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As I Lay Dying - An Ocean Between Us (Cover Artwork)

As I Lay Dying

As I Lay Dying: An Ocean Between UsAn Ocean Between Us (2007)
Metal Blade Records

Reviewer Rating: 2
User Rating:


Contributed by: crazytoledocrazytoledo
(others by this writer | submit your own)

As I Lay Dying's previous album, Shadows Are Security was a solid metalcore album that received more flack than it deserved. While the lack of originality was apparent, it was still better then a majority of the albums on the market. The songs on the album managed to be heavy while still occasionall.
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As I Lay Dying's previous album, Shadows Are Security was a solid metalcore album that received more flack than it deserved. While the lack of originality was apparent, it was still better then a majority of the albums on the market. The songs on the album managed to be heavy while still occasionally catchy and some of the musicianship was notable. So after continually rising up the metalcore charts, As I Lay Dying wrote An Ocean Between Us, which has easily gained an immense amount of hype.

And unfortunately for As I Lay Dying, they just don't deliver. An Ocean Between Us isn't atrocious, it just goes nowhere and does nothing whatsoever. On the band's third full-length for Metal Blade, the band is still playing songs nearly identical to their previous albums, albeit with a slight influence in thrash now apparent on a few of the songs. I guess the biggest flaw found here is that the album feels like the B-sides of their two last albums. Just about every song here seems to lack what made older As I Lay Dying enjoyable. The singing parts feel tacked on and aren't even remotely catchy, the musicianship is nothing we haven't heard before, and the song writing is simply uninteresting and tedious.

"An Ocean Between Us" is a perfect example of the album, as they find themselves trying to write an all-out heavy song before including an unnecessary chorus with clean vocals that are entirely out of place. Mix that with the bland breakdowns and riffs that you've probably heard on a handful of metal albums released in just the last few months and it becomes apparent why As I Lay Dying seem to be losing their luster. Occasionally, the band tries to switch things up, like with the mainly melodic "I Never Wanted" and the instrumental "Departed," but it still doesn't save the album from being a completely unoriginal piece of work, void of any creativity whatsoever.

As I Lay Dying never earned any rewards for their originality or creativity, but they managed to write enjoyable songs. However, maybe using the exact formula on their songs for so long has started to take its toll, because An Ocean Between Us feels too played out and lacking what made their previous albums so enjoyable. I guess you can label this as a disappointment.

 

 
People who liked this also liked:
Atreyu - Suicide Notes and Butterfly KissesThe Clash - London CallingAtreyu - A Death-Grip on YesterdayAtreyu - The CurseRise Against - The Sufferer & the WitnessBad Religion - SufferCoheed And Cambria - Good Apollo, I'm Burning Star IV, Vol. 1: From Fear Through The Eyes Of MadnessRefused - The Shape of Punk to ComeNOFX - Punk In DrublicSublime - Sublime

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Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. We are not respon sible for them in any way. Seriously.
Mezzy (February 4, 2008)

I completely disagree with this review...
I throughly enjoyed this album.
There are some absolutely solid riffs and awesome beats in the songs.

Anonymous (August 30, 2007)

The people who comment on punknews.org are as a whole a joke.

This includes you too, Witty.

davepwnt (August 30, 2007)

Also, is it wrong that I can't take a "Christian Hardcore" band seriously?

davepwnt (August 30, 2007)

Jacob Bannon is a great artist. So why the fuck does he keep making these guys lame ass skull album covers? Is he 13 and shop at Hot Topic? I didn't think so.

elephantdwarf (August 29, 2007)

fucking 12 year olds.

