The Sick and Suffering by Ace Augustine (Red Cord Records)
Ace Augustine was the youngest band to ever be signed to the Strike First roster of talent (a division of Facedown Records). The Christian metalcore band unleashed a promising effort entitled The Absolute in 2010. A revolving lineup pretty much rendered the band unable to do any kind of extensive touring, including the loss of key members. By some wondrous miracle, Ace Augustine has returned from a self-imposed hiatus. Now in the fledging Red Cord Records label, the band has issued their second album at last – a compelling collection of Christian metalcore entitled The Sick and Suffering. Judging by the impassioned songs heard within, there is little doubt that Ace Augustine may finally crash their way into the big leagues at last!
After a new flash of an introduction entitled Despair, Ace Augustine explodes into the wildly intensive reveries of Fools Gold – demonstrating immediately a powerful sense of conviction within the fiery lyrics and tight musicianship. Daggerboard is up next, the driving guitars, impactful vocals and relentless rhythm section slashing at the listener with a ferocious intensity.
“I’m so sick” the opening words pierce through the soul on the heavier than hell Day After Day, combusting into a highly infectious chorus, rendering this one a standout. A sonic journey In The Land Of Freedom then commences, with its atmospheric guitars and heavy breakdowns sending this one soaring into the stratosphere. Deaf and Dumb pummels the senses with its deep introspective lyrics and driving melodies.
Mannequins is an exciting track that Ace Augustine has previewed in the past, and its context within The Sick and Suffering is staggering to behold. Showing the band has ambitions well beyond the metalcore genre, The Great Discontent presents clean passionate vocals meshed with a moody musical soundtrack that still manages to be hard hitting. The metallic assault to the senses returns with a vengeance on Growing Pains – complete with a towering chorus. And then closing out The Sick and Suffering on a thunderous note is High Life, a thrashing, heart racing finale including a memorable gang vocal sendoff.
The Ace Augustine 2013 lineup is remarkably solid featuring original members Tyler Chadwick on guitar and vocals and Spencer Barnett on guitar, being joined by new recruits Ryan Feister on vocals, Cody Owen on bass, and Josh Hess on drums. A grand slam effort to be sure, clearly demonstrating how perseverance and passion in your art will pay off tenfold. The Sick and Suffering by Ace Augustine is one of the most inspiring metalcore releases of the year thus far, and is well worth seeking out!
(Review by Kenneth Morton)
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