August Burns Red – Constellations


Album

Constellations

Label

Solid State Records/Stomp

Year

2009

Genre

For Fans Of

This or the Apocalypse, Darkest Hour, Parkway Drive

Summary

More china than an Asian grocery.

Rating

79 / 100

Forming early 2003, Pennsylvanian metalcore band August Burns Red has consistently taken steps forward in their musical career with each release outdoing its predecessor. Constellations being their latest and greatest is released through Solid State records and while in some ways is reminiscent of Messengers, clearly represents a mature band that is adept at writing furious metal tunes.

Several moments throughout the album features euphoric sections reminiscent of Between the Buried and Me which is welcomed as is the appearance of vocalist Tommy Rogers on the track Indonesia.  The vocals do well to adapt to the thrash riffs without becoming insanely monotonous and boring and It’s nice to see a melody in a heavy chorus without it becoming another auto-tuned crab-core abomination.
Previous listeners of August Burns Red will know their defining feature lies with the drumming and the insane amount of chyna each breakdown revolves around.  Thankfully this trend has been continued, with the blasts and methodical beats providing punishment in each track while background riffs help to carry the song forward without becoming overly basic.

Possibly the most admirable feature of Constellations is how well each song flows into the next with the structure of the album as a whole  carefully considered, rather than abruptly finishing on an open chord.  The bridges are complex yet of a simple nature, providing a suitable means to carry on to the heavy breakdowns which are abundant in several sections of Constellations.

It’s interesting to see how such a well rounded band can generate such an enormous amount of hatred simply because of their beliefs.  Fuck, it’s not as though their Underoath and babble shit each time they perform live and to quote lead guitarist JB Brubake “let the music speak for itself”.  With the Parkway Drive tour in full swing, their impressive live performance coupled with a solid release this year should see them win over an Australian audience with ease.

Conclusion

A consistent record, which may not be pushing the boundaries of modern metal, but still leaves most bands of this ilk in the dust.

Tracklisting

1. Thirty and Seven
2. Existence
3. Ocean Of Apathy
4. White Washed
5. Marianas Trench
6. The Escape Artist
7. Indonesia
8. Paradox
9. Meridian
10. Rationalist
11. Meddler
12. Crusades

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