Released June 25, 2013
Reviewed by Anthony Peronto
“Metalcore is not an interesting genre at this point.”
So says August Burns Red guitarist JB Brubaker in an interview earlier this year. He’s got a point; metalcore is the most musically stagnant genre of them all and is why a majority of albums that come my way have disappointed me in some way or another. Enter August Burns Red, the Pennsylvania mainstay that has been consistently improving their craft with every album they make. And after Leveler that showed them branching out musically and one of the best Christmas albums in recent memory, their anticipated return with Rescue & Restore shows the band at their most inspiring and creative level yet.
Progressing in their style, not reinventing, ABR shows us the unexpected in several songs throughout the album, from solid uses of spoken word (“Spirit Breaker,” “The First Step,” and “Beauty in Tragedy”) to orchestral arrangements (“Spirit Breaker”). But the heart of Rescue & Restore comes in the exact middle of album on “Creative Captivity” which is a battle cry that incorporates mandolin, strings, xylophone, percussion, and horns with very few lyrics. It’s a song that surpasses Becoming the Archetype’s technique of contrasting metal with different musical styles and instruments.
As far as the more straight-forward metalcore tracks off the album, ABR delivers the goods right from the start with “Provision,” which just like the band Project 86, always open up their albums with a mind-blowing opener. There are plenty of concert-ready, gang vocal filled songs on the album. From “Stop telling us what happens we die/ Start helping others while we’re still alive!” from “Treatment” to “What we see is not all we believe. We believe He will remain!” from “Sincerity” these are just a few of the songs perfect for yelling at the top of your lungs.
Somehow more hopeful and spiritual than their previous records, the band’s 5th album shows August Burns Red still at the top of their game. Though they play both sides, taking creative risks and giving us the rousing continuation of their signature sound, you sort of wish they would put their focus on one or the other. But you’ve got to respect the band’s intentions in the end. They wanted to inspire divine hope in their listeners and make metalcore an interesting genre again, to rescue and restore.
- Spirit Breaker
- Count It All As Lost
- Creative Captivity
- Fault Line
- Beauty In Tragedy
- The First Step