Sound — 9
Producing consistent albums for years, As I lay dying have a solid back catalogue, and although this album has progressed slightly, it only adds more. The band although highly capable and talented, seem to be much tighter on this album. The sound hasn't changed, it has just grown deeper and more layered, solidifying this band as one of the top metalcore bands. A good range of songs, with riffs and styles from many areas, some thrashy parts (Without conclusion), some melodic, (Parallels), some death metal elements. Although people will criticise it for not being different, I feel they haven't gone in the other direction and made it a sell out album. They have made the logical next album and just added to their sound.
Lyrics — 8
The lyrics can be a little generic in places, but in general they are ok. The theme of the album is good, addressing many issues, with some very deep meanings in amongst the words. As ever Tim Lambesis and Josh Gilbert have done a sterling job, and it sounds like a lot of effort has been put into the vocals, and fitting it with the music. Nick Hipa and Phil Sgrosso do a great job with the guitars, and more solos in this album make it fun! Some of riffs seem to get lost behind the sound though, but overall, very good. Jordan Mancino, although sometimes a little uncreative is one of the tightest drummers in metal and plays as well as ever.
Overall Impression — 9
In terms of comparing AILD to other bands in this genre, I do think they stand tall, being masters of their trade. This is album is highly enjoyable, (its blasting from my stereo as I write). Its different to the last couple and whether it is better than An ocean between us is debatable, but I think they are both very good. Some of the songs are a little unmemorable (as with each album in the past), but most stand out and are really quite catchy! The album has a definite rhythm to it, which is a very good thing. Some of the song titles are a little unimaginative, but this doesn't take much from the album. Overall it is a very good folluw up, and it will only strengthen the band.