Sound — 6
My friend reccomended this album to me. I've never had any expirience with AILD until now, so this is going off of first impressions. Before I get to the bad, I want to point out that these are talented musicians. The guitar riffs are good and the solos are an air guitarist's dream. It's certainly proven on "The Sound Of Truth" and "Departed". The problem is that the riffs rely too much on the lower notes on the guitar. I swear, they just chunk the first few frets for most of the riffs. It would probably be better if the guitar effects weren't so burbly, the production isn't top-notch. The bass is barely inaudible for most songs, and they pretty much just blastbeat their way through the album. Now, I love double bass and all, but it sounds like he replaced the bass drums with pillows.
Lyrics — 7
My main gripe about Christian rock/metal is the lyrics. Being an atheist, I don't like hearing some vocalist death growling "God is awesome." The good thing about this band is that the lyrics aren't flat-out Christian. They can be interpreted that way, but aren't what I described above. There are some really great lyrics on this album, like on "An Ocean Between Us", "Nothing Left", and "Bury Us All." There are a few not so good lyrics, like "I Never Wanted", "Forsaken", and "Within Destruction." Like the opening lines of "Forsaken," "I've looked straight into your eyes/ And turned my head for the last time" There are only a few lines like these. Now the vocals, they're okay. Tim doesn't have much vocal range aside from his monotone death growl and the ocassional scream. The death growl isn't great, but it fits the music I suppose. The new bass player's clean vocals are a nice touch, especially when paired with the growls on "I Never Wanted."
Overall Impression — 7
My friend said this was the best death metal CD he had ever heard. To me, it doesn't deserve that honor (for best death metal album ever, see Colors by Between The Buried And Me). The main problem about this is that there just isn't enough variation here. Most of the songs are 3-4 downtuned, doubled bassed, death growled mosh fests. It does start to wear a little thin into the album. The death metal ballad "I Never Wanted" breaks it up a bit. There just aren't enough memorable songs that you can remember after the first 4 or 5 listens to the CD. A band three albums into their carrer shouldn't be putting out this. I'd have to say the best songs are "Nothing Left", the title track and "I Never Wanted." Honorable mentions are "The Sound Of Truth" and "This Is Who We Are." But sadly, even the best songs on here are no "Master Of Puppets" or "White Walls" (Between The Buried And Me). It disappoints me because I was really looking forward to this. If this album was lost or stolen, I wouldn't care.