Anonymous (August 28, 2007)

are u serious. u dont like it that much because how the lyrics are tedious as u say. well doesnt a song have to get u at ur heart and say dam these songs are good. well if i was going scientific i would say there a good band without a bassist. i looked at the lyrics and it shows alot of emotion the whole album sounded awesome and i just started listening to them in may. i heard 2 other songs that are very good but this album is the shit

Anonymous (August 28, 2007)

The people who comment on punknews.org are as a whole a joke.

elephantdwarf (August 27, 2007)

i think King Missile said it best:

"Jesus was way cool.
Everybody liked Jesus.
Everybody wanted to hang out with him.
Anything he wanted to do, he did.
He turned water into wine,
And if he had wanted to,
He could have turned wheat into marijuana,
Sugar into cocaine,
Or vitamin pills into amphetamines.
He walked on the water and swam on the land.
He would tell these stories and people would listen.
He was really cool.
If you were blind, or lame,
You just went up to Jesus*
And he would put his hands on you and you would be healed.
That's so cool.
He could have played guitar better than Hendrix.
He could have told the future.
He could have baked the most delicious cake in the world.
He could have scored more goals than Wayne Gretsky.
He could have danced better than Barishnikof.
Jesus could have been funnier than any comedian you can think of.

Jesus told people to eat his body and drink his blood.
That's so cool. Jesus was so cool.
But then some people got jealous of how cool he was,
So they killed him.
But then he rose from the dead!
He rose from the dead,
Danced around and went up to heaven.
I mean, that's so cool.
Jesus was so cool.
No wonder there are so many Christians."

punkgato (August 26, 2007)

Also if this sums up the general attitude:

"But at the end of the day, why cant most people realize this is music, not a religion thing."

one might suggest changing the name to hardrocknews.org or welikeallmusicregardlessofreligiousorientation.org or something along those lines!

punkgato (August 26, 2007)

I get that it's "just music", I just think there are so many other things that you folks could spend time reviewing...Government Warning, Signal Lost, Coliseum, Magrudergrind, I don't know...actual punk bands!

And I understand that you don't do reviews for promotional purposes, but these bands have ENTIRE magazines and websites devoted to promoting Christian music. I don't see much of a point in spending time on a record no one is going to enjoy and that EVERYONE knows is a watered down At The Gates clone.

damnitsderek (August 26, 2007)

Hate it for being generic metalcore, not cause these guys are christians.

Couldn't have said it better.

crazytoledo (August 26, 2007)

In all seriousness, come on people. I don't believe in any form of religion and am extremly against christinaity, but I didn't say anything about that in my review.

Why?

Because this is music. You may hate it or like it, you may find this bands views on religion to be completly off base, you may hate them for being christian, etc.

But at the end of the day, why cant most people realize this is music, not a religion thing.

Hate it for being generic metalcore, not cause these guys are christians.

Anonymous (August 26, 2007)

the artwork isn't really amazing considering Jake Bannon has done two almost identical covers like this. Skulls, skulls, skulls... goddamn, you can be so original sometimes, can't you, Jake?

Anonymous (August 26, 2007)

"Does Punknews have any charismatic leaders ready to take a stand against blind faith?"

It appears that the noble punkgato has already taken a stand.

on another note, as terrible as this album is, the artwork is amazing.

Anonymous (August 26, 2007)

"I'm plenty familiar with the bible, and other religious books...they all say the same thing as the former, kill everything that doesn't agree/believe with you! I'm sorry that you've been duped your entire life by brainwashing, but your sorry religion(s) have done NOTHING but cause death and suffering the world over!"

Translation: "Hi I'm a dumb ass!"

Anonymous (August 26, 2007)

If this band were atheists or anti-Christians they still would suck.

LeightonESmith (August 26, 2007)

No believers need to unite in a group with the power to influence and lobby like the fundamentalist christians and jews. There needs to be opposition to these people. The other side of the story (the non religious one) needs to be represented.

Does Punknews have any charismatic leaders ready to take a stand against blind faith?

Anonymous (August 25, 2007)

The fact that this is even being debated is beyond me

The reason the topic is being debated is beyond you, yet you are not beyond jumping in and giving your opinion...

punkgato (August 25, 2007)

The fact that this is even being debated is beyond me...why don't you all go and pat each others asses about christianity on the Tooth and Nail message board while you talk about the best bands at Cornerstone this year!

I'm plenty familiar with the bible, and other religious books...they all say the same thing as the former, kill everything that doesn't agree/believe with you! I'm sorry that you've been duped your entire life by brainwashing, but your sorry religion(s) have done NOTHING but cause death and suffering the world over!

