As metalcore’s modern rebirth takes a global stranglehold, it’s often sadly overlooked that, long before the new guard of fresh-faced young talent embraced that timeless melodic might, Pennsylvania five-piece August Burns Red were tirelessly rousing the genre from its self-induced coma with a catalogue of endlessly creative releases. Exhibiting a level of emotional oomph and fearless invention which sees them stand apart from an over-populated scene, seventh full-length ‘Found In Far Away Places’ furthers that strident sonic crusade with what is their most dynamically rich offering yet.
Although delivering the band’s signature violence in spades (opener ‘The Wake’ rattles out of the gate with almost extreme metal intensity), it’s some thrilling flights of structural fancy which marks a formidable leap forward here. Frolicsome detours (‘Majoring In The Minors’, ‘Separating The Seas’) sit comfortably beside bone snapping rhythmic clout and europhic six-string melodies, and a sense of care-free instrumental bravery informs the record as a consistently surprising delight.
The schizoid complexity of ‘Blackwood’, ‘Vanguard’‘s guitar histrionics, a willfully hazy blues breakdown in ‘Martyrs’, these are all startling examples of how August Burns Red‘s singular vision thrives on sonic uncompromise and boundary vaulting ideas. Fearsomely metallic it may still be, yet in contrast to countless peers ‘Found In Far Away Places’ veers off in a number of wildly curious directions, and it’s these irresistible curve-balls which strike an exquisite balance between brutality and experimentation, and shows us how, over a decade into their career, August Burns Red still have a ferocious artistic wind in their sails.
Written by Tony Bliss (@TBliss88)