Sound — 10
With Constellations, August Burns Red's sound has evolved. It's as simple as that. The band had never really released a completely solid album prior to this one. All the songs were catchy, but they had drawbacks. The main drawback to ABR's prior albums was the inconceivable amount of breakdowns they possessed. It was just too many. It ended up being too monotonous. On this album, however, breakdowns are only inserted where necessary and there is much more lead guitar present which is nice. Jake's vocals have really progressed as well. He has a good harsh voice. It fits the music very well. There's even some clean vocals attempted by Dustin Davidson, the bassist. JB and Brent's guitarwork is pretty much flawless for metalcore and Matt Greiner is still a beast on the kit. The band even attempts to incorporate a jazzy section in the song 'Ocean of Apathy.' The attempt works; that's all I'll say.
Lyrics — 10
ABR has been known to be a Christian band since inception. That doesn't change a bit on Constellations. I don't know if Jake pens the lyrics himself or if the band as a whole writes them. One way or the other, the lyrics are stellar. Some lines get in your head and stay there such as "Your mind is the mountain before you" and also "Open your closed mind and close your open mouth." Jake also delivers with astounding ferocity and his vocals don't sound fake. I just plain love what this band does lyrically and what Jake does vocally. Outstanding.
Overall Impression — 10
I'm going to start this piece by saying that this is NOT a fanboy review. The only other album I own by this band is "Thrill Seeker" and I listen to it sparingly. All I have to say about Constellations overall is that August Burns Red has taken the metalcore crown from As I Lay Dying. As I Lay Dying's 'An Ocean Between Us' had taken such a firm hold I never thought AILD would relinquish it (Also fellow Metalcore cans, Killswitch lost it when Jesse Leach left, so don't bother commenting that "Killswitch is the best Metalcore band for realzz!" because they're not and haven't been for quite some time). I love both ABR and AILD and I hope that with each passing album both bands continue to grow. ABR sure does and AILD did with their most recent album. I only hope that, come this winter, As I Lay Dying retakes the metalcore crown because God knows how good the album has to be to top this one. Constellations kicks ass. Nothing more need be said.