Diamond Rio

With Leveler, metalcore quintet August Burns Red further explore bonding their Christian faith to brutal onslaughts of metal thunder while retaining a dynamic and ferocious sound. What sets ABR apart from many of their contemporaries is the fact that they muse on their religion without proselytizing, allowing it to surface as a theme more than a focus without sacrificing any of their music’s heavy attack. “Empire” opens with subtly uplifting melodies rising from bludgeoning rhythms, fiery fretboard shredding and Jake Luhrs’ feral vocal howls sounding as monstrous as any black metal bands with theological differences. The following “Internal Cannon” boasts stuttered stop-and-go rhythms chugging along under soaring twin guitarmonies and an acoustic breakdown that seems to come out of nowhere — yet somehow, it fits the song quite well. Standout track “Salt & Light” best epitomizes the album’s tug-of-war between darkness and light. The deluxe edition boasts four bonus cuts including an all-acoustic instrumental take on “Internal Cannon” with flamenco flourishes and a piano-based instrumental version of “Pangea.”

Album Tracks

Song Title Length

Diamond Rio Albums

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