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Death Below by August Burns Red - Reviewed

Review by Ryan Renger

20 years later and August Burns Red is still blasting away and releasing insane music. The two-time Grammy-nominated Metalcore legends have just released their ninth studio album, Death Below. The album is an aggressive and forceful display of powerful emotions that has all the key components of what ABR fans have come to love for years. Killer riffs, ferocious screams, thunderous drums, and huge-name collaborations are the defining characteristics that make Death Below the amazing album that it is. For an album as heavy as this, it starts off surprisingly light. Premonition introduces dissonant tension-building guitar chords that slowly build into Jake Luhrs grasping listeners and bringing them into the ride of a lifetime. The stark contrast between Premonition and The Cleansing is evident immediately, with Matt Greiner’s drum fill starting the eight-minute journey. The song has multiple levels, from Luhrs high pitched screams to the combination of JB Brubaker and Brent Rambler trading off melodies and harmonies on their guitars and the prevalence of Dustin Davidson’s bass tying it all together. Up next on the album is a collaboration with another staple of the Metalcore genre, Killswitch Engage vocalist Jesse Leach. Ancestry starts with a trashy riff moving into lighting fast blast beats that set the stage for an explosive duet of two of the very best Metalcore vocalists. Another great collaboration on the album comes in the form of All That Remains and former Chelsea Grin guitarist Jason Richardson lending his squeals

and sweeps to ABR on Tightrope.

Fool’s Gold In The Bear Trap is a nice departure from the beginning of the album. The song begins with a Latin-influenced instrumental that is very reminiscent of Avenged Sevenfold, and just when you think this might be a ballad, the song switches gears in the blink of an eye and crushes souls for a straight minute of violence. Backfire and Revival feature some of the best guitar work on the album, with both songs chugging and grooving, coupled with exceptional lead work. The album ends on an extremely high note, with two more amazing voices joining ABR. The Abyss features Erra and Texas In July’s JT Cavey, while Reckoning plays host to Spencer Chamberlain from Underoath. Both songs are magnificently written and make great use of the tremendous talent that guest spots on them. Death Below is a certified 10 out of 10 release and album of the year contender. It will not be shocking if August Burns Red gets nominated for a third Grammy with the number of bangers that are present. This album cements ABR’s legacy in the Metalcore world and proves that the band only gets finer with age. They are still the same band that put out crushing hits like Back Burner and Mariana’s Trench but have refined their writing and recording process to be the mature Metalcore veterans that produced this extraordinary album. In support of Death Below, August Burns Red will hit the road with The Devil Wears Prada for a month-long North American tour that kicks off in their home state of Pennsylvania on April 13th, so be sure to catch them in a city near you. The album is out now on all streaming platforms, so go give it a listen!

Watch the music video for Backfire here:

You can connect with the band at the links below:


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