August Burns Red - "Found In Far Away Places"

They always get so much praise and even though I've been aware of their catalogue since their debut, I never thought August Burns Red was anything more than an extremely noodly and mediocre metalcore act. Album after album it was just a bunch of random riffs thrown together to make up 4-5 minute songs. Their listens were always tedious and every album was harder to make it through than their last. The past six albums were just chores to listen to. Where were the producers helping them get to their best? Where was the order? Found In Far Away Places doesn't stray too far from the bands core skeleton, but what is refreshing is the structure and direction the songs continuously take. They've learned from Misery Signals, who are the masterminds to this approach, and if anything is taken away is just how much this album sounds like Absent Light. The songwriting has become incredibly strong and time and time again, the songs dig themselves out of the rabbit hole to emerge into groundbreaking territory. The interludes are shockingly fitting, the moments of soft solitude are consistently appropriate, and the guitar noodling has finally been brought back to tolerable levels and distanced slightly with genius production. Album closer "Vangaurd" set sails to new heights if you're looking for a point of entry, and "Blackwood" is another ripper that stands highly on the wave of this release. If you've written these guys off two or three albums ago, I highly recommend getting onboard now and letting bygones be bygones. 

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