Review Summary: Enough variety and and staying power makes Lost Messengers a cut above most unreleased and outtakes compilations.Lost Messengers: The Outtakes
is fan service at its finest. Nothing more or less than a compilation of demos and unreleased material to whet fans' appetites during the wait for new full length Constellations
, the amazing thing is, it's done right. While most bands put out lackluster live compilations in-between albums, what August Burns Red has presented here are 7 enjoyable tracks that fans will eat up, with enough variety to not just be boring filler.
The first two tracks, "Chasing the Dragon" and "Mosley" tread familiar ABR territory, the first being an unreleased song, and the latter a bonus track on the vinyl edition of Messengers
. These songs are the material that foreshadow the change present on Constellations
, as they show more musical technicality and vocal variation than most tracks on Messengers
. Its still typical metalcore here, just a bit more refined and better than most of what else is out there.
The truly intriguing parts come in the form of the next three tracks: "Carol of the Bells," "To Those About to Rock," and "Piano Man." The first is a metal instrumental version of the Christmas tune of the same name, and the only way to describe it is completely badass. "To Those About to Rock" has nothing to do with AC/DC. Rather, it is a parody of Southern Metal/Rock and riffs that the band used to warm up during practice. And to my chagrin, "Piano Man" is NOT a cover of the Billy Joel song, but just a nice little outro for the EP.
The last two songs are demos of two of Messengers
' most popular tracks; "Truth of a Liar" and "Vital Signs." Normally demos aren't worth the time it takes to listen to them, but I found that these showcased Jake Luhr's vocals in a way that really needs to be heard to be appreciated, in that they are so raw and visceral.
This is one of the best collections of unreleased material a band has ever put together that August Burns Red and metalcore fans alike should get some short-lived amusement out of. That being said, while it isn't boring filler, it is
filler, and therefore doesn't fare well as a stand alone release, or starting point for those new to ABR, but does as an excellent bridge between albums.