"Constellations" (Solid State; 2009)

Reviewed by Jeff Rogers

August Burns Red is Christian metalcore and progressive metal. The music is incredible with blistering guitar solos and hole-stomping rhythms with blast beat drums. When the guitar is metalcore, it's heavy; when they switch to the progressive trait they step it up and play solidly. The only shy I have is with the vocals. I just can't get into them (or understand them). Omitting the vocals isn't an option so the printed lyrics will have to tell the story.

Because metalcore doesn't generally produce uplifting songs, August Burns Red are rare in their stage persona. You have to know where they are coming from so you can understand where they want to lead you; it's not down a path of destruction but of self-awareness and your need for God.

There are tons of time changes and the music, when it stays in the same vein, stomps. When they change gears you might get caught off guard but they are very technical so it still sounds great. Their name comes from a friend who had broken up with his girlfriend named August. She didn't take it too well and burned his dog alive while it was in its doghouse -- Redd was the dog's name. The next day the headline read, "August Burns Redd." They liked it and it stuck. It's original, I'll give them that.

August Burns Red: Jake Luhrs lead vocals; JB Brubaker guitar; Brent Rambler guitar; Dustin Davidson bass guitar, backing vocals; Matt Greiner drums, piano.

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Rating Guide:

A classic. This record will kick your ass.

Killer. Not a classic but it will rock your world.

So-so. You've heard better.

Pretty bad. Might make a nice coaster.

Self explanatory. Just the sight of the cover makes you wanna hurl.

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Copyright 2009 by R. Scott Bolton. All rights reserved.
Revised: 02 Oct 2023 21:56:13 -0400.