August Burns Red Messengers

August Burns Red Messengers

An introduction of fervent desire is the note August Burns Red conveys with Messengers. Without a momentary lapse in their hardcore-based, but metal-inspired, follow-up to Thrill Seeker, this five-piece Christ-core band have produced an album up there with label-mates Norma Jean and Zao. From the get go, "Truth of a Liar” demonstrates what ABR do best: ultra-swift technical drumming that injects pace, only to have it drained by back busting breakdowns. Drummer Matt Greiner is the eye of this audio storm in "Composure,” his metal-core percussion undeniably infectious and hypnotic. And where would a hardcore-influenced album be without the standard echoed group chant? ABR do their best to throw a curve ball by differing each track to keep things fresh. "The Eleventh Hour” starts with a sudden drum roll to one of the biggest double bassings of the album, then a tempo change and back to hardcore familiarity. "Back Burner” plays with the most metal roots of Messengers, with angular guitar riffage, squeals and muted chugs. This CD is a lyrical and musical collaboration, proving that five heads are more metal than one. (Solid State)