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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Divided By Friday

Artist: Divided By Friday
Album: Divided By Friday
Release Date: 5/18/10
Label: Independent

A disappointing fact in the music industry is that many of the best independent talent goes undiscovered due to lack of marketing and whatnot. Of course, their are many great artists out there that deserve the right attention to be successful. Divided By Friday are one of those bands. Filled with plenty of pop punk melodies, DBF have crafted four nicely done songs with their new self-titled EP.

The high energy "Disappoint: Surprise" starts off the short EP with somewhat typical pop punk styling, but later into the song has some of the best hooks heard from them. Lead vocalist Jose Villanueva's vocals sound a bit weak at points throughout the opener, but progressively grow stronger to the point of the highlight, which comes with "Nothing Like Today." Easily the strongest track, the catchy instrumentation mixes perfectly with the vocals, at times even a bit reminiscent of Relient K. The closer "Hello, Again" starts off piano driven but by the end is more of a pop rock song, that captures my attention as very well produced. An interesting way to end the EP I'd say.

Rating: 7/10 The newest EP from the pop punk band Divided By Friday shows a lot of potential for them. Not everything on it is perfect, but still very polished. With the right attention, these guys could easily grow bigger in no time, which I'm sure is bound to happen.

Tracklisting:
  1. Disappoint: Surprise
  2. Make It Out
  3. Nothing Like Today
  4. Hello, Again
(Buy Here)

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Blood and Water

Artist: Blood and Water
Album: Blood and Water
Release Date: 2009
Label: Eden Records

The best things in life can be found if you look hard enough. Sometimes, you will find a hidden gem, which is what is found in Blood and Water's self-titled album. Coming out of Fremont, California, Blood and Water bring us some ska-flavored punk rock, that fills the void left by the big ska bands, like Five Iron Frenzy and The O.C. Supertones, with other elements such as alternative thrown into the mix as well. These guys are sure to be big and their debut certainly shows it.

The fast paced "Ahead of Myself" has a nice pop-punk feel to it, along with some of the catchiest lyrics on the album. Another favorite is "Chord of Three" which tells a story of redemption in His name. The album also has a bunch of fun thrown into it with "The Government Stole My iPod." The title is self-explanatory for the song's lyrics and is a very enjoyable listen.

Rating: 8/10 No doubt, Blood and Water's debut is a great listen. These guys are destined to be big and deserve your attention.

Tracklisting:
  1. Fire and Brimstone
  2. Ahead of Myself
  3. Alone In My Principles
  4. Losing Ground
  5. How The Westfold Fell
  6. The Government Stole My iPod
  7. Chord of Three
  8. The Second Page
  9. Dance Rock
  10. Let's Start Again
  11. Undeserving
  12. Outro (Refuge)
(Buy Here)

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The Powerless Rise

Artist: As I Lay Dying
Album: The Powerless Rise
Release Date: 5/11/10
Label: Metal Blade Records

When listening to so much of a genre, only certain artists can really shine through. In succeeding, a very small amount will in fact set the pace for the scene. As I Lay Dying have done this successfully with their past releases in the metalcore genre, which were highly acclaimed, even garnering a Grammy nomination. With their newest album however, they surpass An Ocean Between Us to bring a very mature sound. The Powerless Rise seems to stand out from their other releases as extremely hard-hitting, lyrically especially.

Well As I Lay Dying have not changed their overall sound, they have matured it for sure. Deeper growls from Tim Lambesis are heard on the album, along with the fitting singing at times throughout the album, all done strongly. Among the highlights, "Upside Down Kingdom" comes as the track that best explains the theme of the album. It's intro seems to greet the listener like an old friend and breaks into powerful riffs, accompanied by fantastic drumming. Lambesis' vocals particularly stand out in the chorus, singing "Simplicity is not a curse where strength is humbled, and the powerless rise, this is a kingdom born upside-down."

Another highlight is "Parallels," composed of chugging guitars, along with Tim's thick screams. The album's first single "Beyond Our Suffering" is brutal and has a great message about reaching out to those suffering in our world today. Besides this song, the album is filled with a message that we live in a broken society, but there is hope. The hope they talk about is Jesus, although not explicitly stated in the lyrics. This being said, As I Lay Dying may have crafted one of the best metal albums of the year.

