Lyrics Database

August Burns Red - "Leveler"

(Adapted from Vocals word for word) - (incl. Streaming Links and Band Commentary for select tracks) - (completed)

June 17th, 2011, by Tobe



 
 
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01. Empire – [Lyric Video]

Skyscrapers, earthmovers, ground breakers. Our buildings rival the heavens.
Our bridges span the seas. Ingenuity is so cunning. Innovation is not ours.
Creativity is a luxury. We build with our hands what we have in our hearts.

Fight the avalanche. You’ll be buried every time. We run and run and run. Keep falling behind.
Fight the avalanche. You’ll be buried every time. We run and run and run. Always last in line.

Before lines were lines, before time was time,
the Author wrote a story in the sky, and earth below.
Little do we know we have only what we’re given. Light up the sky. (Light up the sky.)
We’re going where no man has ever gone. Little do we know we have only what we’re given.
Light up the sky. We’re going where no man’s forgotten.

All You are is all we want. It burns inside us all.
We’re finding heart in giving soul. We’re walking home into thin air singing....

Oh, oh, oh....

We are justice fighters with faces of fire. Many walk away, but we stand firm.
We are justice fighters with faces of fire. Our decisions affect our descendants.
We are justice fighters with faces of fire.

Skyscrapers, earthmovers, ground breakers. Our footsteps, bringing purpose, changing history. Skyscrapers, earthmovers, ground breakers. Our footsteps, bringing purpose, changing history.


Song commentary by drummer Matt Greiner (via ReviewRinseRepeat.com):

"’Empire’ is a song about the human race using ingenuity as a means of pride and power. The first lines are the same as the last lines in the song; "Skyscrapers, earthmovers, ground breakers." The song portrays a God-given creativity that should be used for bringing about purpose but is so often distorted and manipulated. I initially titled this song, ’Leveler; Make Level The Road For The Righteous,’ but we decided that ’Leveler’ was a much better name for the album, and thus the song was renamed.

I was on tour in Florida last year reading Isaiah 26 when I started writing some ideas down about God calling Himself ’Leveler.’ I proposed the idea of using that as the title to the band and it wasn’t hugely popular with everyone. A few weeks later the tables turned and I was the only one that DIDN’T like the title ’Leveler’. With enough time, we were all 100% on board and the title was written in stone.

We recorded Leveler with Jason Suecof who also produced and engineered our last record with us. Jason is a genius. He pushed me harder than I’ve ever been pushed in the five days we had to track drums. Instead of always recording the drum parts I had written, Jason pushed me to create fills and beats on the spot. Sick!"
 
 
02. Internal Cannon – [Lyric Video]



I’ve feared the deepest darkest secrets that live inside of me.
Defeat and tragedy, walking in shame, finding nowhere to hide.
I’ve thrown my bottles of guilt into the sea, hoping the waves carry them away from me.

Oh....

My heart is beating. I’ll never stop fighting. I’ll keep breathing...
My heart is beating. I’ll never stop fighting. I’ll keep breathing to stay alive.

And here I go, off to make a change. I’m screaming... screaming revival.

All of my strength, all of my might, will go into this to take back my life.
All of my strength, all of my might, will go back into this to take back my life...
...my life... my life... my life. I’m taking back my life... my life... my life... my life... taking back my life.

Let’s go....

This song is music to my ears... (this song is music...)
and is a new production on an old stage (...on an old stage).
I won’t dwell in unhappiness (I will not dwell in...), grasping humility, asking forgiveness.
Tomorrow is gone, I’ll start living for today. I’ll never stop the fighting and I’ll take it all away.
Tomorrow is gone, I’ll start living for today. I’ll never stop the fighting and I’ll take it away.


Song commentary by guitarist JB Brubaker:

"This is my favorite song on the album and one of my favorite songs we’ve ever written. I’ve described ‘Internal Cannon’ as our Latin song. There are a few sections that I think are going to turn some heads and have people saying either ‘Whoa! That was awesome!’ or ‘Whoa! That was weird. I don’t know if I like that.’ For the latter group, I’d like to think it’ll grow on ’em."

