Artist Of The Week - Anchor & Braille

It's been about three years since we've gotten an album from Anchor & Braille, the indie side project of Anberlin's Stephen Christian, but this week, on July 31st, the band's sophomore album will be released. The Quiet Life is a collection of haunting melodies and catchy percussion, certainly a maturation of sound since 2009's Felt. The Quiet Life is available now in stores and online through Tooth & Nail Records.


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Artist: The Letter Black
Album: Hanging On By A Thread
Release Date: 5/4/10
Label: Tooth & Nail Records

Playing some melodic female-fronted hard rock, The Letter Black make a splash in 2010 with their debut full length album, Hanging On By A Thread. One very noticeable thing about this album, is that guitarist Mark Anthony, husband of lead vocalist Sarah Anthony, provides a lot of strong backup vocals. He certainly has a great voice, capable of fronting a band of his own. Despite his contributing vocals throughout the album, Sarah Anthony also provides some soaring vocals of her own, as well as very precise screams.

Opening up with "Fire With Fire", you immediately hear the strong guitar work and riffs heard throughout the album. Contained on Hanging On By A Thread are three tracks from last year's Breaking The Silence EP, being the album's title track as well as "Best of Me" and "Moving On". Luckily on this album, "Best of Me" is not isolated with its pop sound like on Breaking The Silence, but is joined by the other softer ballads "There'll Come A Day" and "More To This". One of the stronger offerings of the bunch comes in "Believe", which contains a Skillet-esque string section and a strong chorus of "I put my faith in the unknown, I put my hope in God alone."

The latter of the album however contains many songs about broken relationships and how they hurt. This does seem to be the general theme of the album, along with a few songs about looking for hope in God. One song that really shines through is the closer "Wounded", which showcases Sarah Anthony's piercing screams and Mark Anthony's strong backup vocals. It was a good choice for a closer, but shows that the album could have used more tracks with its same intensity.

Rating: 7/10 With the release of their debut album Hanging On By A Thread, The Letter Black bring us some female-fronted hard rock, which stylistically is along the lines of Flyleaf and Skillet. Despite a few very strong songs, there a still some weaker ones that all seem to have the same lyrical theme about broken relationships. After all, this is only their debut album, which gives them plenty of time to discover their best sound. Regardless of this, you should still check them out, you may find some good talent.

  1. Fire With Fire
  2. Invisible
  3. Hanging On By A Thread
  4. Believe
  5. There'll Come A Day
  6. My Disease
  7. I'm Just Fine
  8. Best Of Me
  9. All I Want
  10. Moving On
  11. More To This
  12. Care Too Much
  13. Wounded

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