Review: August Burns Red – Leveler



Over the years, Lancaster, Pennsylvania, quintet August Burns Red have crafted a signature brand of metalcore that challenges the genre’s status quo, and the band’s fourth album pushes the envelope even further. Leveler sees the band returning to (and exceeding) the heaviness of their 2007 album, Messengers, while crafting its most ambitious songs to date. The second track here, “Internal Cannon,” begins with the group’s distinctive oddly timed breakdowns and technical guitar work, but then transitions into a Latin-sounding clean section. As strange as this might sound, the fusion of influences is done artfully and comes across great. The song, for which the band has filmed a music video, is the most daringly experimental on the record, and may also be the album’s best track.

Unlike many of his more showy peers, lead guitarist JB Brubaker shreds tactfully, playing memorable melodies on “Cutting the Ties,” “Poor Millionaire,” and “Pangaea.” Drummer Matt Greiner also delivers his best work to date, pounding furious blast beats and seeming to be everywhere around the kit at once. The result of it all is a more diverse effort than the band’s last release, 2009’s Constellations, as the songs really stand apart from each other this time around. August Burns Red have set their own bar even higher on Leveler, and have done so for all of their scene in the process. The album is certainly among the most memorable releases so far this year. DAVID McKENNA

Check out “Empire” from Leveler below:

  • Bloodbath & Beyond

    To Whom It May Concern:

    Your review of this record made me feel old. I listened to the attached song and several other tracks that you praised only to find that the music was a product of uninspired crap. You sir should not have this job, as you clearly do not understand the difference between good and bad music.

    P.S. I am only 21 years old and probably younger than yourself, so grats on sounding like that 40 something who found Black Veil Brides innovative.

    • Geddes209

      A simple matter of opinion…all the around the reviews have been what this guy is saying, so I would argue that what you have said is no general consensus but a thought

  • I prefer Opeth

    Gonna go ahead and disagree with the below commenter.  This record doesn’t sound at all like all the other terrible metalcore being produced.  This band actually does break the trend of most modern, popular metal, even if some of it sounds like an imitation of BTBAM. But to say it is “crap” shows you’re really the ignorant one.  And for the record, if you’re gonna try to sound holier-than-thou, try Akerfeldt’s other project.

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  • blehhh

    I agree with the comment below about the comment below the comment below. J.B. Brubaker owns. Give pangea a listen and if you play guitar, your mind will be blown.