August Burns Red is a Melodic Metalcore group with a Christian lifestyle that doesn’t emulate with their music. When compared to other bands of this type like Bullet For My Valentine, Killswitch Engage or As I Lay Dying, they are more of a unique case and when they go into melody, they go into mostly soft and beautiful melody that can seem almost out of the ordinary for any kind of Metalcore band.
This is an 11 track affair that is about 50+ minutes in length with most tracks in the four minute mark easily. If you want to check out the album on YouTube, their label Fearless Records(mind you, this is the same label that holds bands like Pierce the Veil so they have some diversity) has an entire setlist for you over there. Right off the bat, tracks like The Wake, Martyr and Identity will be welcoming you to what seems this long epic and guitar heavy journey through mountains and valleys.
These are easily some of the more single worthy tracks of the bunch because they are catchy and sound closer to what many people are familiar both the band and metalcore in general. Not to say these are the best tracks, of course, for me those will come later on down the line. Next up in our journey is the track Ghost which features Jeremy McKinnon from A Day to Remember. I know this because of the people in the comments below that video. Jeremy offers some of the clean vocals, and some of the only cleans in the album, in this song as well as the as some feral screams as well. Great track and I never thought that anyone from A Day to Remember could make a song good, looks like Jeremy McKinnon needs a prize. We also get tracks like Separating the Sea and Majoring In the Minors which can make us feel like we’re in the wrong song at a certain point. For the former, we get a strong quartet that gradually builds back into the crushing breakdowns and can take up half the song I bet. I also kind of like this part in case you’re wondering. For the latter, it includes a country or bluegrass section towards the middle which is the most jarring part of the album yes because no transition was used but the part its self isn’t bad which certain can’t be said for many country artists today(no offense thanks). Tracks like Separating the Sea, Vanguard and Everlasting Ending also have some sort of Between the Buried and Me influence as well with melodic riffing and some out of place material. Heck. Some people are speculating that in Everlasting Ending, Paul Waggoner( who I believe is the bassist of the band), can actually be heard playing in the song with everyone else. Yeah, if one bass can make a crushing sound, but two can blow up mountains pretty much. Vanguard is the last track and probably the second longest, with the longest standing at over six minutes in length, and if you’re not satisfied, I hope you are after this song. Including crushing melodies, breakdowns, and even some solos along the way this is the setup to looking like a great finale. But it doesn’t end there, right at the end of the track, you can hear a nice, soothing, some might even say, beautiful piano chord at the end which signifies the ending of this epic journey and all the chaos within it.
If I did have any problems I would say the breakdowns are a bit too frequent, or at least it seems like that anyways, and no it’s not one per song, but what feels like multiple. I can handle it and think that they can change the songs pace well but not so much if it’s full of them. I might be nitpicking here but I still feel like I should point that out.
I give this album a 9.5/10. Probably my highest rated Metalcore album thus far and this is my second one from 2015 might I add. Ok I’m rambling, I am the Grim Reaper, signing off.
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