August Burns Red are one of the few metalcore bands that keep me intrigued. Though I wasn’t much of a fan of Leveler, I think Constellations is one of the best albums of the genre and completely set a new bar for it. I’m super excited for their upcoming record Rescue And Restore as are quite a few of the writers here, and today the band gave us a first glimpse of the record with their single ‘Fault Line’. And it’s awesome. It’s both heavy and melodic, with some of the best guitar work I’ve heard from the band. There’s even some clean vocals on this track, and they fit in quite nicely with the rest of the song. If this is any indication of how the new album is going to sound, I’m even more stoked. Rev up your excitebikes, ladies and gents!
To be honest I kind of forgot that August Burns Red had a new album out on the horizon. It isn’t really that I hate them or anything like that, it’s that the band kind of exists in this plane of forgetability in my mind. I always seem to enjoy them during active listening, but after the record ends, so does my attention span. It doesn’t even seem like it’s been two years since their last album. Where has all the time gone?!
After wrapping up the recording sessions of their upcoming album, August Burns Red (along with their closely associated post-rock band Bells) played a one-off hometown-adjacent show in West Chester, PA. Photographer Maclyn Bean was there to capture the show, with photos available below.
Ever since its humble beginnings, metal has demonstrated a blatant line between music and religion. Whether a band was singing about the devil, using an inverted cross of bones as a microphone stand, “sacrificing” women on stage, or even burning down the faithful’s houses of worship in the forests of Norway, there’s fair reason metal is looked down upon. At least that’s how it used to be. Fast-forward to present day and you’ll see the view on metal has gone from being the Devil’s spawn to viewed simply as noise. Why? Because bands have become popular that share religious values. From the old school Extol to upcoming crop of Betraying the Martyrs, 7 Horns 7 Eyes, and Impending Doom, the list is filled with many bands that make metal for a living but sing about their religion and that openly identify with their beliefs. More and more pop up every day, and you’ll even see entire tours filled with religious-affiliated bands; even Christian music festivals like Icthus and Cornerstone dedicate much of their lineup to heavier groups with a positive spiritual message. More often than not though, these bands will sometimes share stages with ones that are either openly non-religious or that don’t think religion is positive in any way. So why do we like bands such as these that have values that metal was really designed to go against?
For one, religious metal music is really for a specific, automatic, built-in audience. For someone raised in a conservative, religious household, metal music may not be what the parents find the “ideal” music for their child to listen to. However, if you say “Oh, they’re singing about God and Jesus, and here are their lyrics to prove it”, parents would let their children listen to it and the kids could still feel they get to experience metal like we do because it is religious. Ever read the lyrics to a 7 Horns 7 Eyes song? They go something along the lines of this: “To what end will our foolish ways lead? Shall we be consumed by your Holy wrath and reap our deserved fate? O my God, come down in power engulf this man in cleansing winds of Your unceasing mercy. Let adoration rise within me; liberate Your creation.” Those lyrics were taken from their song ‘Divine Amnesty’ from their debut album Throes Of Absolution, and it’s pretty black and white that these lyrics are about God. It doesn’t sound like on the surface, though, which is why kids love it; their parents let them listen, but it’s still heavy metal.
Hello! This is Kyle Bishop, singer, songwriter, and piano player of the shitty band, Numbers. For some reason, HBIH thinks my opinion matters, and asked what I’ve been listening to this crazy year of 2012. So, without wasting anymore of your time, here are a few!
Rev up those excitebikes, because August Burns Red have began writing their fifth studio album! Matt Greiner has begun writing his drum tracks for the new album, which leads one to believe guitars are mostly done, at least with the basic riffs. Sounds about right; it’s been nearly 2 years since Leveler and the band always sticks to that sort of release cycle. I, for one, am stoked. ABR are among my favorite metalcore bands, and they have this weird way of mixing heavy riffs with awesome leads on top that really make them stand out from the rest.
We will have more news on this story as it develops, but until then, here’s a little refresher on how awesome they are.
01. Hell Praiser
02. Power Hawk
03. In Wolves
05. Hate The Ones You Love
06. You Owe No One But You
07. A Damn Moment
08. Gaunt And Fierce
09. Kill ‘Em With Guidance
10. Hard Branch To Snap
This Or The Apocalypse aren’t your standard Metalcore band. Just listen to Haunt What’s Left and you’ll see why. A personal favorite from 2010, it is one of the best metalcore releases to come out in a while, and what really made it so was its ability to groove. Produced by Chris Adler, the album is chock full of groovy sections, bouncy riffs, and awesome drum beats that make it fun to listen to. It was apparent that Adler had rubbed off on the group. However after losing a crucial member of their band in the form of drummer Grant MacFarland, it led one to be very skeptical as to whether or not they could still make a fun, groovy record that didn’t cause them to regress and fall into mediocrity like so many other bands have after such a strong release.
I’ve got no real problem with Texas In July, other than the fact that they sound exactly like August Burns Red. I mean, there’s nothing particularly wrong with the music at all in that it’s definitely not bad, but they’re just derivative. So then again, I guess you could say I do have a problem with them. Well, August Burns Red are finally doing their Christmas album this year, so I suppose you can pretend Texas in July is the newest thing, right?
Their new single ‘Bed Of Nails’ is streaming now via the Soundcloud player below:
I give Texas In July a hard time, but the track’s really not bad at all. You’ll find it on Texas In July’s upcoming self-titled album, due out October 9th on Equal Vision Records.
I’m not all too keen on this whole straightforward metalcore thing that’s going on now where it’s all Christian bands that sound pretty much exactly like August Burns Red. It’s not that I particularly hate any of it, but it doesn’t necessarily speak to me most of the time. I like some ABR and Oh, Sleeper, but I could live without bands like Texas in July and Miss May I. I, The Breather are sort of in between. I sort of enjoy them while they’re playing, but I wouldn’t necessarily go out of my way to listen to them. Just my two cents, I guess.
I, The Breather are streaming a new song called ‘Bruised & Broken,‘ above. It’s completely inoffensive metalcore for fans of pretty much any other band I listed above. I know a lot of people out there are excited about their new record, but I’m more fixated on the new Veil of Maya artwork they slipped into the video still.
I, The Breather’s upcoming record Truth and Purpose is due out February 28th on Sumerian Records. You know what also comes out that day on Sumerian? The new Veil of Maya album Eclipse and the debut T.R.A.M. record. There’s something for everyone that day!
Everyone’s getting into the Christmas spirit and doing metally renditions of classic Christmas songs. This year so far, we’ve had Austrian Death Machine, Becoming the Archetype, and August Burns Red release some holiday cheer in their own respective styles. Now you can add Drewsif Stalin and Carthage to your Christmas party mix.
Drewsif Stalin just released a medley of Christmas music titled “Black Christmas”, which includes “Silent Night” and “Joy To The World.” This track features Drew’s kickass singing voice, which I’m glad we’re starting to hear more of! Listen to that below:
Carthage, Tre Watson‘s band, also released a cover of “Mary Did You Know” in their own style. It’s definitely a risky cover to make because it’s supposed to be this very haunting song, but as far as stylistic interpretations go, Carthage did a pretty good job with it! Bonus points for the flamenco intro.