Five studio albums in the books, August Burns Red announced they would “push the boundaries” with a sixth new “ambitious album”, Rescue & Restore. These are some monumental claims to live up to after ten years of creating music. Not only have they done it, but also may have rattled many listener’s ideas about the genre.
With a quick fade in, Rescue & Restore is hurled in your face with “Provision”, a thumping beat, melodies, squeals, and a full screaming range consisting of a more natural voice filled shout, high-pitched screams, stressed cries, even demonic bellows. The band’s skilled, scaling melody riffs make the song both relaxing and empowering as it adds entrancing colorful guitar to meaty beats. Dive into the lyrics and they are equally as deep as the passion behind the music,
“…these are the words of a man, who finally let go, these are the goals of a man, who’s laid it all down, losing it all made me realize, I am the victim, the culprit, the casualty, and the cause, losing it all led me to you, I’m sick, I need sight, I need it all, I need you, and I’m not getting any better, I am the deceiver, I’m not getting any better, I’m the thief, the whore, the murderer, It’s times like these, you forget to remember who you are, the way up is down, truth is found, when life throws you out and kicks you to the curb, I’m just as much the problem as the man behind bars, he did with his business what I do with my heart, you wronged me, you crossed me, I’ll never let it ruin me, lessons are learned deep down, within my heart…”
A song about dealing with life’s financial struggles, the lyrics dig into the psyche of all human thought. Everyone has the same thoughts and in many cases, carry out the same sins in different degrees of offense. Instead of turning negative, the song explores the positive; never losing hope and determination to strive to be better.
Rescue & Restore feels like the culmination of the bands evolution, but any true ABR fan knows this will not be their apex. There are seemingly no logical explanations as to why this album is not a perfect score. “Creative Captivity” is a perfect example of this breakout in the new album. Between the violin, cello, marimba, Chinese harp, bongos, and trumpet, which are beautifully sprinkled through the track, a message appears, break free from the boring molds,
“…Rescue the beauty that’s left, restore the character that’s long since gone, because these colors must never fade, the beat must carry on, we will fight to save this, we will fight to keep it alive, this is a cause worth fighting for…”
“Animals” is a truly marvelous song, especially for people whining ABR has been getting away from their sound, wailing unearthly guitar riffs of impressive finger work and rolling thunder breakdowns, with a relaxing thought provoking interlude. And what can I not say about the songs lyrics? It calls for a deep look within oneself, reflecting upon the judging, hateful, negativity in cutting words. But then stop it and follow the heart and love, instead of claiming superiority, judging, and “hating the hurt”. Follow down a path of destruction and, “…pride will lead you to self-destruct”.
“…Who gave you license, to pour hate down throats, bringing them a shameful disposition?…intoxicated on his own pride, how do you feel, safe and secure? You were wrong, you judge the faith, lives, and actions based on your insecurities. Words cut like blades to the skin, making people numb to feeling. Words cut like blades to the skin, why can’t you realize, what you are doing? Where is their self worth now?…”
This idea is continued in their final track, “The First Step”, reminiscent of Lao Tzu’s famous quote, “The journey of a thousand miles begins beneath one’s feet”. An ever present reminder that truth is hard, it may knock you back, but it is the duty of everyone to question, protest, and strive for a better way.
This latest album is capable unify people across genre platforms, ironically enough, with the muse and voice of God. This album has everything and more, when they aren’t ripping faces with tremendous breakdowns and hard riffs, they are opening ears to well thought out melodies, solos, and even extra instruments, balancing the album perfectly like the relaxing ebb and flow of white wash along the coasts. Upon finishing a listen through the album, I can feel nothing but uplifting vibes and happiness. Rescue & Restore is the complete package, an instrumental and verbal ace. For negative arguers online claiming this album sucks or isn’t August Burns Red, I can reach no other conclusion than they are only fans of breakdowns.
“Let acceptance in…pay attention to the choices you make, step back and look at all the hearts that you break, stop dwelling on what happens when we die, start helping others while we’re still alive, you need to look in the mirror and ask yourself, ‘What good have I done? What are my true intentions?…Open the gates…” –excerpt from “Treatment”
“Count It All As Lost”