Sound — 10
As I lay dying is one of the best metal/hardcore bands out there right now. Their new CD "An Ocean Between Us" is faster and a little heavier than their previous record. The Vocals have been cleaned up a bit and the new clean vocals mix well with the screaming. The songs also flow in a nice order. The brutality of this CD is not as great as it was in the previous ones either. With the exeption of some of their songs like "Within Destruction" or "Wrath Upon Ourselves".
Lyrics — 10
I personally think the lyrics on this cd are pure gold. The song "Noting Left" describes a decaying world, much like our own. As I Lay Dyings lyrics range from brutal and dark to lyrics describing hope and fate. The vocalists do better than they have ever done this time around. The screaming and singing flow very nicely together. The singing has been dumbed down a bit in some songs but in others it is as brutal and hardcore as ever.
Overall Impression — 9
So far this is my favorite album this year. It hasn't left my CD player since the day I got it. To me the most impressive songs on the album were "nothing left", "within destruction", "forsaken", and the most brutal song "Wrath upon ourselves". I love that AILD has not changed their sound or their genre, but they have changed the way they put their music together to create something new and fresh. There is nothing that I realy hate about this album, although I wish they would have replaced the instrumentals with real songs.