One of my personal factors in my general disengagement from metal-tinged bands these days is a lack of melodic content. The growing audience for Deathcore and electric guitars tuned below A just jar me more than I’d like to admit. But I’ve had many a friend and foe alike tell me to listen to August Burns Red. I blew them off saying they were “just another core band.”
Yep, I’m a fuckin’ idiot for thinking that!
Their newest LP Phantom Anthem summarises everything I love about heavy music, and delivers with this animalistic, pure finesse.
The opening track “King of Sorrow” summarises what good metalcore should be. Fat riffs, hard and fast rhythm sections and a screamed line that gets you up in the air slamming the air around you. To counter this brutality, there was an addition of piano, choirs and orchestral arrangements for a bridge. Whilst this isn’t the newest trick in the book, it’s execution was so perfect you’d be damned for thinking otherwise.
Brubaker truly puts his pedal to the metal with his lead guitar tracks, excellent choice of notes that stride that fabled line of delicious and edgy. A true torch for guitarists to look towards. Speaking of outstanding guitar work, the rhythm’s throughout “Lifeline” had me nearly in tears out of sheer envy as a guitarist.
That was before the solos took place, Lord have some fuckin’ mercy!
John Petrucci, Yngwie Malmsteen and Michael Angelo Batio’s influence was beautifully paid tribute, a private applause was well-deserved.
My personal favour is lent to “Float”. An intro that sucked me in for thinking it was an early Being As An Ocean demo, and then launching into an ultra-paced circle pit monster of a tune. The addition of cleaner gang vocals pulled back in the mix as a background element lent emotionally drawing vibe that could bring all those massive macho men at home with tears down their cheeks.
If you like something that you can stamp your feet and bang your head to, but also be given a break to whip out the zippo lighters in a salute, August Burns Red’s Phantom Anthem is the album for you. A beautiful dynamic array of instruments that always circle back to the strength of their roots. And with that, a new fan is born.
Rogue Rating : 4 out of 5 horns
August Burns Red
Phantom Anthem - Track List
1. King of Sorrow
2. Hero of the Half Truth
3. The Frost
5. Invisible Enemy
11. Carbon Cop
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