As I Lay Dying - Shadows Are Security (Cover Artwork)

As I Lay Dying

Shadows Are Security (2005)

Metal Blade

As I Lay Dying's Shadows Are Security is one of the largest metalcore releases as of late, with a lot of hype from a lot of people. The question with hype is, "Do they deserve it?" As I Lay Dying deserves some of this hype, but otherwise, is a little overrated in the end.

"Meaning In Tragedy" is another one of those metalcore songs with some Swedish death metal riffs to start it out, and while these riffs are all over, "Meaning In Tragedy" uses them perhaps the best. The song starts off with a nice introduction riff, but the entire song can't keep up with this pace, as most of the album fails to do as well. "Confined" is a rather boring song until the clean vocals kick in, which I really like, but overall, "Confined" is a rather medicore song. Though on tracks like "Confined," there is a nice contrast of clean/shouted vocals.

"Losing Sights" starts with some more Swedish death metal riffs with some rather nice drums and vocals and carries well until As I Lay Dying's biggest problem occurs. Most of the song's parts between the intros, clean vocals, breakdowns, and Swedish death metal riffs are boring generic metalcore, wih monotonous shouting. But once the songs gets back to what it does best, it sounds better, but a lot of those parts in between hurt this album a lot.

And then we have "The Darkest Nights." This song starts with the best riff, which also plays towards the ending; the verses are interesting and solid, with great vocals, and contrasting clean vocals that are the best on this entire album. "The Darkest Nights" is obviously the best song on the entire CD. "Empty Hearts" starts pretty heavy for As I Lay Dying's standards, but is a rather boring track throughout, especially after "The Darkest Nights." Then "Reflection" comes on and it seems to take a heavy influence from Darkest Hour and Dead To Fall; more of the former, though. And since Darkest Hour kick ass, then so does this track. The riffs come out well, and the shouting stands out on this track compared to other songs on the album.

"Repeating Yesterday" starts very mellow, and while the music never really picks up, the vocals do, which is an OK at best contrast, but you start to realize how hard they're trying to sound like Darkest Hour; from the vocals to the music work, it's screaming Darkest Hour. "Through Struggle" is another really good song with nice riffs in the beginning with some decent shouting, but once again, "Am I listening to Darkest Hour?" is the ringing question.

"The Truth Of Perception" and "Control Is Dead" sound generic and like every other song on the album, but "Morning Waits" sounds somewhat like "The Darkest Nights," another one of the best songs on the album because of its interesting riffs that stand out somewhat on the album. "Illusions" sounds a lot like older Dead To Fall and isn't the way to close out the album.

Overall, Shadows Are Security is a good album, but drags at times, is a little too generic, and doesn't sound really like their own band. I mean, every song sounds like Darkest Hour or Dead To Fall and even Atreyu with the Swedish guitar riffs and periodically clean vocals. This CD could have been better, but it's an okay buy for what it is. If you like this type of music, you'll probably like this. But if not, it probably won't convert you.