Review Summary: Still light years ahead of their peers.August Burns Red is:
Jake Luhrs – Lead Vocals
JB Brubaker – Lead Guitar
Brent Rambler – Rhythm Guitar
Dustin Davidson – Bass
Matt Greiner – Drums
August Burns Red has returned with their fourth studio album Leveler
. The Mannheim quintet stays committed to their successful Constellations
formula, while creating an album different and more evolved than its predecessor. Leveler
is aggressive and holds no punches from the listener. This is an album you surely will not soon forget upon hearing it. August Burns Red has a signature sound, one that holds them head and shoulders above the rest in this infamous genre.
opens with its first single and one of the record’s strongest titles, Empire. A heavy sound needs equally as good lyrics to hold it up, and this group has nearly mastered that field. “Skyscrapers, earthmovers, ground breakers. Our buildings rival the heavens.” Empire is brutal and serves as the perfect opener for the tour de force that stands ahead. The lyrics remain consistently solid throughout the record, particularly in Salt & Light, Poor Millionaire and Leveler.
The instrumentation stays constant to the August Burns Red formula, while experimenting with some new techniques and sounds (see: Internal Cannon’s bridge). Although, not all risks pay off. Leveler
introduces soling, somewhat of a first in August Burns Red’s discography. While the new change is welcome and the effort is certainly appreciated, Brubaker’s writing is not as sharp is it could be. Luhrs vocals are still as vicious as they were on Constellations
, and for the most part, the instrumentals are just as – if not stronger than they were before. Greiner’s drums, specifically are excellent on tracks such as Poor Millionaire and Leveler.
Case in point, Leveler
is a satisfying album. Metalcore is a hit and miss genre, but August Burns Red always seems to hit. Amidst a field of music known for its cliché breakdowns and its predictable formula, August Burns Red has created an album that rises above the general consensus and shatters the opinions of its critics. God is the leveler of the world, and August Burns Red is the leveler of the metalcore genre.