August Burns Red- ‘Guardians’ Album Review

Three years since their last album, August Burns Red are back with their heaviest album to date.

Image Credit: Ray Duker

With the release of their latest album, Guardians, August Burns Red delivers not only their heaviest music yet, but also a more diverse sound than ever before. 

Fans of the metalcore band will be far from disappointed as the album delivers their hard-hitting, signature sound from the second it begins. For those who heard singles such as ‘Bones’ prior to the album’s release, it comes as no surprise that the band have no intention of slowing down when it comes to the energy they generate in their music. 

‘The Narrative’, alongside ‘Defender’ and ‘Bloodletter’ remain loyal to the original sound of the band, grabbing listeners by the throat as the technical precision of Matt Greiner’s drumming throws them head-first into the intense album. Refusing to censor their music to become more radio-friendly, these songs encompass the sound of August Burns Red perfectly for those unfamiliar with their previous work. 

With aspects reminiscent to Code Orange and Slipknot, songs ‘Paramount’, ‘Ties That Bind’ and ‘Extinct By Instinct’ demonstrate the heaviest work August Burns Red have done yet. Using hard-hitting, aggressive riffs alongside uptempo choruses and harmonised guitars, the band command the attention of everyone who hears it, without falling into the trap of ever sounding repetitive.

For those fortunate enough to see the band perform live once their tour with Killswitch Engage resumes, ‘Bones’, ‘Dismembered Memory’ and ‘Empty Heaven’ are to be highly anticipated. Exemplifying exactly what they do best, these are the gems that promise an unforgettable experience at their shows and should be staple songs for any metalhead’s playlist. 

Although high energy and captivating, a sense of precision is still captured throughout the album, with each song becoming increasingly distinctive and unique as the album progresses. The technicality exemplified by JB Brubaker and extensive vocal range of Jake Luhrs remains prominent throughout, with ‘Lighthouse’ and ‘Three Fountains’ pushing boundaries and revealing the diversity of the members as they experiment with new genres. 

Despite staying loyal to their roots, the closing track, ‘Three Fountains’, brings an element of experimentation to the album as it draws to its end. Playing with an orchestral backdrop, their metalcore sound is combined with aspects of melodic, heartfelt sections– incorporating a newfound maturity into the album and surprising even the most devoted fans. 

Surpassing expectations with their most intense album yet, Guardians also enables August Burns Red to become accessible to a wider audience. Perfectly balancing their signature, precise sound with new, experimental aspects, the band promise to turn heads and provide a level of energy that has been, up until now, sorely lacking in the metal scene.

Guardians is available now via Fearless Records and available to stream on all platforms. Whilst August Burns Red’s tour with Killswitch Engage is postponed due to current circumstances, it is set to be rescheduled shortly.

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