This was one of my 5 most anticipated albums of the year. I am a big fan of August Burns Red. I love what they stand for. They are a Christian metalcore band that believes in hope and bringing out the best in man but also being real about the struggles life can bring. I like balance of optimism and realism. They also manage to balance melody and heaviness in their songs. One of the best things about the band is that they are a metalcore band that cares more about being quality musicians with well crafted songs than making the heaviest breakdown. Rescue & Restore is another spectacular addition to their already sterling discography.
“Provision” is a great opener and it has a nice breakdown in it. It almost serves as a reintroduction into the sound of August Burns Red, in case you forgot. It is a mini sampler of everything they do well. The song is about someone that was taken advantage of but tried to find the positive in the situation.
“Treatment” is a another heavy jam. I love when lead singer Jake Luhrs screams “Open the gates,” and the breakdown that follows. “Stop dwelling on what happens when we die, start helping others while we’re still alive.” This is one thing that people forget to do. We get so wrapped up in life that we don’t spend time enjoying life. This is a song about keeping an open mind and not judging others.
“Spirit Breaker” is an interesting track. The beginning of this song has weird rhythm.Then it gets heavy and feels like a classic ABR song. This song is about realizing that despite the darkness in the world, there is always light at the end of a tunnel. “Count It All As Lost” is a classic ABR mosh fest. I dig it. According to guitarist, JB Brubaker, this song is extremely technical and one of their hardest to play. “Sincerity” is a neat track and ends with a crushing breakdown and some awesome gang vocals. Two of my favorite things in metal.
“Creative Captivity” is for all intents and purposes, the title track. It is also my favorite track. I really like all of the interesting instrumentation. When the horns swell at the end of the song it is tremendous but I want the end to be a little longer and I could use some more vocals as well, but those are minor issues. This song is about saving the metalcore genre. “Rescue the beauty that’s left, restore the character that’s long since gone.”
“Fault Line” is a great single and a classic August Burns Red song. Lyrically this song tackles the idea of hope and helping one another cope with the difficulties of life. “Whisper your grief, scream your sorrow, proclaim your love. Just don’t call me your hero,” gives the message of being there to listen to fans’ woes but not being someone to look at as infallible because they are just people trying to live their lives. I love this uplifting message.
“Beauty In Tragedy” is a song about losing a loved one. The line, “I can’t hear your voice but that’s okay because I can feel you in my heart,” is such a relatable line. We all miss loved ones that we have lost and this line of acceptance is one that all of us have thought or will feel one day. I think the line, “I’ll be sure to write your name in the sand, where the waves can’t wash it away,” is such a beautiful sentiment. Musically, this is really melodic and pretty.
“Animals” talks about being more than animals and not just be driven by urges but to try to be more. “Echoes” features Adam Gray, the drummer of Texas In July in the middle of the song. August Burns Red’s drummer Matt Grenier guested on Texas in July’s last disc and their drummer returns the favor here. This is a cool idea and a neat feature. “The First Step” is a great closer. I like the spoken word part but don’t let that fool you, the song is plenty heavy.
August Burns Red’s new disc is great because it is both comfortingly recognizable and adventurous and new. I like that they tried some new things but that it is still distinctly them. There is a lot to love here musically and lyrically and shows why this band is at the top of their genre.