Modern Christian metal stalwarts August Burn Red have been around for some time and never really achieved the massive success of other bands under the metalcore banner, and it isn’t for a lack of decent output.
‘King Of Sorrow’ opens with a riff that instantly lets you know that the band is in control and pushing for a heavier sound. The melodies created by guitarists JB Brubaker and Brent Rambler make way for a clean piano and almost-prog breakdown in the mid section of the track before it comes rolling right back with more great guitar work.
August Burns Red is known for a formulaic approach to their music and this album is no different in terms of the loud/soft dynamics that can be over used although they do it with little to no clean vocals at all. But when it all comes together like ‘Invisible Enemy’ or the melodies they reach for in ‘Coordinates’ it is a great example of a band attempting stylistic changes without rocking the boat too much or straying too far away from what the fans may expect.
That is this album wrapped up really. It is the sound of a band doing their best ever work, while not changing things too much, a great solo here and there and some wonderful melody and cinematic breakdowns with every song having its own stand out moments, like ‘Float’ and its hardcore orientated gang vocals or album closer ‘Carbon Copy’ that manages a similar ferocity to the opener, right down to the atmospheric breakdown.
Don’t let the Christian metal tag this band lumber with them scare you off, this is solid modern metalcore for the masses. And it is the best this band has achieved yet. Perhaps they will continue to evolve in the new directions displayed here.
1. King of Sorrow
2. Hero of the Half Truth
3. The Frost
5. Invisible Enemy
11. Carbon Copy