August Burns Red


Written by: BL on 03/12/2010 17:42:30

Now I don't often listen to live albums nor am I that interested in them, unless I really like the band, which I suppose is the whole purpose of live albums anyway - something that fans and only fans will really appreciate. The point being that it should be like standing at the show yourself and hearing the band play live (not so much seeing them live for uh, obvious reasons). August Burns Red was at one point one of my favourite metalcore bands, back when they were one of the only ones playing it technical style with their time signature switches and off beat rhythms. Nowadays with the metalcore scene so much more saturated and their style adopted by dozens of bands, it's getting harder even for themselves to stand out. But that isn't what this review is about, what it is about though is their new live album "Home" which was recorded in the summer of 2010 at Warehouse54 in Manheim, Pennsylvania - their 'home' place (apt album title).

I am going to take a guess that unless you like or know something about August Burns Red then this review probably won't be worth your time or interest (I may be wrong, in which case stick around). There's a healthy fourteen tracks on the album (fifteen if you count the intro) and surprisingly it actually covers every album in their discography, including their usually criminally under-represented first album "Thrill Seeker" (my personal favourite album of theirs). "Your Little Suburbia Is In Ruins", "A Shot Below The Belt" and "The Seventh Trumpet" (I wasn't even expecting the latter to be the actual last song in the encore, so I was quite pleased in a way to finally hear a live version of it) make their way amongst the newer numbers like "White Washed", "Meddler", "Marianas Trench" and everybody else's favourite song of theirs "Composure". Indeed I think the track listing is, at the end of the day, a strong one, and illustrates their impressive catalogue of songs pretty clearly. I think an additional song from "Thrill Seeker" wouldn't have hurt, but then that would have been probably too perfect to ask for.

As for the recording quality? Well it's pretty good on the whole. Jason Suecof who produced the last album (which I also reviewed) also helms this live effort, and mixes all the parts pretty well. You get a feel for the technical prowess of the guitar players and the drummer in a live setting, and what they display sonically sounds undoubtedly intense and tightly executed. Jake Luhrs's vocals do sound a little too strained from time to time which kind of takes away the impression that his screams always sounded so sharp and powerful on the last two albums. I'm not sure if that's just the pressure of trying to hold it together for all of the fourteen tracks which is not easy on the vocal cords for any vocalist, or just the vocal recording being bad - either way it's a real shame and somewhat distracting at a lot of the best instrumental moments. At least you can hear the crowd reacting well inbetween tracks to Jake whenever he engages with the audience, something nice to always see and hear at a real show (provided it doesn't take away too much from actual song time).

So the consensus then? If you are indeed an August Burns Red fan then this is a fairly nice addition to your collection. It's disappointing that the vocals came out a bit dodgy, but if you can live with that, then at least you can hear the other members do what they did so well on the record live. If you aren't familiar with the band but is interested in hearing them anyway, then I definitely recommend you actually listen to their studio albums first.

Download: The whole thing presumably, their studio albums
For the fans of: August Burns Red
Listen: Myspace

Release date 28.09.2010
Solid State

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