After a month in the studio with lauded producer Jason Suecof (Sevendust, All That Remains, God Forbid, Trivium), Abr emerged in late March with a blistering album that will make good on the promise of 2007's "Messengers" - an album that, devoid of hype, without any smoke and mirrors, ever-so-quietly sold more than 80,000 copies, as much or more than most of the band's much-hyped contemporaries.
August Burns Red spent the subsequent year conquering fans at Warped Tour, on the Take Action tour and at destinations from Dubai to Dallas, and increased their profile through placement on the movie trailer for "The Spirit". Meanwhile, fans drove August Burns Red's MySpace plays well past the 17 million mark, packed the band's fall 2008 headlining tour - which included sold-out venues across the country - and flocked to the band's in-studio Stickam site by the tens of thousands to observe the band recording the eagerly awaited new album. Fans' demand for new material also drove the release of a B-sides EP, "Lost Messengers: The Outtakes", this past February.
These reverberations from "Messengers"' massive grassroots success have set the table for what - if the fans have anything to say about it - is primed to be one of the year's most anticipated metal albums.
"We've been paying more attention to the dynamics of the songs," says guitarist and principal songwriter Jb Brubaker of the new album. "We wanted the songs to breathe in certain places and explode in others."
For anyone afraid that might mean Abr is mellowing out, Brubaker is quick to assuage fears: "I can say for sure that this record will definitely be as unrelenting as our previous ones, but at the same time it will also be more dynamically diverse."