Anonymous (August 25, 2007)

Totally agree, this band just doesn't give you anything new. Solid review.

Anonymous (August 25, 2007)

God's not real and only real people can be punx.

Anonymous (August 25, 2007)

So there's debate over whether God should be discussed in punk music. The question I ask is: is God a punx?

Anonymous (August 25, 2007)

I love it when people try to tell me what is going to make God give someone eternal damnation. Only God knows, to assume that we know how God works is laughable.

Anonymous (August 25, 2007)

God loves all his children but he's going to send some of his children to eternal hell for loving someone of the same gender?

Anonymous (August 25, 2007)

I will never understand how a person can call themselves a Christian or whatever and then only follow certain parts of the bible. The bible is supposedly suppose to tell you how to live your life, but only certain parts? Doesn't make sense. I hate organized religion.

Anonymous (August 25, 2007)

i find it thoroughly amusing how many people here are taking a hardline view intolerant of christianity, using the rationale that christians are intolerant. brilliant.

and while i do not believe in the bible, i do find it hilarious when you attempt to justify your hatred for the bible and simply show what an incredibly shallow and reactionary understanding you have of it. i'm going to go ahead and assume you're not more than 16.

Anonymous (August 25, 2007)

"Explain the Crusades, douchebag"

Hey jackass, the Crusades aren't in the Bible b/c the Bible was written way before then. I could explain you to right now, a greedy pope wanting riches and using religion as a rallying cry to push his own agenda. Wow, let's paint all Christians with a broad brush because I'm too close minded and super punk to believe anything other than what the main stream believes is bad!

I hate people who go on and on and say "Christians are so intolerant, I hate them! lolz!!!!11" If your comments were so fully laced with hypocrisy I would probably laugh.

Secondly, it's always easy to quote the Old Testament b/c a lot of what was being written happened BEFORE the invention of writing, a lot of it has mistranslated over time, and it was FRICKAN WRITTEN BY MAN AFTER THE STORIES WERE PASSED DOWN HUNDREDS OF YEARS!!! Who in turn put their spin on the stories based on their beliefs and culture.

Ignorant people suck.

moneenerd (August 25, 2007)

"The bible was written hundreds and hundreds of years ago, by people who are dumber than we are now. Think about that."
- David Cross

Anonymous (August 25, 2007)

"The bible doesn't condone violence towards nonbelievers, it preaches compassion and understanding. The christians who actually follow the teachings of the bible, and Jesus are good people, they're the real christians."

Explain the Crusades, douchebag

damnitsderek (August 25, 2007)

Most redundant thread of the week.

Anonymous (August 25, 2007)

You or I will never understand God, never comprehend him. Theirs nothing wrong with questioning one's own beliefs, I've done it many times, but the things that have happened to me in my life, assures me that their is a God, and he loves all his children.

Anonymous (August 25, 2007)

to the person below me, are you familiar with the old testament? your god is obviously a vengeful war god in the old testament...wait, but he's nice in the new testament? i was always told god never changes. load of bullshit, my friend.

"I will sweep away everything in all your land,"..."I will sweep away both people and animals alike. Even the birds of the air and the fish in the sea will die. I will reduce the wicked to heaps of rubble, along with the rest of humanity,"..."So now I will destroy them! And I will destroy those who used to worship me but now no longer do..." -Zephaniah 1:2-6

"Go up, my warriors, against the land of Merathaim and against the people of Pekod. Yes, march against Babylon, the land of rebels, a land that I will judge! Pursue, kill, and completely destroy them, as I have commanded you," "Let the battle cry be heard in the land, a shout of great destruction". -Jeremiah 50:21-22

...oh, yeah..definitely nothing about violence towards non-believers..riiigght....typical cherry picking christian...

Anonymous (August 25, 2007)

The bible doesn't condone violence towards nonbelievers, it preaches compassion and understanding. The christians who actually follow the teachings of the bible, and Jesus are good people, they're the real christians.

crazytoledo (August 25, 2007)

Kids in swooping haircuts and white belts by the dozens think this is the best thing to come out musically this year.