Song commentary by guitarist JB Brubaker (via AntiMusic.com):

"Internal Cannon" is probably one of the more "out there" songs we’ve ever recorded. It doesn’t really play by the rules of metalcore, and I think that’s why I like it so much.
"Internal Cannon" was the second song I finished when writing for Leveler. I didn’t set out to write a mariachi inspired metal song. It just sort of happened. The first minute or so came very naturally to me and sounded like a typical August Burns Red song. It had a thrashy intro, a big breakdown, and a lot of riffing going on. What threw the song for a loop was the key change that occurs right before the first clean section. It changes into a key ABR has never played in before and as a result, it just sounded different. I couldn’t just go into a heavy open C breakdown because of the key the song had changed to. We have key changes in a lot of our songs, but they are never on purpose. They are simply a result of where the guitars happen to go. I wish I had a better explanation for this, but as a writer who has very little knowledge of music theory I can’t explain why.
Upon changing keys the song goes into what I like to call the "cruise ship" part. It’s a light beachy sounding section that sounds nothing like anything ABR has ever played before. Matt (our drummer) recorded all kinds of percussion instruments over the section and I play a little guitar lead that a hula dancer could shake her hips to. It was at this point that I knew this song was going in strange places and I liked it.
After the cruise ship section the song rips back into a thrashy metal riff that doesn’t sound out of the ordinary in the least, but things get weird immediately after. The song does a complete 180 as everything drops out except a simple quiet clean guitar line that has a distinctive mariachi vibe. While recording this part our producer, Jason Suecof, described it as something straight out of a
Quentin Tarantino film. This mariachi esque section is one of my favorite moments on the entire album because of how off the wall it is. The quiet mariachi section is followed by a long guitar solo that I’ve been told sounds like Carlos Santana gone metal. It’s my favorite solo that I’ve ever written and I remember sitting in my room for hours working on it. My fingers were getting shredded from bending my strings so much which is something I hadn’t done much of in the past. I had an absolute blast writing that guitar solo.
When I finished the song I was pretty nervous as to how the rest of my band would react to it. I had a similar feeling a couple hours before we released the song online for everyone to hear. I really had no intention of trying to reinvent ABR’s sound, and as a whole I don’t think Leveler as an album strays too far from the path we’ve been following. "Internal Cannon" is simply us pushing the envelope of our sound and trying something brand new for us. There were mixed feeling about this song within the band when I first showed it to everyone, but in time we all got on the same page and went with it. I figured if we’re going to try something different we might as well go all out and make it as crazy as we want. I hope people have as much fun listening to that song as I did writing it."
 
 
03. Divisions – [Lyric Video]

What have I done? What have I done?
Above the grave of a stranger, these words were never heard.

I put my feet in the shoes of another man. You were wronged, let down, and defeated.
Death cheated and played you like a fool.
I should have built a tower to hold you high. Should have built a tower to hold you high.

(I died, I died) I died inside when I... when I... when I cut you down.
Death has come to destroy. Defeat shows its face.

I failed you. I threw you away. I cut you down. I cut...
I failed you. I threw you away. I failed you. I threw you away.
I failed you. I threw you away. I failed you...

Sometimes I need to hit a little harder. Sometimes I need to speak a little quieter.
I made you carry the casket of an innocent man when it should have been me.
It should have been me.

Oh God, I’m speaking to You. You said we are redeemed.
Oh God, I’m speaking to You. You said we are set free. You said...

We are the weak. The pain is the devourer, the devourer.
We are the weak. The pain is the devourer. It’s devouring me.
I said, we are the weak. The pain is the devourer. It’s devouring me. Forgive me.


Song commentary by guitarist JB Brubaker:

"’Divisions’ is a chaotic dirty track. It’s dark lyrically and Jake (Luhrs, vocalist) absolutely shreds his vocal chords on this song – I think it is one of the most diverse and strongest vocal performances he has ever given. This song also has the weirdest timed breakdowns on the entire album. We dare you to figure it out!"
 
 
04. Cutting the Ties

Silence is a frustrating answer when all you want is a sign.
Silence is a frustrating answer when all you wanted is a sign.

It’s hard to be surrounded by the ones that you love when they keep passing you by.
(passing you by)

Beneath the tough facade I know that we are getting through.
None of us are ready to just remember you.

Whenever you are lost, I know that we can find you standing outside screaming at the sky.

Don’t let the tears of agony consume your heart.
Let it beat on in hopes and dreams of a new start.

No one knows the weight on your shoulders.
No one knows the burdens you bare. These thoughts won’t stop.

I’d be so easy to take the easy way out. I’d be so easy to take the easy way out.

Compassion is a beautiful thing, so show some for yourself.
Rock solid from the outside looking in.
Rock solid from the outside looking in. Inside you’re praying for help.
Rock solid from the outside looking in. You’re praying for help.

It’s hard to be surrounded by the ones that you love when they keep passing you by.
(passing you by)

Beneath the tough facade I know that we are getting through.
Life is a gift. Remember this. Remember this.

Break free. Break free. Break free.

