screaming, without taking any attention away from the powerful riffs and unison the rest of the band carries through.

The rest of the album plays the same, it never loses its speed throughout the album. The band gels together very well, which is hard considering some of the riffs on this album. Keeping everything in-sync is difficult for a band with two guitar players that switch back and forth from playing the same riffs, to playing different ones mid-song, and back to the chorus riff is something this band has definatly mastered on Shadows Are Security. The album is themed based on the premise of putting trust in others, only to find the best people to trust is ourselves. The entire album sticks to the theme, but the album at times tends to play together as if a track or two is the same exact song. It, however, doesnt mean this album isnt easy on the ears of a real speed metal fan. The band keeps it simple, much like Shadows Fall or Killswitch Engage, with the unison and hard work bleeding through on this album.

Illusions is a great way to end the album, although they waste two minutes before really beginning the track, once it starts playing a slowly picking up speed and then Tims vocals kick in. The song changes speeds frequently mixing different tones in each subset. It keeps you listening all the way to the end.

Highs: The speed that picks you up on track one, and doesnt let you down until the album is ready too.

Lows: The few times the tracks tend to bleed together.

Bottom line: Fans of the genre will love this cd, front to back.

Rated 4 out of 5 skulls
4 out of 5 skulls

Rating Description
Rated 5 out of 5 skulls Perfection. (No discernable flaws; one of the reviewer's all-time favorites)
Rated 4.5 out of 5 skulls Near Perfection. (An instant classic with some minor imperfections)
Rated 4 out of 5 skulls Excellent. (An excellent effort worth picking up)
Rated 3.5 out of 5 skulls Good. (A good effort, worth checking out or picking up)
Rated 3 out of 5 skulls Decent. (A decent effort worth checking out if the style fits your tastes)
Rated 2.5 out of 5 skulls Average. (Nothing special; worth checking out if the style fits your taste)
Rated 2 out of 5 skulls Fair. (There is better metal out there)
< 2 skulls Pretty Bad. (Don't bother)