The last few years have probably not been easy for anyone. August Burns Red know that too and let their music do the talking. Three years after “Guardians” they concentrate their already dark and comparatively brute Metalcore more than ever on the dark side and become even more personal. “Death Below” has the fury of despair in its name but is also poised for moments of triumph and redemption; for the little bit of hope that survives.
“Ancestry” was the first harbinger and is also one of the best tracks on the new record. The almost unbelievable force with which this piece of music rises from the depths of the soul and fires furious double-bass salvos commands respect. August Burns Red turn the heaviness up again, Jesse Leach from Killswitch Engage provides one of the few clear singing moments on this record – short, intense, irresistible. On the other hand, “Backfire” leads immediately in media res, increases the number of strokes significantly and lets the muscles flex. Between irresistible sprints, dark interludes and groove-like highlights, these four and a half minutes spin the wheel and appear more infernal than ever.
The album is framed by two epics, each scratching the eight-minute mark. “The Cleansing” pretty much unleashes the full musical potential of the quintet. Not for the last time, the electronics operating in the background, which intensifies the mood and exquisitely prepares for the final fanfare of light, catches the eye. “Reckoning” also testifies to the ability to change. Joining Underoath’s Spencer Chamberlain, the next excellent guest, August Burns Red fuel themselves through a complex, layered piece of music. Especially the somewhat more leisurely and at the same time restless second half with its constant twists creates a special mood.
August Burns Red have always stood for relatively harsh Metalcore, but on “Death Below” they reach a new, destructive level. Loudly shaken by the turmoil and setbacks of the recent past, the quintet goes ahead with new, unfiltered heaviness and intensity. Bright moments rarely appear, have to be worked through first, but therein lies a charm – you earn the silver lining on the horizon, which turns out to be even more beautiful as a result. August Burns Red consistently stay the course and remain unmatched in the best sense of the word.
Available from: 03/24/2023
Available through: SharpTone Records (Rough Trade)
Slider-Pic (c) August Burns Red
Category: Magazin, Reviews