I know silence is a hard answer when all you want is a sign.
Patience is a virtue. (a virtue) You will be revived.
 
 
05. Pangaea

Closed off, we wake from the dusk... (the dusk)
only to step out into open air, just to see the same clouds opening. (Yahh)
Into open air... only to step out...

If this is a place people dream of, (people dream of)
insomnia is the only cure - the only antidote.
You’ve been deceived into thinking this is the perfect life.
It’s an illusion to your perception. You’ve been deceived.

I wish time was still ancient so I could bridge the gap (bridge the gap)
between here, between there, between you and I. (between you and I)
Frustration is setting in. I am seeing red. (I’m seeing red)
This blessing is a curse. I am seeing red. (I am seeing red)

Counting all the things that I took for granted. Counting down the days.
Watching the clock as it just stands still... to just sail away, sail away, sail away.
Waiting for the morning that takes me home, that takes me home, to take me home.

This bittersweet dream that I dreamt. Oh Pangaea.

All of this is worth every penny - every cent.
I would give back everything just to be back... back home.

This is a bittersweet dream I’ve dreamt. Oh Pangaea, where have you gone?
I’m at all four corners of this world. Oh Pangaea, what have you done?
This is a bittersweet dream I’ve dreamt. Oh Pangaea, where have you gone?
I’m at all four corners of this world. Pangaea, what have you done?
 
 
06. Carpe Diem

I’ve thrown away all of my outside distractions.
I’m diving headfirst to chase a dream that I won’t let go.

It’s worthless - a waste of time. This goal is out of reach. You better fall back in line.

This is what I need. You are what I need.
I need motivation to prove you wrong, and I will prove you wrong.

What makes you think that you are different?
How can you chase these dreams? They’ve become a chore.


I know I’m close. I’m almost there.
Just a little more, and I will prevail through what you call "ignorance". I will prevail.

Now I’ve chased this dream to do what I love, and I wouldn’t trade it for a thing.
Now I’ve chased this dream and I made it out alive. I wouldn’t trade it for a thing.
I threw away what naysayers say, and started on a race that I had to win for myself.

And you proved me wrong, you proved me wrong.

All I’ve learned is teaching me more. All I know is driving me on.

All I’ve learned is teaching me more. All I know is driving me on.


Song commentary by guitarist JB Brubaker (via AntiMusic.com):

"Track six on Leveler is a song called "Carpe Diem." This is probably the least traditional ABR song on the album as it is slower in tempo and doesn’t have any terribly heavy parts. Instead, it’s a driving song with builds, crescendos, and a whole lot of dynamics.
"Carpe Diem" came to life in a very out of the ordinary way. I was driving to my sister’s house to meet her and my brother in law for dinner, which has become a weekly tradition when I’m home from tour. I was listening to The Hope Conspiracy’s album "Death Knows Your Name" and thinking how cool it’d be to play in a band like that. The thought of writing straight forward driving hardcore songs was very appealing to me and I began to think about trying to write a few of my own, not for ABR, but on the side. I never really had time to do a side project, and as it would turn out, I still didn’t.
When I got home that night I began fooling around on my guitar trying to write something more in the vain of The Hope Conspiracy. I wrote the main chord progression for the song and the big build up intro. Being that everything was fairly straightforward the song was coming together very quickly, that is until I got side tracked when I saw my glass guitar slide sitting on my desk in front of me. I have never been very good at playing with a slide, but always thought they sounded cool so I occasionally would play around with one. While noodling about with the slide I came up with the melody to the clean section in the middle of "Carpe Diem." It was a simple slide part that kept me on only one string, which was difficult enough for me.
I eventually found myself back on task wanting to continue working on the song I had set out to write in the first place, but I couldn’t get that slide guitar melody out of my head and I decided to try to work it into the song I had been writing. That’s where the big dropout/clean guitar section comes from. I really loved the huge shift in dynamics and how minimalistic the clean section was turning out to be. I was really falling in love with the song and started to think maybe I could use this for ABR, though I was a little wary of what my band mates might think as it was so out of the ordinary for us.
I finished the song the following day and had everything tabbed out in midi format to show to the band. I emailed it to everyone and explained how I loved the song, but realized that it was very different for us and if everyone hated it, I’d just save it to record on my own time down the road. Everybody was cool with it except for our bass player, Dustin, which is now ironic because he is very fond of the track now that it’s all finished and recorded.
I generally don’t write lyrics, but I had an idea for "Carpe Diem." The idea was to write the words as a conversation between two people. One person would be a dreamer chasing a goal. The other person was a nay-saying realist. I wanted Jake to sing the dreamer’s lines and have Dustin sing the nay-sayers lines. We had never done any back and forth like that and I thought it would be a cool contrast in voices and really tell a story. I wrote a bunch of lines for the song, but never finished the lyrics.
Eventually we were in the studio recording Leveler and the lyrics to "Carpe Diem" still weren’t finished. Dustin came to me and asked if he could take a shot at finishing them as he was really into the idea of two people having a conversation within the song. Dustin basically rewrote the entire song using my idea as a blueprint while writing from his own personal experience. He experienced exactly what this song is talking about when trying to convince his father that he wanted to go full time with a band. Dustin also wrote all the vocal patterns and sang quite a bit on the track.
While it’s not a traditional ABR track, "Carpe Diem" really breaks up the album well and is a great breather in the middle. I have faith that this song will grow on listeners over time and possibly become a sleeper favorite off of Leveler."

