August Burns Red

Constellations

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August Burns Red have made a name for themselves by being open to experimentation within the metalcore genre, and on its third album, the Lancaster, PA-based quintet continues to reach for new levels of technical prowess and musical sophistication without losing its brutal attack and apocalyptic, Christian-themed lyrics. Guitarists J.B. Brubaker and Brent Rambler combine stuttering machine-gun salvos and dizzying single-note runs and drummer Matt Greiner's thrilling stop-start rhythms often build momentum to the point of ecstatic hysteria. Stand-out track "Ocean of Apathy" employs layered rhythms that bring a subtle complexity to a deceptively simple and brutal song. Although some listeners may resist the stark good-versus-evil, Jesus-conquers-Satan imagery, few metal fans would argue that, on only its third go-round, an already mature band has taken another step forward.

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