There are few bands who do metalcore better than August Burns Red. They’ve taken the genre mainstream with two Grammy Award nominations throughout their career. Their sound is enthralling; its bruising riffs and some of the best breakdowns in the game. My favourite albums are ‘Messengers’ and ‘Constellations’ because you hear something different on every listen.
So I was very excited when I heard the first single ‘Defender’ from their new album ‘Guardians.’ The layered riffs melted my face while the crisp production brought out their melodic side. It’s an instant earworm which is up there with ‘Back Burner’ and ‘Rationalist’ as one of their best songs.
The rest of the album does not disappoint. The band step up their game with clean vocals on ‘Lighthouse.’ The chorus would sound huge at a live show. It’s clear that the band play together as a unit much more because the drumming is insane. Especially on ‘Dismembered Memory’, it is a perfect accompaniment to Jake Luhrs screams.
The solos are an unexpected treat, both in ‘Dismembered Memory and ‘Ties that Bind.’ On the latter track, the solo goes straight into a filthy breakdown which will melt your face. ‘Bloodletter’ is another highlight because listening to it now, it feels like the complete metalcore track. When they play this live, people are gonna go wild in the moshpit.
Even though it’s been a few years since I’ve listened to an August Burns Red album, it’s good to know that they’re still crushing it. It’s metalcore done right, firmly establishing them at the top of the tree.
Words by Ermis Madikopoulos