 
 
07. 40 Nights

You’re living for today, but your future is looking bleak. One day it’ll all come crashing down.
Nothing lasts forever. You’ve only planned for the here and now.
I said: Nothing lasts forever. Live fast, die young.

Live fast and die young. It’s what’s ahead, but just remember:
slow and steady wins the race, so pick your head up and keep your mouth shut.

You are the captor of originality. You are the thief of authenticity.
Respect is something that you’ll never see. Everything you write all sounds the same.
You’re forsaken. Forsaken on this mountain. The bridges have turned to ash.

This is your final hour. This is your great fall.
You won’t make it out alive, so say your dearest goodbyes.

You are Goliath standing firm in your light. We are David and you’re in our sights.
You are Goliath standing firm in your light. We are David and you’re in our sights.
Your dreams have come true. Have you forgotten the reason why?

Life, death, dreams, wealth - nothing lasts forever.
Greed, envy, gluttony will amount to nothing. Nothing lasts forever.

The earth is about to quake. The earth is about to quake. The earth is about to quake.
Brace for impact. Run for the hills. Brace for impact. It’s a long way home.
Brace for impact. Run for the hills. You’ll surely end here.

Goliath, we’re screaming your name. Goliath, we’re coming for you.
 
 

08. Salt & Light

Show our eyes true color. We want to hear the trumpet roar...
We want to hear the trumpet roar... with words that trample the pagan’s cavalry.
Pummel the darkness with the light.

Hand in hand, side by side, we will march with full force.
With your words from our throats we will march with full force.

Words that will shake the earth and boil the seas,
trample the bones of the living dead as they roam the streets alone.
We go marching on. Let the trumpets roar. (Go...)

I’m the harbinger, not the author of these timeless words.
Led by the Comforter I sing to you.
And if my throat were to be cut from ear to ear, I hope that these words
would carry on in these songs that I pray you sing one day.
We sing for you. We sing for you. We sing for you. We sing for you.
We sing for you. We sing for you. We sing for you. We sing for you.

 

 

09. Poor Millionaire – [Lyric Video]



You stand up pridefully in front of thousands, screaming words of justice and truth.
You wear a mask of this city’s hero. You are the pretender.
You fake, you fake, but fortunate. You wear a mask of this city’s hero.
You fake, you fake, but fortunate. You are the pretender.

Your weak speech lines your gums with gold teeth, yet you don’t believe in a word that you say.
You’re speaking shackles to life. Self-rightheousness is your demise.

You coward. Draw a line in the sand. You bastard. Look at what you have become.
Your breath it reeks of perversion.
Your tongue is just like a whore, full of vulgarity, full of the disease.

Where is the life in the life you live? You are the poor millionaire.
Where is the life in the life you live? A lifeless empire, a lifeless heir.

Your crown is like a lion’s mouth devouring you from the inside out.
Turn away before there’s nothing left. It’s life or death.

Tyrant. Ring the bells of repentance, awakening from your deathbed.
Tyrant. Ring the bells of repentance, awaken from your deathbed. Oh tyrant. Oh tyrant.

You stand up pridefully in front of thousands, screaming words of justice and truth.
You wear a mask of this city’s hero. You are the pretender.

Coward. Coward. Where is the life in the life you live?
Where is the life in the life you live? ...life you live?


Song commentary by guitarist JB Brubaker:

"While pushing the boundaries of ABR was important when writing Leveler, it was equally important for us to not abandon what we as a band and what the fans think of as the ’core ABR sound’ and that’s why songs like ’Poor Millionaire’ are just as important to the album as more experimental tracks like ’Internal Cannon’".

