For Fans Of
Ok, so it is no great revelation that live albums are a little hit and miss. The very notion of something being ‘live’ is predicated on a first person experience lived in the present, where one immerses themselves in the aural, sensory experience offered – soaking up the atmosphere and engaging directly with the music itself.
Can this be replicated through merely listening to a live album in your room or car stereo? To be brutally honest, probably not. No matter how cleaned up the sound quality is (some may say this even detracts as it removes the unpredictability of a performance) a live album is seemingly an enigma that captures only a small portion of what was initially offered. That is why ‘Home’ is created and arguably designed solely for current fans. Although, it is worthy mentioning that this is quite admirable in itself.
You can throw any clichéd appraisals August Burns Red’s way, however there is no denying the Lancaster quintet are at the top of their game. Their music is clean and crisp, with a youthful confidence that is littered with potential, optimism and endeavour. The sound does not favour a groundbreaking style but instead revels in perfecting a tried and true approach with a little flair and poise.
As stated, what becomes obvious is that the live CD component is created purely for pre-existing fans. While, the track listing is well thought out and borrows from each of the group’s prominent releases, listeners are best served sticking to the band’s main studio discography. The polish has been put on the mix but still retains the ‘live’ element. The breakdowns come through and the little ‘live’ intricacies are retained to good effect. Some may find fault in the minor shortcomings in the way of delivery but it is a ‘live album’, one that is not meant to be errorless and unquestionably precise.
However, where this intermittent release derives its value from is through the DVD element, which visually captures the raw and enigmatic nature of the band’s performance. Filmed at ABR’s home base of Pennsylvania, the concert is trademark and signature – high energy, consistent passion etc. A highlight includes watching/hearing ‘Meridian’ played live for the first time.
In some instances using more camera angles than Michael Bay likes to use special effects, the DVD appears set on highlighting the symbiotic relationship between the band and its fans, as also evidenced in the various documentary snippets. Aesthetically, the performance is well-captured and depicts the competency of the group as collective musicians.
If you want to get the full August Burns Red experience don’t rely on ‘Home’ to give you the exclusive answers instead take a little time to check the band out at December’s ‘No Sleep Til’ festival.
It is good to see a band buck the trend and prove that not all metalheads are satanic sadists who are socially awkward (so says the outdated stereotype). Buy ‘Home’ for the DVD component; the CD is just a little incidental bonus. Overall, a decent collection and more importantly a solid reflection of the band’s past, present and future endeavours.
2. Back Burner
3. White Washed
4. Your Little Suburbia Is In Ruins
5. The Eleventh Hour
7. Truth of a Liar
8. Marianas Trench
9. Thirty and Seven
12. A Shot Below the Belt
13. Up Against the Ropes
15. The Seventh Trumpet