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Upholding artistic pillars of tightly wound technical proficiency, airtight grooves, and pensive lyricism, August Burns Red fulfill a quiet, yet staunch 17-year commitment to a diehard audience worldwide. The two-time GRAMMY® Award-nominated Pennsylvania quintet—JB Brubaker [lead guitar], Brent Rambler [rhythm guitar], Matt Greiner [drums], Jake Luhrs [lead vocals], and Dustin Davidson [bass]—have preserved this level of integrity since first emerging in 2003. Following the seminal Messengers  and Constellations , the band infiltrated the mainstream via 2015’s Found In Far Away Places. Not only did the latter stand out as their second straight #9 bow on the Billboard Top 200, but it also garnered the group’s first GRAMMY® Award nomination in the category of “Best Metal Performance” for “Identity.” The momentum increased with the arrival of Phantom Anthem in 2017. Marking the group’s fourth Top 20 debut on the Billboard Top 200, it paved the way for their second “Best Metal Performance” GRAMMY® nod for “Invisible Enemy.” Between sold-out shows worldwide, they continued a 15-year tradition of holiday shows by launching the Christmas Burns Red Festival. Now, their 2020 eighth full-length, Guardians [Fearless Records], sees them not only preserve but perfect this definitive sound as evidenced by the likes of “Defender” and “Bones.”"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.
A decibel- and soul-crushing deathcore unit based out of Southern California, Spite employs a lethal blend of death metal, metalcore, and neo-nu-metal. Their original lineup issued the debut album Stay Sick in 2017. They followed with Root of all Evil in 2019. After signing with Rise Records and several personnel changes, they re-emerged with Dedication to Flesh in 2022.
Formed in the Bay Area and featuring the talents of vocalist Darius Tehrani, bassist Stephen Mallory, guitarist Alex Tehrani, and drummer Cody Fuentes, the band issued an independent EP, Misery, followed by an eponymous full-length before inking a deal with Attila frontman Chris Fronzak's Stay Sick Recordings. The band's first LP for the label, Nothing Is Beautiful, was released in July 2017 and drew comparisons to contemporaries like Thy Art Is Murder, Acacia Strain, and Suicide Silence. Spite continued to push against the boundaries of heavy music with the punishing Root of All Evil, which appeared in 2019.
Following a tour of summer and fall festivals, the band underwent some personnel changes, adding guitarist Lucas Garrigues and replacing Mallory with Ben Bamford and Fuentes with ex-Emmure kitman Josh "Baby J" Miller (half of Darko with Tom Barber). In November, they issued the video single for "Made to Please," followed in January 2022 with "Caved In." In June, they delivered the single "Hangman." Co-produced by Alex Tehrani and Matt Guglielmo, their third album, the 12-song Dedication to Flesh, arrived in August along with the single and video for the set's title track. The album reached number 14 on the Billboard Heatseekers chart.
Since 2018, Toronto-based deathcore quintet Brand of Sacrifice have been imprinting their mark on the heavy music scene. Dubbed ‘The Branded Ones,’ the group’s fans joined and marched with them as they tore across the globe in support of debut EP 'The Interstice' and LP statement 'God Hand' which debuted at #20 on Billboard’s Heatseekers Albums Chart. Other highlights to a whirlwind cycle for 'God Hand' included a slot on The Summer Slaughter Tour with Carnifex, Cattle Decapitation, The Faceless and Lorna Shore, a world tour with tech vets Rings of Saturn, plus a tour with fellow upcoming deathcore titans Shadow of Intent. Brand of Sacrifice have spread their wings for sophomore LP 'Lifeblood', debuting at #1 on Billboard's Top New Artist Albums. With a production even more pummeling, exemplified by laser-sharp structures and a wide-gulf of dynamics, the album takes catchy to another level, with choruses comprising string orchestrations and synths, alongside bludgeoning breakdowns and plenty of guest appearances. Across their releases to date, Brand of Sacrifice have hit 30+ million streams and 7+ million YouTube views.The band draws its name from popular anime series Berserk by Kentaro Miura. 'Lifeblood' focuses on the series’ dark horse protagonist Guts, a lone wolf who faces demons both inside and out in a post-apocalyptic world. Fans at any Brand of Sacrifice show will be familiar with set-closer “Eclipse” and its ending chant of, “Welcome to the new age.” With 'Lifeblood', it’s evident the band have ushered in yet another, even fresher era from which there is no turning back.