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Review: August Burns Red “Death Below”

Each week The Hard Times chooses an album to put under the microscope. Sometimes we even get to review one that’s not even available yet. This week we’re taking a look at August Burns Red’s upcoming release “Death Below.”

This record is equal parts metalcore, well-timed breakdowns, and the sudden urge to let out a blood-curdling scream from the comfort of your Nissan Sentra after a long day of existence. Simply brutal vibes. At least we think, anyway.

The thing is, we haven’t technically listened to this album since we’re not part of the elite class of music journalists who are privileged enough to get advanced copies. The one-percenters as they’re called in the business. Think: Rolling Stone, Pitchfork, and Kurt Loder from MTV News.

Instead, what we have to do is make educated guesses for these types of “not yet released” reviews. We’ve actually gotten pretty good at this over the years. Sure, we botch Weezer’s new stuff all the time and we keep predicting that the next Fleet Foxes record will be the one that takes over the nation, but that’s neither here nor there.

Back to August Burns Red though. Their new album is simply like no other they’ve ever released, we imagine. Picture metalcore meets Slayer meets late ‘90s post-grunge meets Miley Cyrus meets the Folgers coffee commercial jingle meets Dave Grohl practicing drums in his basement all by himself. Damn, if our predictions are correct, this album is going to be a fire emoji.

But hey, ABR recently released the single “Ancestry” which we presume will be a part of the new album. Unfortunately with music, you can’t just assume anything so we can’t judge the new album by this one song. We learned that the hard way with Smash Mouth. That being said, we assume this album is gonna rip.

However, if you want to know for sure, you’ll have to ask Pitchfork. For the rest of us peasants, we’ll have to take a “wait and see” approach.

Score: 10 out of 10, we presume