This is the seventh album from the Pennsylvanian Metal Core outfit, and boy is it a heavy hitter, packed with 11 massive tracks full of power and aggression. Straight out of the gates is ‘King of Sorrow,’ and what a track to open with, fast, punchy and brutal. From the pounding drums to the brutal vocals it catches the imagination and holds it for the entire album. On each track there is an amazing little interlude ranging from near classical to downright funky, and wow does it work, giving you the chance to catch your breath before being thrown back into the pit to be slammed about some more.
They come thick and fast after that, and each track seems to grow more and more sound wise and without a doubt technically. The speed of the guitar riffs and solos is breath taking and showcases the immense talent of JB Brubaker and Brent Rambler. Singer Jake Luhrs really knows how to go through the ranges of his vocal ability as he takes you from a guttural growl to clean vocals and high screams on the second track ‘Hero of the Half Truth.’
‘The Frost’ starts out like something of a Blink 182 album and that lasts for all of about a minute before your ears are ripped to shreds by some seriously melodic screamed vocals and brilliant guitar work, and is the first real stand out track. ‘Lifeline’ has the unenviable task of following on from there but it more than manfully steps up and unleashes its own fury on your already battered ears, going from fast to slow, a nice little calming interlude with serious shredding, to fast again straight from the depths of hell.
‘Invisible Enemy’ and ‘Quake’ continue in much the same vein, slaying at every opportunity, with Matt Greiner on drums earning his corn in particular on ‘Quake,’ as that is quite literally what he causes with some atomic pounding of the skins. ‘Cooordinates’ is the “slow” track on the album, and it is not misplaced in any way at all. Heavy with a pounding relentlessness that has a fantastic groove to it, that Luhrs seems to mould his vocals to, going from normal to demonic in the flick of a switch, another stand out.
‘Generations’ brings you back to earth with a massive bang, but the best track on here has to be ‘Float.’ It just goes from stand still to one hundred miles an hour in the blink of an eye, or should that be the beat of a drum, but it is its anthemic sound and funk that makes it stand out, with the far off muted shouting from Luhrs, the melodic rhythm from Rambler and shredding from Brubaker just giving it an all- around “instant classic” feel.
‘Dangerous’ and ‘Carbon Copy’ close out the album in much the same way as it opened – brutal, hard hitting, fast and epic, a worthy addition to your Metal Core collection.
Phantom Anthem is out October 6th on Fearless.
August Burns Red are:
Jake Luhrs Vocals
JB Brubaker Lead guitar
Brent Rambler Rhythm guitar
Matt Greiner Drums
Dustin Davidson Bass, keyboard, piano, vocals