Rating: 9/10 The Powerless Rise from As I Lay Dying easily has the potential to be one of the year's best albums in the heavy genre. It has everything that you could expect from the band and much more. AILD are one of the most prominent artists out there today, enough said.

Tracklisting:
  1. Beyond Our Suffering
  2. Anodyne Sea
  3. Without Conclusion
  4. Parallels
  5. The Plague
  6. Anger and Apathy
  7. Condemned
  8. Upside Down Kingdom
  9. Vacancy
  10. The Only Constant Is Change
  11. The Blinding of False Light
(Buy Here)

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Revival

Artist: As Hell Retreats
Album: Revival
Release Date: 5/25/10
Label: Strike First Records

Deathcore is deathcore is deathcore. There is only so much a band can do with this glass ceiling of a genre. Everything that can be done As Hell Retreats does and then some. Revival starts out rather calmly with the intro track, a nice instrumental that slowly builds into chugging guitar riffs and double bass drumming. From there, Revival is a brutal deathcore album.

"Inferior" has a nice use of vocal dynamics ranging from low death grunts to high shrieks to a mid range growl. The next track, "Holy Thief," has a nice start/stop dynamic with the guitars, that give way to speedy thrash riffs, before drum beats and breakdowns take over. "Raze" is heavier than the preceding tracks and is filled throughout with breakdowns. It also features a nice guitar part to close the song.

"Resting With Closed Eyes"  is another track that contains great versatility in the vocals, plenty of lows and highs. The best guitar solo found on Revival is featured on "Messengers," along with nice guitar work in place of the usual chugging riffs. The track "Contradiction" is the heaviest song, both lyrically and musically, on the album.

The title track is a very well done instrumental that sets up for the closer. "Poor God" is hands down the best song on the album. It takes everything As Hell Retreats does well on the album, eliminates what doesn't and takes it to the next level. It's a great way to close out the album. It definitely leaves you wanting more from AHR.

Rating: 8/10 With Revival, As Hell Retreats has crafted a good debut album. Hopefully, they will continue to push their boundaries. If they do, we will all be better for it.

Reviewed by Matthew Alexander

Tracklisting:
  1. Intro
  2. Inferior
  3. Holy Thief
  4. Raze
  5. Resting With Closed Eyes
  6. Messengers
  7. Contradiction
  8. Revival
  9. Poor God
(Buy Here)

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Artist: The O.C. Supertones
Album: Reunite
Release Date: 5/18/10
Label: BEC Recordings

It seems that 2010 may be the year of reunions, especially for the Christian ska scene. With this, one of the biggest Christian ska bands The O.C. Supertones are reuniting this summer to play festivals all over the country. To showcase songs from their setlist to get fans ready, they have released a new greatest hits album entitled Reunite. It contains 12 of the Orange County boys' biggest hits from over the years. For those new fans of the band , The O.C. Supertones sound can be described as pop-punk, mixed with ska and some hip-hop. A good mix if you ask me.

Most of the songs off Reunite maintain a fun, high energy sound found in songs like "Adonai," "Supertones Strike Back" and the strong "Unite." Also mixed in are a few of the worship tracks from the band with the slowed down "Away From You" and cheery "Hallelujah." The songs bring good memories from The Supertones, who broke up five years back.

Rating: 8/10 The Orange County Supertones are back to play some festivals this summer. Their hits album Reunite is sure to get fans new and old ready for the Supertones return.

Tracklisting:
  1. Adonai
  2. Supertones Strike Back
  3. Unknown
  4. Resolution
  5. Hallelujah
  6. What It Comes To
  7. Grounded
  8. OC Supertones
  9. Away From You
  10. Little Man
  11. Who Can Be Against Me
  12. Unite
(Buy Here)

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Artist: Jimmy Needham
Album: Nightlights
Release Date: 5/18/10
Label: Inpop Records

Jimmy Needham sure surprised me with his new album Nightlights. A pleasant mix of pop, soul and funk is found on the newest from the singer/songwriter. The music comes across very smooth, accompanied by Needham's delicate vocals, to make the final result a perfect album to relax to, more specifically a great album for spring and summer.

