Album Review: August Burns Red – Found In Far Away Places

Album Review: August Burns Red – Found In Far Away Places

Consistency has always been one of the hidden tools of success within music. Few bands manage to make it through their whole career without a black spot or moment of relapse, and those that do go on to be remembered for years to come. August Burns Red were a band on track to achieve such a status after releasing a series of hard hitting and vitally memorable heavy music until the 13’s underwhelming ‘Rescue & Restore’ put a damper on the party. That’s the past now though the band have returned brimming with new mosh fuel and creative bursts in the form of ‘Found In Far Away Places’ looking to distance them even further from the wannabes kicking at their heels.

Opening with the whirlwind beat and piercing crunch of ‘The Wake’ the band don’t look like they are in the mood to mess about. Aside from still being able to write the most gut busting breakdowns this side of Pennsylvania August Burns Red have always tried to take their vision one step further. Encased in the centre of ‘Martyr’ is a minute of fiddly guitar picking and pretty atmosphere building while ‘Identity’ throws orchestral sways over the top of its most sentimental moments. Not all the experimentations pay off though. Aside from its pummeling riffs and mosh pit-inducing edge ‘Separating The Sea’ does go a little bit too cheesy Eastern European Polka to be enjoyable. Regardless to be playing such a well worn style but still striving to put their own risky unique spin on things takes a lot of guts and even though it doesn’t always pay off August Burns Red come out fresher and more innovative than their peers.

The boundary pushing continues with ‘Majoring In The Minors’ injecting some foot stomping country vibes in between the rapturous drums and classic rock influenced guitar solos and ‘Broken Promises’ noodles with sprawling instrumental beauty. It has to be said though that at times ‘Found In Far Away Places’ becomes much more tedious than it necessarily has to be thanks to hefty song times that try to pack way too much in rather than just letting the juices flow. Pushing all of their eggs into one basket could have paid off greatly but actually leaves some of the album sticking around much longer then needed. Saying that the band are as usual at their best when they put everything on the table and create balls-to-the-wall exhilarating metalcore such as the furiously blunt ‘Twenty One Grams’ and razor sharp ‘Blackwood’. Things come to an ultimately triumphant end in the form of choral chants, victoriously soaring guitars and haunting piano through ‘Vanguard’. Then the dust settles.

Regardless of its minor cracks, ‘Found In Far Away Places’ is one of August Burns Red’s most diverse, inventive and punishing releases in years. Though it doesn’t always pay off as well as they may hope, the band have effortlessly placed themselves once again leagues above other bands of the same ilk in terms of confidence and creativity and seem to have plenty more to spare. August Burns Red still hit their shining peak when they write straight forward mosh parts, but as long as they keep spicing things up metalcore will still be a name with more and more to give.

3/5

‘Found In Far Away Places’ by August Burns Red is out now on Fearless Records.

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Words by Jack Rogers (@JackMRog)