August Burns Red Leveler

August Burns Red Leveler
Formed eight years ago, with three albums behind them, August Burns Red are relative veterans in the metalcore genre. Progression has been a marker for the five-piece band, improving and expanding their sound on each record, and Leveler continues that forward motion. The 12-song disc features the band sounding heavier, with the melodic parts more introspective and delicate than anything from their past. Guitarists Brent Rambler and JB Brubaker soar on this record, with solos and quick, intricate riffs that make it jump and not remain static. They delve into Spanish-influenced breakdowns on "Internal Cannon" and then showcase intricate patterns and shredding on songs such as "Boys of Fall." Vocalist Jake Luhrs cements himself as one of the best in the genre right now. The intensity of "40 Nights" comes through with vivid realism when he screams, "The Earth is about to crack!" "Carpe Diem," one of the heaviest tracks, simply accents how stellar Leveler is. With a quiet riff and straightforward beat, Luhrs lets his voice, waffling between a deep growl and shrill scream, direct the song; he steps between stop and go patterns to lead a pummelling path to the end. This is by far the greatest album August Burns Red have ever produced. (Solid State)