August Burns Red are the kings of the breakdown, and thankfully; new album Leveler is chocked full gut wrenching, bouncy, killer, groove infested breakdowns that when they hit makes the listener think that Armageddon has arrived. With sixteen great metalcore anthems which total over an hour of fun filled, metal mayhem. August Burns Red has definitely outdone its predecessor album Constellations in many ways and with this killer album, delivered fans with the best album of their career. Hold onto your hats, because Leveler is going to hit you like a raging storm…… and it’s not going to leave anyone standing!
The best thing about Leveler is that there are so many memorable moments on this album especially at the beginning album. Opening tracks: ‘Empire’, ‘Internal Canon’ and ‘Pangaea’ are all crushingly heavy tracks, that when played at full blast smash through your speakers like a runaway train. It’s the musicianship mainly that makes these tracks so memorable, for not only do August Burns Red go for an extremely heavy approach to most of their songs, they add diversity to their music which can be seen in the beautiful flamenco guitar riff in ‘Internal Canon’ which adds a lot of colour to the song and shows just how talented guitarist’s JB Brubaker and Brent Rambler are.
To the tail end of Leveler we are presented with a collection of 4 bonus tracks, which to say the least, some of them are extremely odd. With some guest vocals from Zachary Veilleux in the track ‘Boys of Fall’, a case of metalcore meets Mario in ‘Empire [MIDI]’ and the fully acoustic version of ‘Internal Canon’ it show that August Burns Red play the music for fun, and are not afraid to try something different, which turned out a great way to end the album with anyway.
The production may not be as clean as your every day metalcore album on Leverler, but this “dirty sounding” production gives the album a more mechanical and punk like sound to it, making all that aggression and anarchy just leap out of the music at you. If August Burns Red were to have made their sound on Leverler perfect, then the listener would not have been able to feel that “Intimacy” that makes this album all the more powerful and memorable.
August Burns Red are contenders to be kings of the metalcore scene, and their latest storm of an album, the guaranteed to have you in a head banging frenzy album Leveler, is just the album to knock them into the glory they rightfully deserve. [8/10][/media-credit]