Hey know, not all of them think its the best thing to come out this year. Cause ya know, I dont think that.

hahahahahaha

Anonymous (August 25, 2007)

WHOA, let me guess.... this largely sounds like At the Gates, with some very emo sounding clean sung vocals thrown in here and there. Oh oh oh, let me take another guess...is there an instrumental acoustic track too? The same looking artwork??? Wow. this piece of shit is no different than anything else they did. Kids in swooping haircuts and white belts by the dozens think this is the best thing to come out musically this year.

Fucking stupid humans.

Anonymous (August 25, 2007)

I'll add my two cents, I suppose but let me first note that my friends and close friends are, for the large majority, Christians.

Even your most "peaceful", "liberal" Christian (you know, the ones who will tell you Christ has no problems with homosexuality) still follow the Bible which preaches otherwise. The Bible condones violence towards non-believers. Same shit, I'm sorry but you can't cherry pick what you like and don't like about your religion. The Bible and Christianity (along with many other religions) is discriminatory and preaches intolerance.

Follow what you want, just stop pulling this bullshit, ignoring what your faith really perpetuates.

elephantdwarf (August 25, 2007)

words cannot express how much fuck this band.

i said it cause whoever normally says it, didn't say it yet.

Anonymous (August 24, 2007)

   
  
    
 
   

Anonymous (August 24, 2007)

I've always thought the line, "You tell them that there ain't no god and there all standing alone," is sort of a rally call. I always scream that part out as in a "Fuck Religion" sense

Anonymous (August 24, 2007)

how are the bad brains not punk rock? and there you have it, social d do talk about religion, which seems to go against this hard-line, "no religiion in punk" attitude that some of you kids have.

and i would not take "some people go to church on sundays" as an anti-organized religion line within the context of that song.

Anonymous (August 24, 2007)

The Bad Brains are not punk rock in my opinion. Social Distortion is different. They have songs that are anti organized religion (some people go to church on sudays...) and some songs that, arguably, promote religion.

feeeding5000 (August 24, 2007)

[Insert the same fucking anti-religious, psuedo-leftist, "up tha punx" argument I always give, because I am an opinionated jackass.]
Score is for Archangel, who is also my arch-nemesis. Fuck you, dude :).

Anonymous (August 24, 2007)

what i also think is funny is the fact that no one goes "OMG! social distortion is not punk rock! they talk about religion!" or "bad brains are not punk rock! they talk about religion!" just easy targets like as i lay dying.

interesting double standard.

Anonymous (August 24, 2007)

who are you to say what punk rock is or isn't? and i hate to break it to you, but there have been many punk rock bands over the years with religious and spiritual beliefs, including a number of bedrock bands.

Anonymous (August 24, 2007)

"If being an altenative rocker as you put it punkgato, means that I'm a freethinking individual, with my own views on worldly issues, and nondiscriminating, then I'll most definitely take that as a compliment. Fuck your punk rock cult."

I don' t think you understand. You can be all those things you stated and that is is great, but do not shove your religion down my throat or even bring it up in regards to punk rock. If you look at the history of organized religion it is sort of the opposite of what punk rock should stand for.

Anonymous (August 24, 2007)

Archangel, the discussion you mentioned is no more tired than your psuedo-sassy sarcasm.

COMMENT OF THE DAY

Anonymous (August 24, 2007)

If being an altenative rocker as you put it punkgato, means that I'm a freethinking individual, with my own views on worldly issues, and nondiscriminating, then I'll most definitely take that as a compliment. Fuck your punk rock cult.

Anonymous (August 24, 2007)

Archangel, the discussion you mentioned is no more tired than your psuedo-sassy sarcasm.

Anonymous (August 24, 2007)

Punk is an outlet for ideas, beliefs, etc. It's an open forum, and it doesn't discriminate against race, gender, homosexuals, or religion. You don't like christ punk, don't listen to it.

Archangel (August 24, 2007)

Does this mean it's time for another argument about religion's place in punk? AWESOME.

