August Burns Red brings Christian metalcore to Anchorage
Known for heavy breakdowns, odd-meter riffs and Christian-leaning lyrics that cover everything from depression to social tolerance, August Burns Red has evolved into one of the biggest names in metalcore.
Since their founding in 2003 in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, the band has toured extensively with the likes of As I Lay Dying, Black Veil Brides and Miss May I. Along the way, August Burns Red also managed to cut 5 highly acclaimed records and pick up a Grammy nod for Best Metal Performance.
Undoubtedly, the band’s success can be attributed to their neck-breaking tour schedule and dogged approach to recording.
Shortly after touring their first record Thrill Seeker in 2006, the band lost original lead singer Josh McManness and bassist Jordan Tuscan, who cited an exhausting tour schedule as the reason for their departure. As fate would have it, the loss of their lead singer opened the door to Columbia, South Carolina-native Jake Luhrs, who helped catapult the band to stardom on his debut album Messengers. The album would reach #81 on the Billboard 200 and take the band on a world tour with stops in Sweden, Ireland, Czech Republic and the United Arab Emirates, to name a few.
The release of their third album Constellations in July 2009 was met with similar acclaim and debuted at #24 on the Billboard 200. In 2010, the band took off on another world tour and joined forces with Parkway Drive, A Day to Remember, NOFX, Dropkick Murphys, Suicide Silence, Megadeth, Descendents and Gwar as part of Australia’s “No Sleep Til” festival. That same year they were nominated for a Gospel Music Association Dove Award for “Best Rock Album”.
The band’s fourth full-length album Leveler was dropped in 2011 and followed up with a headlining spot on the 2011 Vans Warped Tour. Once again, the album climbed the charts peaking at #11 on the Billboard 200. Less than a year later August Burns Red released their first instrumental holiday album August Burns Red Presents: Sleddin' Hill. The album notably featured complex punk inspired remixed classics like “Jingle Bells,” “Frosty the Snowman,” “Oh Holy Night” and “We Wish You a Merry Christmas”.
Rescue and Restore was released only two years after Leveler and was touted as one of the band’s most ambitious albums to date. With a wide-array of influences from thrash metal to melodic rock, each song stands out as a unique gem.
The band’s most recent release Found in Far Away Places (2015) debuted at #4 on the Billboard Top Albums Chart and featured the single "Identity", which received a nomination for Best Metal Performance at the 58th Annual Grammy Awards.
Although August Burns Red always seems to be pushing forward and exploring new boundaries, they will be returning to their roots for three performances in Last Frontier before embarking on a 12 stop European tour to celebrate the 10th anniversary of Messengers.
"It's been six years since we've been to Alaska. We had such a good time our first trip there and we've been wanting to come back again ever since,” said guitarist JB Brubaker. “We are very much looking forward to playing shows in Anchorage and exploring.”
*Originally published in the Anchorage Press