August Burns Red on expansive new Guardians Sessions EP: “There's only so many metal riffs you can write – so we decided to do something new”

August Burns Red
(Image credit: Mairo Cinquetti/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

Sure, August Burns Red have long been purveyors of heavier-than-thou breakdowns, throat-shredding vocals and intense, highly technical dual-electric guitar acrobatics. But the Pennsylvania-based quintet is far from your standard metalcore outfit.

Take, as just one example, their recent pandemic activity, beginning with a holiday-season version of Mariah Carey’s All I Want for Christmas is You, which saw the band transform the Yuletide pop classic into a shredding – but still highly musical – instrumental workout, full of racing guitars playing in harmony, splitting into counterpoint and just generally shredding all over the place in an incredibly melodic but also ridiculously acrobatic manner.

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Richard Bienstock

Rich is the co-author of the best-selling Nöthin' But a Good Time: The Uncensored History of the '80s Hard Rock Explosion. He is also a recording and performing musician, and a former editor of Guitar World magazine and executive editor of Guitar Aficionado magazine. He has authored several additional books, among them Kurt Cobain: Montage of Heck, the companion to the documentary of the same name.