August Burns Red
Constellations


3.0
good

Review

by David James Young USER (181 Reviews)
August 16th, 2009 | 102 replies | 7,746 views


Release Date: 2009 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Shred.

11 of 12 thought this review was well written

Metalcore is dead. Or, at the very least, it’s in the process of dying in a hospital bed somewhere in America. August Burns Red, in continuation of this metaphor, refuse to accept this and are currently in its room, resuscitating and using the electric shocks in the “Clear!” style they saw on E.R. one time. It’s certainly a valiant effort on their behalf – which has taken form in the band’s latest release, their third album Constellations. Still, the album comes off as a release mostly intended for diehards of the genre only; leaving little to sway the unconverted into believing there is anything exciting still happening within the hybrid genre.

There’s plenty of energy on Constellations – it’s loud, fast-paced and pissed off about everything, as metalcore should be. Opener "Thirty and Seven" is a strong initial example of this, summing up the album’s mission statement in roughly three and a half minutes. There’s quick 2/4 drumbeats, big lead guitar licks and a finale breakdown that serves no other purpose than to kick some kid’s face in (it probably sounds ten times better whilst doing so). "Ocean of Apathy" is also a fun highlight of Constellations, with some interesting tempo changes, a surprising and inventive change of pace near its end and a brief but formidable guitar solo from JB Brubaker.
Tracks such as these may provide some substance and entertainment, but the question needs to be asked whilst listening to the album: Is any of this sounding familiar? It most probably should, given how similar much of Constellations sounds when paralleled with its contemporaries. It’s brash and energetic at its peaks, but when next to every track attempts to encapsulate this, it ultimately becomes boring.

As a matter of fact, it’s when Constellations deviates from its own formula that things become interesting. Between the Buried and Me’s Tommy Rogers makes a clean vocal cameo on Indonesia, taking the song out of a generic slump and creates a wonderful, harmonic bridge that results in one of the album’s greatest moments. Beyond this, there is one trick left up the band’s sleeve in the albums second half. There’s no showboating guitar, breakdowns or blastbeats. Hell, there’s hardly even any vocals. "Meridian" is a six-minute, nearly entirely instrumental track that builds up immensely and manages to convey several shades of emotion without a word in its first half. It’s a genuinely interesting listen in spite of its length, and holds the slightest bit of weight in arguing that there’s more to ABR than inciting violent dancing.

Where can you stand on a record like Constellations? Fans of the genre will praise a resurrection, but perhaps it would be wise not to celebrate early – this is a good record, but it struggles to become anything more; which is what metalcore as an entity must do in order to keep itself afloat.



Recent reviews by this author
The Presets PacificaLast Dinosaurs In A Million Years
Every Time I Die Ex LivesDarren Hayes Secret Codes and Battleships
Wanda Jackson The Party Ain't OverPhrase Babylon
user ratings (2146)
Chart.
3.9
excellent
other reviews of this album
1 of
  • Blindsided (4.5)
    An album chalked full of good breakdowns, hooks, and some of the best lyrics ever written ...

    BrxxnAngxlRxsnxr (3)
    Smoldering nicely, yet this fire could burn brighter with a bit more kindling....

    DropdeadWHA (3.5)
    August Burns Red just lit a fire and it's burning oh so bright. Constellations is a good e...

    daguitarmaster (4)
    An album that lives up to it's expectations...

  • McDiggitz (4.5)
    August Burns Red are still living up to the hype. Apparently, God has a lot to scream abo...

    augustburnsred1992 (4.5)
    August Burns Red take another step in the right direction with great melodic material, mor...

    Dr Dave De Sylvia STAFF (3.5)
    August Burns Red are creeping out of the incestuous metalcore scene and doing things just ...

    Stan R. Corbett (4.5)
    The very incarnation of what great metalcore is supposed to sound like, Constellations com...

  • Taylor Jermolajew (2)
    August "Yawns" Red....

    Caleb McAlpine (4)
    Constellations doesn't necessarily reinvent and revive the decaying genre of metalcore, bu...


Comments:Add a Comment 
AtavanHalen
August 16th 2009



17927 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Dedicated to my Mexican boyfriend Jenna
Neg the shit out of me

WhiteWallStargazers
August 16th 2009



2647 Comments


Pos'd

Douglas
August 16th 2009



9050 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0 | Sound Off

Good review.

Zip
August 16th 2009



5312 Comments


ATAVAN THIS REVIEW WAS UNECESSARY

also, your avatar is like rrrg

Waior
August 16th 2009



11425 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5 | Sound Off

Good review, a few grammar slip ups (i.e. last semicolon is totally not necessary). Enjoyed the first metaphor and I'm glad you enjoyed parts of this. And you used the word "whilst" so...

We're still good.

AtavanHalen
August 16th 2009



17927 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

ahh fuckya
and wut

joshuatree
Emeritus
August 16th 2009



3743 Comments


sideboob in your avatar is excellent

AtavanHalen
August 16th 2009



17927 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Good review, a few grammar slip ups (i.e. last semicolon is totally not necessary). Enjoyed the first metaphor and I'm glad you enjoyed parts of this. And you used the worst whilst so...

The worst? As opposed to the best one?

AtavanHalen
August 16th 2009



17927 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

sideboob in your avatar is excellent

Did it for you

Zizzer
August 16th 2009



915 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Good review! I started listening to this album a couple of days ago and really like it. I can't decide between 4 and 4.5 right now...

DON'T SAY ANOTHER WORRRRD, YOU'VE CROSSED THE LINE!

Knott-
Emeritus
August 16th 2009



10194 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

album excites me

metaphor kicked ass

review was great pos

Douglas
August 16th 2009



9050 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0 | Sound Off

OPEN YOUR CLOSED MIND, AND CLOSE YOUR OPEN MOUTH

Zip
August 16th 2009



5312 Comments


yeah metalcore is dead, deathcore is the new thing now oh yay

marksellsuswallets
August 16th 2009



4848 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Everybody should talk about the awesome 14/16 part in The Escape Artist.

Waior
August 16th 2009



11425 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5 | Sound Off

whilst. the word. not the worst. whilst is never the worst

Zip
August 16th 2009



5312 Comments


So there is like this totally awesome 14/16 part in The Escape Artist, it totally blew my mind.

marksellsuswallets
August 16th 2009



4848 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

And I mean it's phrased as consecutive measures of 9/8 and 5/8 so it's even cooler! Seriously though I'm baffled
by how much I enjoy this album. (I meant 14/8 my bad)

Zip
August 16th 2009



5312 Comments


it's ok I suck with time signatures

fromtheinside
August 16th 2009



17656 Comments


great review still very fun album, i can agree with most of your points.

Digging: Fallujah - The Flesh Prevails

taylormemer
August 16th 2009



4913 Comments


There's nothing intricate or mind boggling about playing in an irregular time signature.



You have to be logged in to post a comment. Login | Create a Profile





FAQ // STAFF & CONTRIBUTORS // SITE FORUM // CONTACT US

Bands: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z


Site Copyright 2005-2013 Sputnikmusic.com
All Album Reviews Displayed With Permission of Authors | Privacy Policy