Song commentary by guitarist JB Brubaker (via AntiMusic.com):

"Poor Millionaire" is one of the heaviest, most straight up songs that was written for Leveler. It is the track that probably best represents the name of the album. I don’t remember much about the actual writing of this song. What I do remember is the process of us pulling the song together as a band.
This was the first song we played together as a band when we started putting the finishing touches on each song. We started playing this song together on the Fall AP Tour in Oct/Nov 2010. Everyday during soundcheck we’d run through this song and work on tweaking parts of it. I remember in Pomona, CA at the Fox Theatre we had a lot of extra time to soundcheck. We ended up working on this song for a good hour and a half, scrutinizing every little part, every single drum hit. It was fun to basically write and practice on a beautiful stage with a huge PA.
Jake wrote the lyrics to this song. They’re about a man who is wealthy on the outside, but is unhappy and a complete faker. He may have everything materialistically, but he’s a waste of space bringing those around him down in order to try to make himself feel whole. The lyrics are pretty angry for us and at one point Jake screams "you bastard!" which is probably the closest to a ’bad word’ ABR has ever used in a song. Controversial!"

 

 

10. 1/16/2011

(Instrumental)

Song commentary by vocalist Jake Luhrs (via RockEdition.com):

"[...] That’s the day that four young men that attended high school in Manheim got into a car accident and all died. It pretty much tore the town to pieces. I mean, it was a really big deal. They were part of the football team at the high school. It really kind of turned Manheim upside down, just from the loss and everything. Our song “Boys of Fall” on the new album is actually a tribute to those boys."

That’s a true story?

"Yeah, it really happened in our hometown. It stirred up the whole place. We just wanted to really write a song to those kids, their families, and everyone else that was a part of that."

 

 

11. Boys of Fall

Reborn...

Where do we go to escape the end of the world?
Did we, the dogs, open fire that you would cast this rainstorm over above our heads?
This crushing loss that brings us to our knees.

Is there a way to live again when there’s nowhere to run?
Is there a way to live again when there’s no way to go on?
Is there a way to live again when there’s nowhere to run?
Is there a way to live again through this dark tragedy?

He is God. We are just men. Who are we to question?
He is God. We are just men. Who are we to question?
He is God. He is God.

We’re figures in a forest full of haunting trees,
brushing shoulders with death to make sure we’re alive.
With the whole world ahead, and our hearts left behind.

Every word burns, branding broken souls.
Pushing to move on. Soon we will be home.

When you’ve lost your way, when you have no words,
we are your strength, when you don’t have anymore. (Oh...)
We are your strength. We are your strength.

Oh Sunday mourning, all we had we lost. All we gained is chaos.
Where we belong is with You. All we have is You. Where we belong is with You.
All we have is You. Where we belong is with You. Please rescue us.

A star can’t be seen unless all the sky decides to be dark. (decides to be dark)
Every drop of a waterfall rushes on towards the end.

This melody will move us. This song will lead us on. Reverence is revival. This town is reborn.
This melody will move us. This song will lead us on. Reverence is revival. This town is reborn.

 

 

12. Leveler

You have become a malicious liar that breaths for attention,
playing charades, wearing the head of a lamb. My days consumed by nights of you.
Howling at the moon as if you were wounded, but no,
you’re the one showing teeth, ready to feast on newborn beginnings as you cry wolf.
Howling at the moon, but no, you’re showing teeth.
We know. You’re ready to feast on newborn beginnings as you cry wolf.

8,064 hours of conspiracies. 200 months which brings me 17 years of lies and betrayal.
The truth. Never seen. Never told. Never known.
You’ll never tell the truth. Never seen. Never heard. You’ll never tell the truth.
All I want is the truth, the truth, the truth, the truth. (Oh...)

Queen of hearts. Queen of hearts.
But you are the deceiver with a lying tongue and matching lips.
My heart thirsts for vengeance, but my Father has tought me forgiveness.
If I had not decided to follow Him, I’d devour you like a lion, leaving your bones out to dry.
I’d put you through the same hell you put me through, pouring out conspiracies and lies, (and lies)
but this world will remember me for all that I’ve done and all that I’ll be.

The victim in me is dead. I am reborn. The victim in me is dead. I am reborn.
So even though you call me self-righteous and call my beloved treacherous,
there is one thing to take away:

Leveler, make level the road for the righteous.
Leveler, make level the road for the righteous.

I forgive you, queen of hearts, for through me, He will show you true love. Love.
I forgive you, queen of hearts, for through me, He will show you true love. Love. Love.
I forgive you, queen of hearts, for through me, He will show you true love. Love. Love....


 


 


[EUROPEAN RELEASE (Alternate Front Cover) (Bonus Tracks) (Jewel Case)]


 

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