August Burns Red
Found In Far Away Places
29th June 2015 – Fearless Records
01. The Wake
04. Separating the Seas
05. Ghosts (ft. Jeremy McKinnon of A Day To Remember)
06. Majoring In the Minors
07. Everlasting Ending
08. Broken Promises
10. Twenty-One Grams
With their new record Found In Far Away Places, Pennsylvania metalcore underdogs August Burns Red have managed to bend the conventions of a fading genre yet again and prove why they are one of the most creative bands of the style.
With all the trademarks of the band, they nevertheless have taken the opportunity to experiment with different styles and instruments. For instance, “Separating The Seas“ uses a European folk build-up, which works very well, especially in a genre that has seen a million and more bands throw countless riffs without considering how the song could develop. ”Martyr” – set to be a real crowd-pleaser – even builds in a violin solo amidst its atmospheric guitar harmonies, arpeggios, technical tapping sections and a big, Killswitch Engage-like chorus, and the peaceful piano section that closes off the album works wonders in capturing the positive vibe of the album. The influence from bands like Between The Buried And Me is certainly apparent.
Jake Luhrs’ vocals are solid and ferocious throughout, with a hint of Parkway Drive‘s Winston McCall about them – albeit with a slightly stronger kick.”Ghosts” sees Luhrs’ rampart vocals double up with A Day To Remember’s Jeremy McKinnon, fulfilling that melodic touch that overshadows ABR’s material.
Lead guitarist JB Brubaker’s riffs are distinct and extremely recognisable for their melodic yet technical flare. Found In Far Away Places builds into a frenzy of riffs immediately with opener “The Wake“, oozing all the recognisable stylistics of the band – but there is also something anthemic about the stomping build up in the song which again recalls bands like Parkway Drive. The band’s positively melodic side shines through in “Identity“; an uplifting lead section with a surf rock infusion through the bridge makes for a pretty unique tune.
The production shines through on tracks like “Everlasting Ending“, which would otherwise be overbearing with the relentless snare-driven drum parts, but a melodic lead line cust through, which along with the vocals draws attention to the melody rather than the rhythms. Even when the song’s breakdown hits, this is still apparent and helps create that uplifting tone to the album.
“Broken Promises“, replete with bluesy undertones and rhythmical flair, is reminiscent of some of the band’s older material. The way the band write their songs has a progressive element to it which can also be seen in how “Blackwood” moves through chords in the verses in a less conventional format than most metalcore bands.
Found In Far Away Places sees the band further cement their place in the metalcore hierarchy. The only criticism, if it can be counted as such, would be that the style itself is becoming a tad stagnant…but with August Burns Red putting out albums like this, perhaps metalcore isn’t finished just yet.