Friday, April 19, 2024

August Burns Red return with a refreshed heaviness on Phantom Anthem

The seventh album from August Burns Red is undoubtedly their most ambitious to date. The 11 tracks that make up Phantom Anthem are unlike anything they have produced before, and while overall that offers something new and shows intent to play around and attempt to remould their genre, it does have its flaws.

The positives are immediate. There is a refreshed heaviness to to this album, one that has felt lacking from previous releases. The renewed aggression has been blended with more melodic, flowing sections, that, for the most part, add new dimensions across the album which ensure things don’t stagnate, and continue to push the genre in new directions.

The negatives however take some time to spot, but once noted are hard to overlook. Many of the songs are pushing the 6 minute mark in terms of length, they almost feel like a chore to get through. This could be down to the addition of overlong periods of instrumental pieces across the album. While to some they may be impressive displays, to others they serve no purpose beyond drawn out filler that serve little to enhance the actual song. Don’t get me wrong, sometimes they work Float, the ninth track, perfectly sums up the new balance ABR have strived for, but when compared to Carbon Copy it feels stretched towards breaking point.

It is hard not to engage with this album. It is heavy and beautiful in equal measure, and one that will please old and new fans.

Stephen stanford
Stephen stanford
Freelance Journalist. Music reviewer. Quavers aficionado. Spent several years playing in bands and touring, and now enjoying discovering new music. Would achieve a lot more if it wasn`t for my Xbox.

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