When I was sixteen, my best friend booked a show for Tragic Hero Records, a NC record label responsible for such acts as Alesana (now on Fearless Records) and A Skylit Drive. At the time, I was new to rock music and ready to experience my very first show. When I asked my mom if I could go, she told me no. She said something about the devil using music to corrupt me away from God’s will. Needless to say, I was upset. In a fit of adolescent rage, I swore to never speak to her again (and I stuck to it until dinner time). Three years later, I find myself listening to Constellations, the new album from metalcore d00ds August Burns Red. I would like to take this opportunity to publicly apologize to my mother for ever doubting her and thank her for sparing me from this ridiculous genre of music at such a young age.

Constellations seems to be little more than a walking stereotype of everything that is over-the-top metalcore. Every song follows one of two patterns; it either begins small and then builds to laughable screams (more like groans) and double-bass (which is abused in nearly every song on this album). “Merianas Trench” and “Meridian” follow this first pattern. Other songs open right from the get-go with overcompensating guitars.

If you are looking to have a little fun, try this trick. If you have Constellations, open it up on your iTunes and play the following songs in rapid order, not allowing any more than the opening chord of each song to play: “Thirty and Seven”, “Ocean of Apathy”, “Paradox”. “Meridian”, “Rationalist”, “Meddler”, and “Crusades”. Over half of the album’s songs begin on the exact same chord in almost the exact same way (save for “Meridian” which strums the chord slightly softer).

Although, to me, this album is almost unbearable, I have to acknowledge that this genre is not one that sits well me. I enjoy experimentation and diversity in music, one area in which August Burns Red (and metalcore in general) are severely lacking. I am sure there are plenty of sixteen year olds out there who would love this album. For adults, however, the record does not sit well.

Released: July 14th, 2009

Overall rating: 2.2/10

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