Audio Mixers: Grant McFarland; Carson Slovak.
Recording information: Side 3 Studios in Denver, CO.
On 2013's excellent Rescue & Restore, August Burns Red further expanded their definition of metalcore by making the notoriously atonal and punishing genre a little more hummable, albeit at a speed that would require Herculean murmuring skills. Found in Far Away Places, the band's seventh studio long player, doubles down on the group's more progressive leanings, offering up a diverse (for metalcore) 11-track set that evokes a wide range of influences, from Killswitch Engage to Ennio Morricone and Iron Maiden. As per usual, the band's breakdowns are huge, technically impressive heat blasts that fulfill any and all obligations to the genre, but they're tempered by equally dramatic instances of elliptical, palm-muted riffing as steeped in power metal as they are post-hardcore. This penchant for pairing the soaring with the sordid is best exemplified on early stand-out cuts like "The Wake," "Martyr," and "Separating the Seas," the latter of which pairs a tumultuous front and back half with a chamber folk center driven by flamenco-inspired guitar and pizzicato violin. Elsewhere, the band flirts with the mainstream on the soaring "Identity," the emotionally charged "Majoring in the Mirrors" descends into a dark, hill folk hoedown, and the anthemic closer, "Vanguard," manages to blend the beefy, hook-filled stoner rock of Torche with the kinetic, electro-paranoia of Muse. That the band never lose themselves in the process of these myriad digressions is impressive to say the least, but what's most notable about Found in Far Away Places is how fluid the ride is. Most metalcore outfits just dig in, plant a flag, and defend the perimeter; August Burns Red is already on to the next village. ~ James Christopher Monger