Sound — 9
Just when you though metalcore was dead, a band comes along that proves you wrong. August Burns Red is that band. These guys put Metal back into Metalcore (or Mathcore, if you want to get picky), and do it with a ferocity that will leave you breathless. Every song is a listen in itself, since every one features a huge amount of breakdowns that make it feel like your listening to several songs in one. This is a kind of a problem though, since if you listen to the album from start to finish, the tracks start to meld and sound the same. Listened seperatly, they are great, but together it's kind of a problem to listen to. The guitar riffs are one again very technical, and very catchy, and the drumming has improved once again, though the use of the crash symbol could have been toned down just a bit. The bass (when you hear it), holds the tracks together, which isn't much more than you could ask for. Tracks such as The Truth of a Liar, Back Burner and The Eleventh Hour showcase their wide arrange of skills very well, and several of these riffs you will have problems getting out of your head.
Lyrics — 9
One thing I really like about this band is their lyrics. There is no chorus's in their music, instead the lyrical section features a single free verse like poem that talks about the usual (as you can expect from Christian bands). Everything to do with redemtion, agony, longing, success and hate is covered, and you will have to read over the lyric book to really understand what they are talking about. An American Dream is the only track that does not stick with the pattern, and goes off about how America sees itself as the new world order. Their new vocalist has really improved the sound of this band, and unlike other screamo-style vocalists, you can actualy understand (most of the time) what he is yelling out. He is probably one of my favorites, along with Mark Hunter and Johnny Santos. Chanting is kept to a minimum in the album, with only The Truth Of A Liar and Redemption featuring this.
Overall Impression — 9
Overall, Messengers is much (MUCH) better than their second release Thrill Seeker, in my opinion. The guitar work, drumming and singing really seals the deal with this band for me, and I am really looking forward to their next release. Considering I am somewhat of a metal purist and hate most metalcore with a passion, that is a high praise. If this album was stolen I wouldn't hesitate to buy it again. Do youself a favour, go listen to this band if you havn't yet before you make your mind up on them. They will make you open your mind to other genres of music out there (well, they sure did with me).