Ace Augustine - The Absolute (2011)

Ace Augustine - The Absolute (2011)
The awesomeness that was 2010 in metal was a fluke right? I know I could have easily put a hundred albums in a list of outstanding music, but nooooo, The NewReview said ten. So I did, but I’ll admit 2010 had me swooning over new music like a puberty-riddled school boy assigned as a teacher’s aide to the drill team’s coach. The best thing about 2010 was the bar-raising by some excessively talented bands. And “bar-raising” sounds like “barn raising”, which reminds me of the Amish, which reminds me of Pennsylvania, which reminds me I have a review to finish.
Enter Ace Augustine, a Christian metal outfit from the aforementioned Pennsylvania. These guys are not to be confused with August Burns Red, but then again, they come from the same scene, have similar names, are math heavy, and, to me, are as good, which is high praise. I’m impressed with the quality of their sound and the production of their debut, The Absolute. They bring a ton of technical magic to the album, but their sound is fresh enough my ear canals swallow them like a black hole consumes planets.

The Absolute kicks off with “Justifiers” and gradually builds into ridiculously impossible riffs and drumming only a human calculator could pull off. It’s a great start to the album. However, I immediately noticed a slight cartoonish tone to Ben Moser’s vocals. For a screamer, he’s not a bad vocalist at all, but some angry evil villain seeps through. At this point I’m distracted. But here’s the thing: In spite of me now visualizing Moser with a ray gun and Igor sidekick, Ace Augustine pulls me back in with their precision and versatility.
For example, “2013 Looks Promising” is a change from “Justifiers” in both musical and lyrical tone. “Jonah Spoke of Innocence” follows as a driving skull pounder. Tyler Chadwick and Alex Bolton on guitars are a killer duo of intensity. Fortunately, the band’s writing is solid and Chadwick and Bolton aren’t playing crazy riffs in the dark. The songs’ changes and structure are clockwork bad-ass. “Jonah Spoke of Innocence” and “Negotiations” mix it up with hardcore gang vocals.
Doug Fellenbaum, the drummer, uses every one of his sixteen limbs to full capacity. I’d go see Ace Augustine just to watch Fellenbaum play. Full disclosure: drummers are dreamy in a bromance sort of way. Anyway, the drumming is impeccable. I especially love “Delorean” and “The Merchant Tales” for the dizzying percussion. The closer, “The Absolute”, is actually my favorite track because it’s a mashup of an old-school grunge riff (think Soundgarden) with highly technical changes and and a finale with a choir plus a slow fade out. Nice work.
Lyrically, there’s not a lot of depth to Ace Augustine. They are overtly Christian and are probably unapologetic about it. For the most part, their lyrics are poetic and, at times, intentionally funny.
Well my first album to review of 2011 is a positive experience, so whew. The Absolute is a good way to kick of the year. Ace Augustine is full of talent and promise, so unless they are a front for aParamore-esque corporate conspiracy, they will be around for long time.

Album Details :

Band: Ace Augustine
Title: The Absolute
Label: Strike First Records
Release Date: January 18, 2011
Track List :

  1. Justifiers
  2. Looks Promising
  3. Jonah SPoke of Innocence
  4. Negotiations
  5. Senior Years at Sky City
  6. Delorean
  7. Axioms
  8. The Debt That All Men Pay
  9. The Merchant Tales
  10. The Absolute

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