August Burns Red
Genre giants August Burns Red are poised to release one of the most anxiously awaited hard rock albums of 2011 – a colossal effort entitled Leveler, available in stores and online June 21st.
The album will be available in both regular and deluxe editions - a first for ABR. Explains JB Brubaker: "For the bonus tracks on the deluxe editions, we were able to collaborate with some close friends and amazing musicians. Our friends in the post rock band BELLS did an amazing job reworking our song 'Pangaea' and making it into something completely different. It sounds absolutely huge and we love it. Our close friend, Zach Veilleux, a virtuoso piano player, shredded a piano rendition of our song 'Boys of Fall.' Dustin and I recorded an acoustic version of our song 'Internal Cannon' with some mariachi flare and a ridiculous guitar solo courtesy of Jason Suecof. Finally, we threw in one of the original midi tracks from the Leveler writing process to give everyone an idea of how our songs sound before they get recorded. It's pure 1988 Nintendo bliss."
While August Burns Red have never succumbed to the artistic trends in metal album covers, Leveler represents an even larger departure than fans have seen on the band's previous albums. The artwork, created by artist Jordan Crane, brings a striking comic book flair that the band wanted the artwork to encompass.
"What we were going for with the cover was an image of a house that had been destroyed by a natural disaster," says Brubaker. "The cover depicts a house that has been leveled by something like a hurricane. You can see the trees in the background are bent sideways from enduring strong winds. There are a bunch of chickens in the foreground who have come out of hiding to continue on with their daily activities. The chickens represent the calm after the storm. They represent life and the promise of a new day. The art has a real indie-rock vibe to it, which I like because while we're obviously not an indie band, we're not a typical metal band either."
For Leveler, August Burns Red re-teamed with super producer Jason Suecof, the man behind the board on their 2009 breakout, Constellations, which landed at #24 on the Billboard Top 200 and has sold more than 90,000 copies. The result is an album that pushes the band's sonic boundaries in every direction, yet emerges as an unquestionably heavier album than its predecessor. It's a game-changer, for ABR, and for fans of hard rock everywhere.
They say the definition of madness is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result. If true, then in many ways the genre of metalcore has become the equivalent of insanity - hundreds of bands repackaging the same structures, same guitar riffs and scream-sing choruses to the same effect.
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Jake Luhrs – Vocals
JB Brubaker – Guitar
Brent Rambler – Guitar
Dustin Davidson - Bass Guitar
Matt Greiner – Drums