AUGUST BURNS RED — JB Brubaker [lead guitar], Brent Rambler [rhythm guitar], Matt Greiner [drums], Jake Luhrs [lead vocals], and Dustin Davidson [bass] — released Leveler: 10th Anniversary Edition on May 21st 2021, and are gearing up to take it on the road in September/October. The band re-recorded its fourth album, which was originally released on June 21, 2011, with special guests, brand new guitar solos, alternate tunings, and more. Leveler: 10th Anniversary Edition was produced, mixed, and mastered by Carson Slovak and Grant McFarland at Atrium Audio. The vinyl was mastered by Will Putney.
“Leveler is a record we’ve always been proud of, and we wanted to do something special for its ten-year anniversary,” says Brubaker. “We’ve done some cool remix projects for previous albums when they’ve turned 10, but with Leveler, we decided to kick things up a notch. We dove into this record and dissected the songs, rewriting solos, changing the tunings, adding new textures and elements, and got a few of our friends to do some guest spots as well. Our longtime producers Carson Slovak and Grand McFarland handled the recording/mixing and helped us take Leveler to new sonic heights. I think this is the best-sounding ABR record we’ve ever made, and it’s going to allow people to experience the record in a whole new way. I can’t wait to share this with everyone.”
Upon release, Leveler was met with near-universal praise. All Music claimed, “This kind of contrast between light and dark makes Leveler a wonderfully dynamic album that is musically engaging.” Revolver declared that “August Burns Red have set their own bar even higher…and have done so for all of the scene in the process.” Decibel labeled it “adventurous without the proggy aftertaste,” while Exclaim! deemed it the band’s best. Outburn lauded the “all-new level of musicianship,”” awarding it a perfect 10 star rating.
FIT FOR A KING use the tools of heavy music and melodic hooks to honestly explore the dark side of the human experience, ultimately wrenching timeless hope from the jaws of anxiety, depression, and seemingly certain despair. No matter the pristine picture of self-worth we project, in the unquenchable pursuit of recognition and affirmation, the gnawing anxiousness of guilt and brokenness chews away at our spirits, uncovering new pain and vulnerability.
Dark Skies is FIT FOR A KING’s evocative declaration of a hard won victory. “This album is far from happy. It’s about personal struggles,” explains singer Ryan Kirby. “It touches on many subjects relevant to all of our daily lives.” The band has traveled the United States and Europe with Vans Warped Tour, Beartooth, Every Time I Die, August Burns Red, The Amity Affliction, Whitechapel, For Today, After The Burial, and Attila to name a few.
FIT FOR A KING was built with bootstrap ethics and do-it-yourself vigor. On the strength of self-released material, the group joined Solid State for a string of successful albums that connected with the downtrodden and dispossessed. Creation/Destruction (2013) debuted at Number 6 on the Hard Rock chart. Slave to Nothing (2014) cracked the Top 50 of Billboard’s Top Current Albums. Deathgrip (2016) climbed to Number 5 among Hard Rock Albums.
ERRA has made a name for themselves on their own terms. Determination and steadfast dedication have defined ERRA’s path, forging a unique connection with an ever-growing audience, without the advantages of traditional recognition. Titanic riffs and enchanting melodies litter the cerebral, immersive soundscapes powering each of the progressive metal merchant’s albums, culminating today in the release of the new single, “Snowblood”
ERRA confronts depression, anxiety, and desperation. They take listeners on a near-out-of-body journey to the infamous Suicide Forest of Japan; into episodic storytelling that would make Black Mirror writers proud; and even into the literary works of geniuses like Cormac McCarthy and playright/filmmaker David Mamet.
“I was going through a tough time, after a breakup, when Andy Glass from We Came As Romans turned me on to Eckhart Tolle,” Cash shares. “A lot of the information really seemed to stick. Many of our new songs talk about being present, being conscious, without sounding forced or contrived, or like standard optimistic metalcore cliches.”
