August Burns Red
Leveler


4.0
excellent

Review

by maidenpmcc USER (6 Reviews)
August 21st, 2011 | 36 replies | 5,589 views


Release Date: 2011 | Tracklist

Review Summary: The perfect month to post an August Burns Red album review.

Metalcore isn't quite as relevant as it used to be, it's a sub-genre that faces much scepticism and also much praise, from fans and critics alike. Popular forerunners As I Lay Dying and Unearth, along with August Burns Red, keep this sub-genre alive and kicking. On June 2011, August Burns Red returned with their fourth studio album entitled Leveler, and if you loved their previous album Constellations, this album will impress you nonetheless. First thing you notice about this album is, it still has the same formula and signature stamp which is found on previous ABR releases. The band's sound hasn't really changed at all except for a few changes, most notably on 'Internal Cannon'. When you listen to this track, you can instantly hear the middle-eastern flavour spewing out of it. In terms of song-writing and musicianship, the band have progressed considerably while staying true to their roots. Jake Luhr's vocals have improved vastly on this album compared to Constellations. His vocal range has grown much wider and it really shines through on tracks such as the stunning title track and the crushing 'Divisions'.

Breakdowns have always been a distinctive staple in the band's sound and they pull them off better than most other metalcore bands. A perfect example would be the climax of '40 Nights', a jaw-dropping breakdown which reminds you why you listened to the band in the first place. In terms of lyrics, noticable appreciation for the fans is present. During the climax of 'Salt and Light', Jake belts out "We sing for you", which will most certainly be a fan sing-along at live shows. Other gripping lyrics include that of the title track:

“The victim in me is dead. I am reborn. So even though you call me self-righteous and call my beloved treacherous, there is one thing to take away. Leveler, make level the road for the righteous. I forgive you, queen of hearts, for through me, He will show you true love.”

Out of the twelve tracks present on this album, the pace is quite relentless and frantic. Tenth track '1-16-2011', gives you time to breathe while softer moments in 'Salt and Light' and 'Internal Cannon', also repeat this. JB Brubaker's guitar abilities have also improved greatly, most notably on 'Cutting the Ties' and keeping the pace with Matt Greiner’s thunderous drum work. Matt's drumming on this album is tight and used with utmost precision, he really does carry the band with his impeccable drumming. Bassist Dustin Davidson really shines through on 'Carpe Diem', with a short bass interlude which keeps the listener's interest. The track itself is the longest track on the album, clocking in at 5:37. Its also the most experimental track they've recorded to date which might put some fans off but please others. Every band member here is very talented and their chemistry comes through on the album. One thing the songs lack in particular is variety, and their ability to differ from each other significantly. Although this doesn't affect the overall feel of the album, the album could of benefitted from it.

August Burns Red have once again delivered a strong and consistent album. They have greatly progressed since Constellations and have earned their place as one of the defining metalcore bands. Fans won't be disappointed, and for people who are wanting to step out of their comfort zone, this may well be the band for you.



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user ratings (1211)
Chart.
3.5
great
other reviews of this album
1 of
  • Jamoose (4)
    A solid progression despite some shortcomings....

    Ally McBeal (2.5)
    August Burns Red is back with more of the same, while drawing in sounds from some familiar...

    Adam Thomas STAFF (3)
    August Burns Red as August Burns Red in Leveler....

    Eli EMERITUS (2.5)
    In which consistency gives way to stagnation, with "Leveler" being a stale, forgettable, a...

  • Outnumbered (4)
    Still light years ahead of their peers....


Comments:Add a Comment 
Trebor.
Contributing Reviewer
August 21st 2011


50310 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Metalcore isn't quite as relevant as it used to be

Every metalcore review starts like that
We get it

Digging: The Brave Little Abacus - Masked Dancers

maidenpmcc
August 21st 2011


1424 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Ok, thoughts on the review?

Maniac!
August 21st 2011


26250 Comments


You're still here?

Waior
August 21st 2011


11451 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5 | Sound Off

unimpressive album

MO
August 21st 2011


18618 Comments


wait metalcore was relevant?

Tyrael
August 21st 2011


20866 Comments


wait metalcore was relevant?

Botch

Digging: Darkspace - Dark Space III I

AfterTheBreakdown
August 21st 2011


7128 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5 | Sound Off

Ya

downxbeat
August 21st 2011


58 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I personally think this is Matt Greiner's best work so far. Plus, cutting down on the breakdowns makes it enjoyable to listen. The only thing that bothers me is the artwork. Could of been better.

Xplisit
August 21st 2011


1646 Comments


lol ya damn that artwork really puts a damper on this great album

KronosRage
August 21st 2011


367 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5 | Sound Off

Album is fun

AfterTheBreakdown
August 21st 2011


7128 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5 | Sound Off

sure is.

maidenpmcc
August 21st 2011


1424 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

No one referring to the actual review here?

twlichty
August 21st 2011


3407 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

rating is too high, and this review reads like countless other metalcore reviews on this site.

yeah we know metalcore faces skepticism and breakdowns are a staple of the genre, tell me something i don't know next time you review something.

syco722
August 21st 2011


492 Comments


I liked it man, pos'd

Wheelah
August 21st 2011


756 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I disagree with pretty much every point you made, and I'm an ABR fan. Aside from me disagreeing with you, the review isn't very good in the first place. Many awkward passages/phrasing. Here goes...

"Popular forerunners As I Lay Dying and Unearth,"

Forerunners? Lolno. Try Botch, Deadguy, Dillinger, etc...

"The band's sound hasn't really changed at all except for a few changes, "

That doesn't make sense.

"This track was the first track available off this album"

No, it was Empire...

"destinctive" You mean distinctive...

" a jaw-dropping breakdown which reminds you why you listened to the band in the first place"

Why would I forget what I listen to them for? I thought you said they're good, even without breakdowns?

"Matt's drumming might be under-estimated to a certain extent"

Matt Greiner is probably one of the most praised drummers in metal, certainly in metalcore at least.

"dissapointed" You mean disappointed.

Well, I'm too lazy to look for more... I'm sure you made more mistakes.

maidenpmcc
August 21st 2011


1424 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Hey man, won't be a bitch and complain.. thats what people do - point out mistakes. I've made a few changes here.

maidenpmcc
August 21st 2011


1424 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

syco722, thanks man.

bloc
August 21st 2011


34847 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

ABR in August? HEH HEH HEH

Digging: Interpol - El Pintor

RosaParks
August 21st 2011


14890 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

No

Waior
August 22nd 2011


11451 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5 | Sound Off

album artwork is better than album



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