The art direction of August Burns Red
's third album strongly suggests a vintage early-'70s metal album by some little-remembered band -- probably British -- working in the Black Sabbath
tradition. First track "The Truth of a Liar" opens with a vintage-metal scream and Tony Iommi
-style riff, maintaining the connection to the past, but from that moment onwards, Messengers
stays largely connected to the present day. The vocals aren't quite the usual Cookie Monster cliché, but they're definitely in the contemporary death metal style, and the unison riffage and hyper tempos are equally of the moment. Still, elements of vintage '70s metal do thread through these 11 songs, rather like a less snarky version of the Eagles of Death Metal
or any of the Kyuss
-inspired stoner metal bands without the bongwater buzz. In a metal scene where few of the subgenres intermingle like this, Messengers
is a welcome change.