There is a vivid picture of horror in “Snowblood”. The track takes on deteriorating mental health and the life-sapping effects of technology respectively. Vocalist and guitarist Jesse Cash adds, “The ‘Snowblood’ instrumental had a dark intensity to it, so the only lyrics that seemed to fit contextually ended up being some of the darkest we’ve ever written. We wanted to paint a picture of a person’s deteriorating mental health by creating imagery akin to what you’d see in a horror movie. Instrumentally and lyrically, all the key elements of where we’re heading as a band on our new material are in there.”
As their music finds the balance between the crushingly-heavy and the headily-melodic, its members seek to find harmony between the needs of the individual and the natural flow of this shared reality. ERRA, as a band of brothers and creative force, strive to live in alignment with the present moment. “Snowblood” represents redemption for ERRA, who has emerged with a renewed focus and confidence, a new record label, UNFD, and a new sense of certainty and self.
Musically, “Snowblood” conjures ERRA’s classic crushing heaviness and soaring musicality while broadening the band’s reach with meditative expansiveness, trippy near-psychedelia, and a haunting hook. It was recorded, mixed, and mastered by Carson Slovak and Grant McFarland, the Grammy-nominated duo responsible for essential records from August Burns Red and From Ashes To New. It’s a definitive mission statement for guitarist/vocalist Jesse Cash, vocalist J.T. Cavey, drummer Alex Ballew, bassist Conor Hesse, and guitarist Sean Price, each of them already well-respected players revered for their inspiring technicality and raw, natural talent.
“Snowblood” is clearly an evolution of the band, it sounds like a song we wrote, but it’s also such a big step forward,” Cash explains. “we wanted to give people who have been following ERRA the sense that we’re starting a new chapter, with something fresh.”
Cavey concurs. “We’ve always tried to have a balance of classic song structures, intertwined with experimental adventures,” he says. “Our music is written for musicians, but it also appeals to the masses. There are a lot more breakdowns on this record, but also bigger melodies. The most important thing was to write music that we enjoy.”
Facebook groups and hashtags organized around the band’s dense music and heady but relatable lyrics have helped further the ERRA mission, resulting in multiple #1 Heatseekers placements on Billboard. Previous ERRA albums Impulse (2012), Augment (2013), Drift (2016), and Neon (2018) saw the band spotlighted on a number of tastemaker playlists, as the band’s Spotify plays soared past 72 million streams.
Rising from Birmingham, AL just over a decade ago, ERRA have vigorously toured worldwide, with bands including August Burns Red, We Came As Romans, and Northlane, among many others, earning them a sprawling fan base, crossing both genres and generations. It all resulted in a worldwide audience devoted to the Alabama-based band’s catalog, eager for each new missive.
The down-tuned atmosphere of Deftones and Tool are central ingredients, alongside the inventiveness of Nine Inch Nails and the urgency of Northlane and Architects. All of these components are filtered through ERRA’s unique sensibility and experience, resulting in a singular creative identity both warmly familiar and refreshingly forward-thinking.
“By nature, ERRA’s music is going to be different than most metalcore bands, because we are still pretty damn complicated,” Cavey adds, with a laugh. “These songs are still not easy to play, but we put less pressure on ourselves to be so crazy [technical]. I try and make sure that a lot of moments in our music are just cool and catchy.”
US metalcore giants Like Moths To Flames have announced their fifth album No Eternity In Gold will be released on Friday October 30 through UNFD. It marks the band’s first full-length on their new label home after signing to UNFD in September 2019 and the following release of their EP Where The Light Refuses To Go.
Produced, mixed and mastered by Carson Slovak and Grant McFarland (August Burns Red, Rivers Of Nihil), No Eternity In Gold is a record that showcases Like Moths To Flames like never before. Displaying their trademark foundations of incisive technical dexterity and uncompromising heaviness – all underpinned with earworm-like melodies – LMTF’s new album is the result of challenged perspectives, fully-realised ideals and lessons learned.