David Stagg is the Owner and Editor of HM Magazine. He enjoys horror movies, minimalism, and Brighton and Hove Albion football.

Defining Your Sound

August Burns Red is entering into enviable territory in musicdom with a sound so specific, it becomes untouchable

As a fan of metal, I’m excited for August Burns Red’s new album. The band has a rare spot in history, having perfected the art of metalcore with their sophomore release, Messengers, bearing the standard for all future releases of the genre. On the eve of their seventh full-length release (and first with a new label, Fearless), they’re about to enter Rage Against the Machine territory where the sound is so specific, no band gets to touch it. If that 2007 release was the core of it all, everything since then, from Constellations up to Found in Far Away Places, is built on that same foundation and then expanded and stretched, always for the better. Even the artwork from their first record in 2005 looks like it could be released tomorrow and still fit right in.

August Burns Red’s time-tested sound is due, in part, to the commitment the band has made to the long-term goal. They’re the San Antonio Spurs of metal, where everyone is a leader, everyone gets their say and the team comes before the individual. The other, more actionable aspect of the ABR Sound is the process they take to write an album. It’s an incredibly democratic, exhausting and laboring process, as you’ll read, but it cleanses like fire. The albums are the proof. While fans of the band have their personal favorite selections from ABR’s discography, none of their albums have ever been dismissed as “a departure” or “worse than before,” and I’ll stand by that statement even for their Christmas record. Long-term success is an honorable goal, and it’s fun to see August Burns Red enjoy the fruits of that commitment. It’s a good example to follow.

Enjoy the beginning of Summer. August Burns Red’s newest album is one of many jammers coming out in June. Start saving your money now.