August Burns Red
Constellations


2.0
poor

Review

by Taylor Jermolajew USER (39 Reviews)
July 7th, 2009 | 476 replies


Release Date: 2009 | Tracklist

Review Summary: August "Yawns" Red.

August Burns Red are boring, there I said it. They’re boring, every idea the band has had has been unoriginal and incredibly dull. For some reason ABR’s took the place of Underoath this year as the Christian Metalcore band everyone wanted to hear from. I don’t quite know why, seemed like only yesterday no one cared about ABR’s generic take on the Metalcore genre but somewhere along the line a hype train started for Constellations and people decided they suddenly loved August Burns Red.

Well those people suck. Constellations is an attempt by August Burns Red to remain relevant to the ever-growing number of trend-hoppers who’ve become bored with mainstream Metal. I can’t fault them for trying, but I can fault them for failing. Breaking down ABR’s general song writing formula is pretty simple, much like a slew of other bands they rely on guitar dominance, combining this with an under usage of bass work and in a slight twist a competent drummer. Yes I said it ABR’s drummer isn’t anywhere near as bad as a lot of his contemporaries. In that regard he’s sort of like Derek Bloom being that both are far superior instrumentalists to the rest of their respective bands.

Impressive drumming aside there really isn’t anything that impressive about ABR. Their guitarists can write some relatively technical riffs, albeit they’re more “flashy” than effective. Their bassist occasionally demonstrates competency but is too often drowned out by the other members and finally we have ourselves August Burns Red’s vocalist Jake Luhrs. Jake Luhrs isn’t a particularly strong vocalist, to emphasize my point; he sounds very hollow. One could argue that it’s the production but he still sounds hollow. Now he’s got three “styles” of vocals you get his “growl” which sounds as though he’s trying to speak amidst a wave of vomit, his “high-scream” which sounds like someone choking and his “mid-range” yell which is probably the most impressive part of his performance.

Now, it could be argued I’m being overly critical of Jake, but the fact is there’s a not a single instance on this album where he’s enjoyable. Beyond the uninteresting vocals, ABR’s song writing isn’t particularly interesting, they have tried to move beyond the sheer blandness of their previous works and at times craft a handful of interesting melodies. But even at their best the band still lacks anything to set them apart from the wave of similar bands. At their best ABR creates passable metal, at their worst they create the same thing we’ve been hearing for the past decade.

To say ABR haven’t made an improvement would be untrue; they’ve focused on moving away from constraints of their previous work. The problem is their attempts at progression are very obviously calculated, a perfect example would be Meridian a track that suffers from both horrible placement and horrible implementation. It genuinely seems as though the band sat down and decided they wanted a “post-metal” track on their album for the sake of being able to say they had one.

Aside from these issues a major concern of mine is that August Burns Red still haven’t managed to make use of their studio space. The album’s production is sub-par, with the instruments being pushed together into a distinctly dull wall of sound. This makes it difficult to separate the individual aspects of each member’s performance making the overall listen far less enjoyable than it could be. All in all, August Burns Red have attempted to move out of generic Metalcore territory, but they still haven’t done anything much, their “progressions” seem cheap and ham-handed at the end of the day ABR might be trying to move forward but they haven’t delivered on that promise yet.



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user ratings (2176)
Chart.
3.9
excellent
other reviews of this album
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Comments:Add a Comment 
MassiveAttack
July 7th 2009


2688 Comments


"YES YOU DID BRETT, YES YOU DID!"

Lucid
Contributing Reviewer
July 7th 2009


7026 Comments


Review needs to go through a grammar/spell checker.

Digging: Perfume Genius - Too Bright

Minus The Flair
Emeritus
July 7th 2009


862 Comments


one of those band’s that

done better by band’s that

Both don't need apostrophes.

The lows growls

the fact is technical music doesn’t equal good song-writing as incredibly obvious here.

Something weird here, change the initial 'is' for 'that' and the 'as' for 'is'.

Overall August Burns Red have made small improvements they no longer rely on breakdown after breakdown after breakdown

Need a semi colon after improvements. And commas in many other places, but this just is wrong.

Lucidity is right, spend a little more time proofreading before you publish. If you read it through you'll see that the absence of commas causes a lot of your ideas in sentences to merge and jumble.

Otherwise decent review, the content was good, just watch the grammar. Band isn't my thing.

xNintendoCorex
July 7th 2009


1272 Comments


are you using open office?
the spell/grammar checkers before version 3 were pretty much just a waste of time.

ToWhatEnd
July 7th 2009


3172 Comments


You lost me when you said mediocre vocals in the summary.

burnedcorpse
July 7th 2009


26 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Guest vocals make this worth while.

Waior
July 7th 2009


11452 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5 | Sound Off

Pardon me for criticizing, but this seems like a review schwacked together in a few minutes to counterpoint the slew of overwhelmingly positive reviews. It's not that I think your opinion is wrong or anything (even if this reads a 2.5-y), it's just that I think you could've put a little more effort into something you know will be "marginally controversial."

Piglet
July 7th 2009


4654 Comments


lol.
Every album has got to have a negative review, it just depends whether its well thought out and written or not

Waior
July 7th 2009


11452 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5 | Sound Off

Okay, well fair enough.

Waior
July 7th 2009


11452 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5 | Sound Off

Yessir, I'll feel guilty about it later when you get fanboy neg'd. I'm just irked by lack of punctuation and points I mentioned earlier.

Waior
July 7th 2009


11452 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5 | Sound Off

Love you too.

btbdrum812
July 7th 2009


21 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Pos'd. Even though I disagree, I still think it's written relatively well.

Wizard
July 7th 2009


19443 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

it's just that I think you could've put a little more effort into something you know will be "marginally controversial."

There is no controversy when it comes to fanboys vs. terrible sounding metalcore albums ; ). Jk.

Ok review dude. I think I will take your word on this seeing as Messengers was soooooooo bad.


Digging: Godflesh - A World Lit Only By Fire

ninjuice
July 7th 2009


6760 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Pretty weak review, but I won't neg just cause that might or might not be fanboy-ism kicking in.

ScorpionStan
July 7th 2009


1834 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

i'm thinking about negging just for all the dumb reasoning he dropped in my review comments. however, this review i think does it's job, so i prolly won't.

The Wizard: don't take this dude's word for it, read Caleb's review! maybe even mine too! lolz

zuzek
July 7th 2009


750 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Won't neg this but the review reads a lot like a generic metalcore bash (excessive use of 'breakdown after breakdown' mindset), which feels strange because this album is a clear effort to steer away from that type of music. Seems thrown together rather quick just to get something off your chest.

Review also really does not do justice to tracks like Marianas Trench and Meridian.

ScorpionStan
July 7th 2009


1834 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

agreed 110% with zuzek

ScorpionStan
July 7th 2009


1834 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

haha

but you actually have a good point there though

cvlts
July 7th 2009


8960 Comments


ehh, i think this review should be better written only on the basis that everyone seems to jump on abr's bandwagon so if you want to write a bad review about it it should be prty full and detailed

but i understand what your going for and i also agree with many points you made... Pos'd

ScorpionStan
July 7th 2009


1834 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

wait dante: how can you be digging When I Am God and only give this a 3?



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