Sound — 9
Immediately after hearing this record shortly after it was released, I thought that ABR would become the forerunners of the Metalcore genre. To me, they have followed through with this goal further than perhaps any other band. Bringing a sound that is known only to them, ABR offers heavy and melodic guitar riffs, often flawless percussion and drums, and a breakdown that would make my grandmothers hips shatter. I have read another review of this album that stated "There isn't much melody that I can pick out" and that "ABR is just one huge jumbled up chaotic heavy metal armageddon," but the album deserves much more credit than this. Well produced by Adam Dutkiewicz of Killswitch Engage, Thrill Seeker is 47 minutes of pure American Metalcore muscle. If there was any album chosen that set the bar for the genre in 2005, this was it.
Lyrics — 8
Lyrics from Thrill Seeker are empowering as Endorphins' "Grab the wheel right now, and make this life yours," spiritual, and often push a message as A Shot Below The Belt's "What a bittersweet symphony life is, but I wouldn't have it any other way". It is sometimes hard to find lyrics in this genre that offer a supportive word or life lesson, but ABR manages to harness their musical talent and lay it out with a true lyrical meaning. Lyrics like "Unless we cherish all with pride, the lines on our face will turn into canyons of sorrow instead of hope" from Your Little Suburbia Is In Ruins set a new standard of meaning in lyrics for a genre which in my personal opinion sometimes struggles with this task. Vocal range is also shocking, as Josh McManness presents a full screaming range from a high shriek to a low growl, and all levels in between, even a rare speech. Aggressive and brash, his voice fits perfectly with the musical style.
Overall Impression — 9
Finding one comparable artist is difficult with ABR. They seem to harvest as many different influences as is imaginable. Though they have toured with such acts as Between The Buried And Me, Unearth, Bleeding Through, As I Lay Dying and The Chariot, their musical style is similar and different to all of them. All of these artists can be seen in ABR and vise/versa. As far as loving the album, it is one of my favorite albums I've ever purchased. Between this and their second album Messengers, I can only say that I am excited to see which direction they are ready to push their talents next. If this album was lost or stolen, I would buy another, and maybe another as a backup or to force ABR on a friend.