This album shows a band still in their forming years, but it is a good second record.
Messengers is the second album from Metalcore band August Burns Red. It’s heavy stuff set to a very fast tempo and like the rest of the releases from August Burns Red it does not really contain choruses in any of the tracks.
If you have heard their future releases Constellations and Leveler you know what kind of sound August Burns Red provides. Each song is all over the place, but not in a bad way; they don’t follow a traditional metal formula. Messengers is perhaps more like this than any of the band’s future releases and every song on the album sounds like they are made up of a composite of many different tracks.
However, in the next record – Constellations – the band seem to have found the perfect sound. Messengers therefore sounds a little primitive in comparison, like the band was still finding the sound they have become known for.
Of the eleven tracks on the record, not one is bad or particularly worse than any other. In fact, each track is fairly indistinguishable from the rest beyond their lyrics – this is not however a slight against the band or a slight against the band as musicians – the whole album melds together into one, and it is perfectly possible to listen to and enjoy any track from the album. It just seems that they perhaps tried too hard in making each song as complicated as they could, before they could properly write songs as complicated as they wanted.
Each member of the band does a fantastic job, but particular praise must be given to Jake Lurhs’ vocals. There are so many metal bands that use the same, monotone screaming style, but Luhrs’ really shakes things up fantastically throughout each track, although his vocals only improve in the band’s next effort.
Quality wise, the album struggles through its mix. It just does not sound as powerful as it should and most definitely could have done with a more powerful, aggressive mix.
August Burns Red’s Messengers is a good album, but it is not great. The whole album melds together, but the band’s now iconic style sounds just a little primitive here. Despite the issues however, it is a fun album and the band’s hearts were definitely in the right place, perhaps it’s just a problem that I heard the outstanding Constellations before this, but it just does not bring the same level of excitement and aggressive energy that future releases do.
Fans of the band will like the album a lot, but for first time listeners Constellations provides the better first listen into an overall fantastic band.