Second Opinion: August Burns Red – Leveler | Christian Music Zine

Solid State Records

Released June 21, 2011

Reviewed by Anthony

It has only been 2 years, but look how time flies. August Burns Red’s 4th studio album Leveler is finally here and the hype for this one has been enormous. Being a long-time fan and having the honor of seeing them live (where they played a few songs off this album) I can easily be categorized with the other fans who have been waiting for this since it was announced. With a title that is somewhat inspired by Isaiah 26, does August Burns Red deliver knockout success? Pretty much.

As Empire kicks off the album with their signature yet improved style the band has become known for, the first surprise is Internal Cannon. It’s chaos personified, but a surprising Latin flare creeps in that I’d expect from Becoming The Archetype. It’s definitely a song that people will love or hate. The next several tracks, excluding Pangaea that stood out as the weakest of the bunch, are all full of power and passion that you can hear in the ever-improving music and the screams of Jake Luhrs and even Dustin Davidson. After the very uplifting and spiritual Salt & Light, if you can spot it, Poor Millionaire gives us a tease of Thrill Seeker nostalgia.

The end of the album, while a pointless instrumental is present, leads to Boys of The Fall, which is a tribute to 4 football players in Manheim, Pennsylvania who all died in a car accident. Expect a lot of passion (ala-Indonesia) to tug on many hearts. While the great title track also reminded me of Thrill Seeker, the bonus tracks on the special edition are icing on the cake. You’ve got an acoustic of Internal Cannon with a more Latin-feel, a post-rock rendition that is just a little too long for me, and a classical piano take on Boys of the Fall. The final bonus track is August Burns Red in 8-bit! I will definitely be rockin’ this when I turn on my Sega Genesis (which surprisingly still works)

I expected August Burns Red’s Leveler to be a challenge when it came to impressing such a fan as myself. But with some surprises, consistently excellent music, and ever-improving screams by Luhr, how can anyone go wrong checking out this record? And if you’re able to, get yourself a special edition or even the “deluxe survival kit” because those extras are something to behold.

Grade: 5


  1. Empire
  2. Internal Cannon
  3. Divisions
  4. Cutting The Ties
  5. Pangaea
  6. Carpe Diem
  7. 40 Nights
  8. Salt & Light
  9. Poor Millionaire
  10. 1/16/2011
  11. Boys of Fall
  12. Leveler
  13. Internal Cannon (Acoustic)
  14. Pangaea (Performed by Bells)
  15. Boys of Fall (Performed by Zachery Veilleux)
  16. Empire (Midi)

One response to “Second Opinion: August Burns Red – Leveler | Christian Music Zine

  1. Luxas June 26, 2011 at 11:19 am

    This review does it tons more justice than the earlier one!

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