August Burns Red
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2.0
poor

Review

by rmill3r USER (26 Reviews)
October 4th, 2010 | 82 replies


Release Date: 2010 | Tracklist

Review Summary: A live album, one egg short of the tour-de-force-live-experience omelet.

“A-B-R! A-B-R! A-B-R!” The crowd’s chants crescendo in the opening minute of this metalcore band’s first live album. The three letters are an abbreviation for the band’s full name, and they testify to a cult following. Teenagers cover themselves head to toe in clothing, covered in the band’s vaguely metaphorical name. Whether or not they understand the metaphor, one thing’s for certain, the kids dig it. So it’s no wonder a metal band with such mass appeal decided to splice in a live album between full-length projects. If you’re a diehard August Burns Red fan, there will be no persuading you--you’re already drooling in front of the TV, worshipping the God-fearing, small-town boys as we speak.

For those still teetering on the fence, read on.

Back Burner is the only logical follow-up to the mantra that bombards the opening track. It is truly your quintessential “face-melter”; your “soul-slaying-breakdown,” if you will. But any casual fan has already invested time in ABR and has discovered their limitless crash-induced breakdowns, their occasional blast beats and their growling vocals, inundated with authoritative lyrics. The live performance is what’s in question here, and essentially, Home plays out exactly like anyone could have expected it to. It’s one-part Constellations, one-part Messengers and one sliver Thrill Seeker. Some older fans will be happy to hear ABR grace the crowd with the speed-metal track “Your Little Suburbia Is in Ruins,” and they cap off the album with their marathon of a 7-minute track “The Seventh Trumpet,” an undoubtedly epic song that could probably stand to shave two minutes off its over-indulgent length.

The purpose of this CD and DVD seems to be to communicate to fans, new and old alike, that this band is a tightly knit group of guys who are just like everybody else. They have a strong faith, they have talent, and while they share rides on scooters through downtown Atlanta, they’re also having fun all at the same time. Their passion is often evident in the DVD portion of this bundle. They seem devoted to their music and fans. Lead vocalist, Jake Luhrs, is shown many times talking to fans face-to-face after every performance. There is no doubt that something drives these guys on other than commercial success.

But nonetheless, this bundle of joy from Tooth and Nail mostly feels like just that--a commercial exploit. What’s the point of any live album? To pull a listener into the experience of a band’s live performance from the comfort of . . . anywhere. And August Burns Red certainly has that energetic charisma for just such a performance. Yet Tooth and Nail and their subsidiary Solid State often feel that they have to produce and perfect each and every album like their whittling a block of wood into the Statue of David. Any true rock fan--whether it be metal, metalcore, hardcore, punk, etc.--wants to hear that everything is not perfect. There is a certain melody to the sound of dissonant chords, a missed beat or a faltering note. ABR has given us a well-crafted, well-produced studio album with Home when we could have just as easily listened to any of the three major records they just released. I mean, as soon as the music starts you don’t even hear the crowd! It’s like the band plays the first note of the song and someone throws the “Crowd/Cheers/Claps” volume control down to zero.

On a similar note, Jake Luhrs’ vocals seem to falter too often. Some dissonant chords and some missed notes might make for a solid live album, but a voice that constantly sounds as if it’s running out of breath (even on the opening song) is just plain obnoxious. If you watch the DVD, you’ll realize that it is mostly due to Lurhs’ high level of energy and connection with the crowd, but still, it’s hard to not feel a little perturbed when he misses the entrance vocals to certain choruses and breakdowns, and it’s especially painful when he has to awkwardly rush through “The Seventh Trumpet”’s spoken interlude, “And as I raise my head towards the heavens and take one last look at the moon. . . .”

There is little questioning August Burns Red's talent or passion. They have already released three critically acclaimed albums, two of which were chart-toppers, and the DVD half of this package has a few funny moments and a nicely filmed video of their whole performance in their hometown. But as far as live albums are concerned, ABR or some accountable producer has seemed to miss the point. Near the end of the DVD, before their main performance, guitarist JB Brubaker has an accidental slip-of-the-tongue and says, “I’m excited. I’m sick of waiting. I just want to get it over with.” And sadly, I agree.



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user ratings (124)
Chart.
3.5
great

Comments:Add a Comment 
Xenophanes
Emeritus
October 4th 2010


10594 Comments


great job for a second review, really solid stuff. Good job.

I really dug Constellations, but the rest of their stuff has escaped my interest.

foreverendeared
October 4th 2010


14678 Comments


I hate live albums, like seriously why would you want to listen to a bunch of subpar quality songs when you can just listen to a better version of them?

SeaAnemone
October 4th 2010


20304 Comments


embarrassed that these guys are from my hometown

Digging: Holy Sons - Lost Decade II

Gyromania
October 4th 2010


15707 Comments


Really good for a second review! Keep it up man.

Dryden
October 4th 2010


12928 Comments


"embarrassed that these guys are from my hometown"
halloween is coming up time to teepee the shit out of thier parents houses

fr33convict
October 4th 2010


11689 Comments


August Burns Red are awesome live. I agree though, this feels almost like a studio album. I'm disappointed.

TheFantasticDangler
October 4th 2010


1158 Comments


HAHAHAHA embarrassed about ABR? You got it good, try Justin Bieber

Digging: The Contortionist - Language

wyankeif1337
October 4th 2010


6739 Comments


This looks like it sucks, good review. I probably won't be getting it.

But the band still kicks ass.

East Hastings
October 4th 2010


4391 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

The vocalist's mother was on the DVD, she seems like a nice lady... Be nice, Sea

RosaParks
October 4th 2010


14908 Comments


anyone embarrassed by this band is a faggot with an ego the size of jupiter

East Hastings
October 4th 2010


4391 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I guess you're really embarrassed by this band then

RosaParks
October 4th 2010


14908 Comments


touche. but i have ICP to be embarrassed about

East Hastings
October 4th 2010


4391 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

When I watched this I kept thinking JB looks like Mark Hamill

Jakeitwasaghost
October 4th 2010


767 Comments


This burrito is far too clean for consumption. Must. Drop. On. Floor. Now.

East Hastings
October 5th 2010


4391 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

What did you see, Todd?
I think...I think it was a eagle. Or at least Matt said it was a eagle.

Douglas
October 5th 2010


9104 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Great review!

Ah, such a disappointing release though. When I saw ABR live they were bombastic, this is just so, not.

I mean I like abr guys

botb
October 5th 2010


9674 Comments


fuck off calling their best song over-indulgent.

ffs
October 5th 2010


4873 Comments


great review. cant really get into these dudes

wyankeif1337
October 5th 2010


6739 Comments


Ok, I lied, I actually do want this. Fucking dirty burritos.

rmill3r
October 5th 2010


167 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5 | Sound Off

@bringonthebreakdown chill



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