Anonymous (August 24, 2007)

I'm loving the extreme amount of tolerance in this thread.

Anonymous (August 24, 2007)

Religion has no place in punk rock, it is as simple as that.

Anonymous (August 24, 2007)

the prp.com did a great review of this cd. opening paragraph rules:

"Listening to metalcore in 2007 is a lot like eating the same meal every day except it's prepared by a different cook each time. There's some minor ingredient variations, an occasional tasty spice added here and there, but overall, you're still getting served the same shit day in and day out. Leave it to genre titans As I Lay Dying then to prepare another batch of meat and potatoes metalcore complete with all the hallmark trimmings disguised by a wealth of eye catching, though rather unfulfilling garnish."

Anonymous (August 24, 2007)

i only care about music. could care less about tooth and nail, could care less about a "way of life" that the punk nazis will rail upon me for if i don't live up to it, just care about the music. and here i thought that was the reason people played music.

oh, also i don't really like this band. because i don't think the MUSIC is very good.

Anonymous (August 24, 2007)

Somebody named D-Rock is getting really pissed about christianity. I think that D-Rock should meet up with a guy named Nizzle Swap and they should just go ride bikes and listen to shit that matters.

punkgato (August 24, 2007)

I'm sure it's "generic" music to people who are just in it for the music, as you seem to be...but for most people it is a way of life, a way of thinking outside of conventional (i.e. religious) manners, and it has ABSOLUTELY nothing to do with religion! If you are solely interested in music than I'm sure you don't care how Tooth And Nail records gets their money, or where their money or their fans money goes...pro-life causes, anti-gay causes, anti-animal causes, and so on! If these issues don't matter to you, than you are an "alternative" music fan, and not in fact punk rock! You can debate the rules and dogma all you want, but this mind poison has NO place being involved with anything called punk in my and many, many others opinion!

Anonymous (August 24, 2007)

A person's religion doesn't make them any less "punk" than you or me. Come on, it's a genre of music, and people like you treat it like a religion.

Anonymous (August 24, 2007)

Send more proofreaders.
As for the album itself, I believe they've deliberately incorporated thrash because there's somewhat of a revival going on, while still beating the dead horse that is metalcore, because their fans are too fucking dumb to realise they've heard this riff before.

Anonymous (August 24, 2007)

Go fuck yourself, mr mxpx. tooth and nail/solid state bands can get fucked.

Anonymous (August 24, 2007)

wheres the mxpx review?

PJZ (August 24, 2007)

seriously, Fuck This Band

punkgato (August 24, 2007)

I'll agree with the guy two posts below me, it's got nothing to do with tolerance...especially when were talking about one of the MOST intolerant groups of people in the history of the world! Bands like this, this "scene", and this religion have absolutely NO place in punk rock at all whatsoever! If that seems intolerant to you, take a history lesson from the witch trials and the crusades! On top of all that, this band sucks and are just one more shitty At The Gates knock off!

Anonymous (August 24, 2007)

Naming your band after a great work of art like As I Lay Dying is just setting yourself up for failure.

Anonymous (August 24, 2007)

Went to high school with Phil. He was a douchebag then and he's a douchebag now. The only difference is now he brags about knowing Ozzy and the fact I still haven't fucked his hot ass sister.

Potatoeboy56

Anonymous (August 24, 2007)

Ahhhh. Mr.Tolerant below me.

Anonymous (August 24, 2007)

All you dicksucking Christian faggots can blow me. Gargle my man gravy, you uptight fuckheads. Score is for Christians, the Holy Trinity, the Catholic Church, Fundamentalists, and straight edge christian scene kids.

Now that I've made my hateful comment for the day, I'm going for a jog in the park.

-Alex.

coldwaffles (August 24, 2007)

"crazytoledo - i listen to metalcore so you don't have to."

Thus_Spoke_Sean (August 24, 2007)

I liked the track, "an ocean between us" I thought it was one of the straight forward metal core scream/sing that was actually done well on the album.

but all in all, yes, i think that this album dissapoints as well, especially in the middle, it actually sounds like the band is bored.

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