Updated: May 24, 2021
Release Date: April 16, 2021 Genre: Metalcore Label: Fearless Records
Nearly a year since the release of the band’s ninth studio album, Lancaster, Pennsylvania’s metalcore quintet August Burns Red is sharing their newest effort, The Guardians Sessions EP features six tracks -two previously unreleased b-sides, two covers, and two reimagined tracks. Guardians Sessions will be released digitally on streaming services and physically on 10″ vinyl on April 16th via their label Fearless Records.
Guardians Sessions opens with b-sides “Standing In The Storm” and “Icarus.” These two songs were recorded in September of 2019 when August Burns Red was in the midst of finishing up the recording of their ninth full-length album, Guardians. Drummer Matt Greiner opens up “Standing In The Storm” as his drums fade in before guitarists JB Brubaker and Brent Rambler hit you smack in the face with their immense guitar riffs. Overall, the EP’s first track is riffy while being quite melodic. Whereas “Icarus” is much more fast-paced and much more technical than “Standing In The Storm.” Additionally, “Icarus” sees the first time bassist Dustin Davidson has provided clean vocals to an original August Burns Red tune.
“‘Icarus’ was a b-side from Guardians because it just didn’t fit the vibe of the album,” states bassist Dustin Davidson. “I’m happy that our fans can hear it now because it’s riffy and super fun to play on guitar. It’s the first August Burns Red song that I’ve sang on, and for fans of my side project, Best Case Scenario, I think you’ll hear the influence sprinkled throughout this one.”
Following the two b-sides, August Burn Red shares two covers. The first being System of a Down’s hit song, “Chop Suey!” and the second a metalized rendition of the theme song to the hit HBO television series Westworld. Davidson once again provides clean vocals on the “Chop Suey!” cover. Following those tracks, the band shares new versions of “Paramount” and “Extinct By Instinct.” The two tracks from Guardians are both completely reimagined instrumentally and acoustically by the band. These last four tracks of the EP were all recorded in the summer of 2020. The band wanted to continue to be productive during the COVID-19 lockdowns. To do such, the band began work in March 2020 on the two cover tracks and two reimagined tracks you hear on the Guardians Sessions EP.
“The Guardians Sessions EP was put together on the foundation of two songs: ‘Standing in the Storm’ and ‘Icarus,'” guitarist JD Brubaker explains. “Those songs were recorded in September of 2019, when we were finishing up our album Guardians. Both tracks got cut from the record, as we had too much material and they were the black sheep of the group. When all touring was shut down in March of 2020, we began working on a couple of cover songs and re-imagined versions of some songs from Guardians. Those songs were recorded in the summer of 2020. We wanted to be productive with our downtime and work on a project that would be fun for both us and our fans.”
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