After letting it soak in for a bit, I found 2003's "Frail Words Collapse" to be a fierce metalcore release, and one that was more challenging than the standard fare of the time. The arrangements don't stick to a formula and are driven by a tight rhythm section (including some cool off-kilter rhythms, an awful kick-drum sound notwithstanding) and guitars ripping and tearing with a vengeance. I didn't find it to be a masterpiece by any means, but I do think that it had more character and personality than most metalcore releases. AS I LAY DYING's stellar live performance impressed the hell out of me as well.Given the preceding paragraph's set-up, you can guess where this review of "Shadows are Security" is going. It is a solid album and one that will surely appeal to the throngs of metalcore fans standing on what seems like every street corner. The problem I have with it is that it's now difficult to distinguish this band from the slew of similar acts. The choppy metalcore grooves, breakdowns, and stuttering riff chugs that sync up with the kick drums had me thinking KILLSWITCH ENGAGE or UNEARTH on several occasions. In fact, the production of Tim Lambesis and Phil Sgrosso is fuller than what is heard on "Frail Words Collapse" and sounds very similar to the work of KSE's Adam Dutkiewicz. Of course, the mixing and mastering of Andy Sneap certainly didn't hurt. The melodic clean vocal lines on "Confined", "The Darkest Nights", and "Through Struggle" are again quite familiar and also quite average, but they do break up the album nicely. Jordan Mancino's drumming is first rate and there are some sweet twin-guitar harmonies (courtesy of Sgrosso and Nick Hipa). The jagged riff edges of "Frail Words Collapse" have in large part been replaced by a smoother, more melodic delivery. I suppose I should also mention that ZAO's Dan Weyandt provides guest vocals on "Control is Dead". There is nothing particularly disagreeable to me about "Shadows are Security". Still, the only piece I heard on this album that brought out the unique personality and fire in the belly of "Frail Words Collapse" is album-closer "Illusions", a (welcome) black sheep compared to the rest of the tunes. There's not much else to say. "Shadows are Security" is a decent album. I just can't get too excited about it.
To comment on a BLABBERMOUTH.NET story or review, you must be logged in to an active personal account on Facebook. Once you're logged in, you will be able to comment. User comments or postings do not reflect the viewpoint of BLABBERMOUTH.NET and BLABBERMOUTH.NET does not endorse, or guarantee the accuracy of, any user comment. BLABBERMOUTH.NET reserves the right to "hide" comments that may be considered offensive, illegal or inappropriate and to "ban" users that violate the site's Terms Of Service. Hidden comments will still appear to the user and to the user's Facebook friends. If a new comment is published from a "banned" user or contains a blacklisted word, this comment will automatically have limited visibility (the "banned" user's comments will only be visible to the user and the user's Facebook friends). To report any abusive, obscene, defamatory, racist, homophobic or threatening comments, or anything that may violate any applicable laws, please send an e-mail to blabbermouthinbox(@)gmail.com with pertinent details.