Metalcore band August Burns Red returns with their eighth studio album Guardians on Fearless Records, delivering a dose of fast heavy music to the fans.
August Burns Red, a five-piece metalcore band, has been a staple in the heavy music scene since 2003. They return this April with their new release Guardians on Fearless records, produced by longtime producers Carson Slovak and Grant McFarland. When you first glance over the track-listing, you are struck by the names including “The Narrative,” “Empty Heaven” and “Extinct by Instinct.” It is easy to see by the titles alone why the band describes this album as having thematic pensive lyrics, but when you begin to listen, you see these tracks really deliver on that promise. The album is full of grooves and most of it has a fast almost thrash feel to it musically.
Opening with “The Narrative,” this track really does what the band intended. It sets the tone for the album and happens to be one of the heaviest and fast tracks, but that is hard to say since this album is full of heavy, fast music. When you hear this song, you can immediately picture a crowd moshing along to it. “Defender” is another song with the same heavy feel that is sure to be a crowd favorite when performed live. Other standouts are “Paramount” and “Empty Heaven.” These songs are filled with fast riffs and grooves and Jake Luhrs’ growling vocal really sets off the music but the way the vocals and music layer together creates a complex sound. The intensity of these songs is undeniable. A few tracks in, you get to “Lighthouse” which is the first different sounding track. This song has a slower feel that really shows off the diversity of August Burns Red. This same feeling returns with the closing track, “Three Fountains,” an epic six and a half minute song to close the album. While these songs are equally as hard as the rest of the album, they showcase a more melodic sound. The overall feeling of this album and its intensity energizes the listener and the songs really resonate and make the listener feel what the band was going for. The ten tracks do not let up from start to finish.
“Paramount” and “Defender” have been released on YouTube with the latter having a full video to accompany it. These two tracks really show perfectly what this album is about and, as stated before, they are two stand-out songs. The video for Defender enhances the song and the story associated with it, and the overall thematic feeling of the album.
Guitarist Brent Rambler says he wants people to smile when they hear this album and look forward to seeing it live and Guardians does just that. When you listen to it, you can almost see it live from the band’s performance to the crowd’s reactions. You can see the crowds in smaller venues or at larger festivals and how they will react to the songs. It is heavy and aggressive but it does just what they intended by having these thoughtful lyrics. Once people hear this album, they are going to want more and the more is definitely seeing these songs performed live.
Set to release April 3rd, Guardians by August Burns Red is not an album fans of metalcore or heavy music should miss.