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The members of As I Lay Dying are the kind of musicians that refuse to be measured solely by their most recent accomplishments. The new album, An Ocean Between Us, is evidence of this fact, proving once again that these guys are not afraid to push the limits of their sound and always keep things moving. The music grabs you by the throat and doesn't let go until the album's finish. Building upon the foundation that AILD has laid over the past several years, growing from a small San Diego outfit slowly and deliberately into a priority national act, the band has become Metal Blade Records' biggest sellers with an extremely devoted following. As I Lay Dying has the goods to take it all the way and stake their claim as the metal band " you need to know about" in 2007 and beyond.
Musically, the core four - vocalist Tim Lambesis, drummer and fellow founding member Jordan Mancino, guitarists Nick Hipa and Phil Sgrosso- wrote the album, and recruited bassist Josh Gilbert to record and fill the vacant bass position. Lambesis admits that on this album, the foursome where able to commingle all of their strengths. "From the start of this band Jordan and I were always the solid two members. Together we wrote a majority of the songs and were very passionate about every decision the band made. While we always expected that same passion from other band members, we didn't always receive it. It wasn't until Phil and Nick joined the band that we were finally able to find the other solid two."
Lambesis also feels the band played to everyone's strengths when writing, making the process natural. He says, "We were conscious about focusing in on things. Like if we wanted Phil's guitar melody style to be the showcase of the song. Or if we wanted to go towards the darker, thrashier songwriting style, we'd focus on that. We focused on separate strengths, so songs came out drastically different and it sounds more diverse." Another musical step occurred on the song "Nothing Left." Lambesis says the song was a step forward for him personally, because when demoing the song, he had to sing the clean background vocals to get a feel for how he wanted it to go, not because he particularly wanted to sing that part. He says, "It was my first time singing a chorus, and it's now one of my favorite choruses, and not because I sing it, but because it has a unique feel."
With a fanbase that continues to grow exponentially, AILD plan to focus on what they know best, hitting the road. With a tour schedule that includes the US, Canada, Europe, Japan and Australia, they know that there are always new fans that haven't been exposed to the music. With An Ocean Between Us, As I Lay Dying are definitely on to something special. And with a touring schedule that would make the circus jealous, you can rest assured that As I Lay Dying will be leaving an even bigger mark in 2007 and beyond.