August Burns Red - Thrill Seeker (Cover Artwork)

August Burns Red

Thrill Seeker (2005)

Solid State

August Burns Red's Solid State debut, Thrill Seeker, is a straight up metalcore release that follows every single rule in the book of metalcore. I don't really know if that it is a good or bad thing, as the band is young enough that they could eventually bring some creative ideas to the mix. And while the lack of originality is present throughout the entire album, they do earn some credit for doing what they do better than a lot of other bands in the genre.

On tracks like "Too Late for Roses" and "Consumer," the songs are as predictable as a Disney Original Movie. The songs are filled with unoriginal riffs, loads of breakdowns, and the standard shouted vocals. The thing is, while they shouldn't appear to be anything special, they really flirt with breaking above the mold. Sure, the shouting is rather generic and nothing special, but at least they don't throw in the overused clean singing for no apparent reason. And while the guitar work, drumming, and bass aren't orignial or creative, they can at least sound better than they actually are. The dual guitars are nothing special in terms of originality or technicality, but at least they sound good enough to not be a downside of the band, and sometimes are even interesting. While August Burns Red is doing nothing new, on tracks like "Barbarian," their formula works well enough that they actually can produce a standout song, though they still aren't really memorable.

August Burns Red's Solid State debut shows that the band does have some chops, but they still haven't learned how to master them. They stick to the rulebook too much and really seem to be using what other bands started to make this disc, and because of it, Thrillseeker will never be a respected or appreciated album. But since the band only founded two years ago and still are young, they at least have the opportunity to overhaul their sound into something with a little more power and technicality.

If you have a steady diet of metalcore, then you should eat up August Burns Red. If not, you'll just hear some generic core band you're going to hate. While August Burns Red aren't terrible, they aren't great and really aren't good enough to recommend.