From the Vault...


August Burns Red

© Solid State Records

Year of Release: 2009

track listing
  • Thirty And Seven
  • Existence
  • Ocean Of Apathy
  • White Washed
  • Marianas Trench
  • The Escape Artist
  • Indonesia
  • Paradox
  • Meridian
  • Rationalist
  • Meddler
  • Crusades

  • WSVNRadio Archives
    A B C D E F G H I J K L M
    N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

    August Burns Red related sites:
    August Burns Red Website
    Previous Review: #1211
    Mike Ringler--Walking On Abbey Road
    Next Review: #1213
    Michael W. Smith--Stand
    August Burns Red

    This is Metallica seeing God...

    Metalcore music is the best term to describe the band August Burns Red. Their album Constellations peaked at #1 on the Christian Albums chart in early August, 2009. (They've acheived two #1 Christian albums so far in their career.) Their music is loud, their vocals are screaming, but they provide a positive message in their lyrics. (Luckily, the lyrics for each song are provided in the booklet of the CD.)

    The first two songs seem to just blend together. It was this fact while I was listening, that the second song had already played, and I was still thinking it was on the first track. "Thirty And Seven" is a little over three minutes in length, and "Existence" is nearly short of four minutes. The middle of "Ocean Apathy" takes you by surprise, with its almost bluesy style, totally different than the in-your-face heavy metalcore music. "White Washed" emphasizes on the music, you can't say that musically, this band is bad. The heavy metalcore music itself is very polished, very professional. It's the vocal style that you really have to adjust to. Again, the music is quite impressive on "Marianas Trench" in its beginnings. Soft, yet still metal, you often wonder if the music itself would be more impressive without the hard-styled vocals. But, like the other tracks, this song kicks in with its loud music and heavy screaming vocals.

    "The Escape Artist" continues the raw music, and growling vocals from start to finish (?) The ending has a soft, quiet piano, ending this song unusually then that of others. "Indonesia" cranks it up again from start to finsh, even with its "normal singing" choruses. (Another impressive approach, rather than the loud screaming vocals.) "Paradox" rocks from its beginning to end as well. "Meridian" is another one of those songs, where musically, it's great to listen to, yearning to listen more. Surpringly, the vocals don't start until shortly after the 3-minute mark. Again, the music itself is what grabs you. "Rationalist" growls at you (once again). Likewise the remaining tracks "Meddler" and "Crusades."

    Now, what about the band's positive lyrics? "Thirty And Seven" speaks of one's self conscience. "Will you always need someone to hold your hand, and talk you through the night's shadows? / It's so much easier to fight this war when you're the last one in line. / What will you become? / What will become of you?" The song "Existence" has the line "Don't excuse yourself from today on the pretense of your past." Then there's the uncertainty in "Marianas Trench": "The ship is sinking. Deeper and deeper. We've abandonded this vessel and left the captain for dead. / Pray for Heaven's titans to rain down, and spare us the pain." Topics in the lyrics are all covered here, from religion, salvation, isolation and personal situations. These topics defines the word Constellations, and it makes the name of this album even more clearer: A group or configuration of ideas, feelings, characteristics, objects, etc., that are related in some way: a constellation of qualities that made her particularly suited to the job.

    Since WSVNRadio has incorporated Christian music (#1 Christian albums) into its format, we have now seen two albums chosen as Album Pick of the Week: Norma Jean's Redeemer and August Burns Red Constellations. Both bands and albums are metalcore, and it's amazing how bands such as these peaked at #1 on the Christian Albums chart. I guess it's the positive lyrics that makes the album reach #1, just as the common acts of Christian music, such as Chris Tomlin, Third Day, Casting Crowns and the likes. These acts' musical styles are far peaceful than that of heavy metalcore music. Based on the two albums mentioned, August Burns Red is better than Norma Jean.

    From Wikipedia: August Burns Red is a Christian band. JB Brubaker mentioned in an interview with Shout!, an online magazine, that "Christianity is a religion, not a style of music" and he would "rather just let the music speak for itself." However, Brent Rambler commented on the fact that "It is important to us that people know that we are indeed Christians... without having us stand up there and ram it down people's throats."

    The music itself sure has its comparisons to Metallica. Yet Metallica's vocals were never really as growling as August Burns Red. Musically, August Burns Red is tight, professional in its own right, in acheiving music in its heavy metalcored style. What makes the band even better is how they throw in a few bars of music that throws off the listener: Getting so used to the loudness and the growling vocals, the music takes a complete turn in softer tones, then goes back to the usual. Vocally as a whole, this is something you need to get used to. Especially for those who don't necessarily follow this kind of singing, being that of growling, "angry-styled" vocals.

    © All rights reserved. Review or any portion may not be reproduced without written permission. Cover art is the intellectual property of Solid State Records and is used for reference purposes only.

    Previous Review: #1211
    Mike Ringler--Walking On Abbey Road
    Next Review: #1213
    Michael W. Smith--Stand