Review Summary: August Burns Red just lit a fire and it's burning oh so bright. Constellations is a good effort, and it marks a vast improvement from their other albums.
August Burns Red is a five piece metalcore band from Lancaster, Pennsylvania, they formed in 2002 and officially became active in 2003. Like every other metalcore/post-hardcore/hardcore band out there, they've had trouble finding their feet in the genre, however Constellations marks an improvement from the other two albums. Firstly this album is a good effort, it's nothing amazing but it's worth a considerable amount of listens.
The overall sound of the album is a mixed bag of metalcore, it ranges from your typical long, heavy breakdowns to your melodic piano sections to an occasional harmonious guitar solo ( examples: start of Marianas Trench, 1:55 Meridian); these experimentations do not occur often but when they do they're a treat. Vocally this album is pretty strong with your typical growls, guttural screams etc although Luhrs' vocals can sometimes feel like their strained.
The concept of the album is the usual death, revenge and such, lyrically the songs are good which is probably one of ABR's strong points they write good songs.
Constellations consists of 12 songs; they're all delivered well, the production on this album is to a good standard as all the instruments can be heard clearly, combined with the crushing vocals.
The guitars and drums deliver the pacing for each song and emphasise's the emotion; the entire feel.
The piano doesn't feature that much but when it does it makes a big difference, the addition of the piano in the song 'The Escape Artist' paints a contrast to the heavy couple minutes before; it ends the song perfectly.
One of the best songs on Constellations is 'Indonesia', purely because of the vocals; the vocals are savagely delivered and during the chorus their exceedingly strong injecting a high amount of raw emotion. The guitar and drums sound great too; especially the drums they're incredible. The inclusion of clean vocals is invigorating.
'Ocean Of Apathy' is an astounding track, everything about the song is fitting to the album's theme. The song really shows emotion; anger, despair whatever you want to call it, it's creative and teeming with emotion.
The instruments sound gritty which is to me, exactly how they should sound.
On any album there are faults and on Constellations there's a few, such as the concept of the album isn't anything new and some of the breakdowns seem dragged out and placed just because of the nature of the album. Also some of the vocals are a bit weak as I mentioned before they sound strained, also I'd like to hear some more clean vocals because when their present they're really immaculate. In general the drums outshine the guitars unless it's a solo thats when the guitarist's really shine.
Overall August Burns Red have delivered a solid album, the entire sound of Constellations is pleasant; ranging from how the vocals are delivered to the exhilerating sound of the drums and guitars coming together rhythmically.
If your a fan of metalcore then you should definitely check this album out.