Sound — 10
The sound has evolved greatly from their previous work, the first thing catching my ear being the new voice. Although Jake's voice is clearer and the way he growls the lyrics are easier to understand, I still prefer Josh's voice. In my opinion his vocals were harsher and flowed amazingly well with both guitars (not that Jake's vocal talent is bad, or anything). New sound, new voice I guess. The intro to "Truth Of A Liar" just blew me away, the energy around the sound being over the roof. Breakdowns were killer throughout the whole album, harmony was great as always in their repertoire. Melodies were somewhat catchier in "Thrill Seeker" in my opinion, but they lacked the intensity that the tracks of "Messengers" unleash on the listener. The lads have grown, it's unquestionable and thank God they haven't gone downhill after their throbbing first full release.
Lyrics — 10
Everyone in the band had a say in this album, hence the title "Messengers". Comparing to "Thrill Seeker", it's obviously written both musically and most of all lyrically from the perspective of all the members of the band. I've been fond of their lyrics, be it by Jon, Josh or Jake and the crew. IMHO, combining a musically strong band that's musically intense with lyrics 'for the heart and spirit' makes a band great. Hearing Jake scream his soul out into the mike in "Redemption" about humility, mercy and admittance of sin made my skin crawl, literally. It's really hard to explain the huge message the whole album hurls at you with immense force; you just have to listen to it for yourself and make your own conclusions. "Be my strength. Be my voice. Be my glory. Set me free."
Overall Impression — 10
When I first listened to the album, I barely remembered any melody, breakdowns, or just any catchy riff. Apart from the intro of "Truth Of A Liar", comparing to "Thrill Seeker", my first impression was "Eh, ok." However, I was greatly surprised when I listened to the album again, concentrating on it thoroughly. I was simply blown away. From the powerful, aggressive intro riff of "Truth Of A Liar" to the soft, but spectacular (in my opinion) finale of "Redemption", August Burns Red did not leave me a single though of regret for the price I payed for the album. I'd rate this 11+ if there was a possibility. My favorite has to be "Redemption". That song literally made my day, both lyrically and melodically. The Christian thematic around the lyrics wraps up an epic epilogue to and epic album. Dare I say this is a '07 masterpiece; moreover, one of the best metalcore releases of all time. I simply can't wait for their next release, which I'm sure will not be worse than their previous full realeases.