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CD Review: August Burns Red – Messangers

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August Burns Red - Messangers

Buy a neck brace. That seems to be the message that August Burns Red is trying to get across with their sophomore release Messengers. In a scene so oversaturated that it seems like every time you take a shit a new metalcore band is born, ABR takes this style to a completely different level, catapulting this relatively young band to the forefront of the genre.

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Not much has changed in the formula since their debut release Thrill Seeker, but if ain’t broke don’t’ fix it. Ferocious breakdowns working alongside finger blistering guitar work and drumming that will bring you dangerously close to an aneurysm all congeal into a record that will stay in your cd player for quite a while. At first listen, the fact that the band has a new frontman almost goes unnoticed. Jake Luhrs brings the same passion and intensity to the album as his predecessor Josh McManness, as well as a similar voice and vocal style. Lyrically Jake keeps an essential part of ABR alive; memorable and catchy song lyrics without jumping into whiny emo singing that will make you want to cut yourself. Lyrics like ‘Clear a path, side to side’ and ‘What was once your life is now your jail cell’ will have you hanging out your car window screaming at pedestrians.

Messengers waste’s no time with the first track ‘Truth of a Liar’ which jams some adrenaline down your throat. If you are hoping for a chance to take a breath, you will be waiting until the album comes to an end. The tracks push forward unrelentingly with songs like ‘The Blinding Light’ and ‘Black Sheep’, with a borderline ridiculous amount of tempo changes and breakdowns that can only be played at the highest volume possible. The record comes to a close with an epic of sorts; ‘Redemption’, which is the first time on the record that the band’s religious influence comes across on the album. The only complaint about the record is the absence of guitar solos. We know these boys can shred, yet they never show us a true solo which would add an entirely new dimension to their sound.

It is hard to find an album these days that is technical enough to hold your attention span for more than a week, while providing enough raw emotion and attitude to stay true to what this musical genre is all about. August Burns Red proves once again that they are true masterminds of their craft, and are undoubtedly one of the new heavyweights for other albums to compete against this summer.

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