To the music, a funk sound is heard on the opener "Moving To Zion" which tells the story of being raised on virtues such as faith and hope. An already big single under the album's belt is the simple pop tune "Yours To Take." Honest lyrics set to a small set of keys and guitar makes for a song driven by the experience of what it's like to accept Christ, clearly heard in the chorus that says "So this is what it feels like to live life, so this is breathing in for the very first time." The most upbeat track off the album that proves that Needham is not completely focused on a constant sound is the fun "Grace Amazing," which features Trip Lee, who is, yes, the well known Christian rapper. A very upbeat R&B/hip-hop track with a bit of funk thrown in as well makes it an enjoyable listen. Lee's vocal delivery is great which adds a lot to the track as well.

The interesting cover of the well known "How Sweet It Is" comes off as a perfect song for Needham to cover, with good results. Ending with the title track, it turns out not to be a song, but a spoken track. The words that Needham speak hit hard, especially the resounding line that let's the Lord know "Be Thou exalted over my reputation." It's the perfect line to sum up the album and should be applied to our lives as well.

Rating: 9/10 Jimmy Needham's new album Nightlighs comes across as the perfect springtime album, with his honest and refreshing take on music. A sure to be memorable album, Nightlights will come as the year's best pop album to date. Don't get me wrong, Needham has some great talent, which is used to glorify God 110 percent. You couldn't ask for any more than that.

Tracklisting:
  1. Moving To Zion
  2. Being Small
  3. Yours To Take
  4. The Reason I Sing
  5. Right Where You Are
  6. Steal Away
  7. Part The Clouds
  8. Grace Amazing
  9. How Sweet It Is
  10. Miss A Thing
  11. Just A Heartbeat
  12. Light Of Day
  13. Nightlights
(Buy Here)

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Artist: To Speak Of Wolves
Album: Myself < Letting Go
Release Date: 5/18/10
Label: Solid State Records

When it comes to metal releases, I can be quite picky. The album needs to be melodic and have everything in place, the breakdowns need to be accurate and the screams need to be strong. For bands new to the scene, this can come as a challenge. However, one of Solid State's newest signings To Speak Of Wolves have pulled it off. The raw energy and power found on this release is spectacular and doesn't disappoint. The transition from the harsh growls and screams to Rick Jacobs' eerily haunting clean vocals is well done. This is something I rarely seen done perfectly in today's metalcore genre.

The intense opening of Myself < Letting Go starts off with the high energy "Darkness Often Yields The Brightest Light," with the opening line forced at you. "You feel the rhythm pumping through your veins" it declares with an edge. Jacobs' haunting vocals on "White Dress, Red Letter" do not fail to give me the chills on each listen, mixed in with a soft piano that blends into the grinding guitars. Coming like the calm after a storm is the ballad "Quercus Alba," which is very unexpected. The piano layered melodies mix with the laid back vocals, which eventually break into screams provided by Spencer Chamberlain of Underoath. In fact, Chamberlain's brother Phil is the drummer for TSoW. "Quercus Alba" is sure to be the most memorable track off the album, not to say that the others won't leave you wanting to mosh right where you are.

Rating: 8/10 To Speak of Wolves have released a great debut with a sound that can only get stronger over time. I'm left wondering how they could make such an album, but maybe you should let the music do the talking.

Tracklisting:
  1. Darkness Often Yields The Brightest Light
  2. You Should Have Locked Your Doors Days Ago
  3. Trust, But Verify
  4. Dimming The Light
  5. White Dress, Red Letter
  6. Just One Time
  7. In The Midst Of The City
  8. Quercus Alba
  9. Your Cage May Not Have Bars, But It's Still A Cage
  10. Nothing Ever Ends
(Buy Here)

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The River Empires - Epilogue

Artist: The River Empires
Album: Epilogue
Release Date: 4/6/10
Label: Independent

When it comes to music, a natural and organic sound can be necessary for a band to become successful. In this case, we have The River Empires. Made up of multiple musicians, including Jessy Ribordy and Josh Shroy (formerly of Falling Up) and Casey Crescenzo (The Dear Hunter), you can expect TRE to be an easy success. Full of multi-instrumentation and some of the most natural music I've heard in a while, Epilogue, the debut album from The River Empires, will come out one of the year's top indie/folk rock albums.

A story is found on this 29-track album, being a soundtrack for a movie that vocalist Jessy Ribordy has written. Some highlights throughout include the beautiful piano laden track "Overture In Thales Summer" that sets a sleepy mood. Another is "Three Tigers," filled with the catchy drumming from Shroy.

Ribory's vocals are another high point on the album, blending perfectly with whatever instrument is thrown into a song, whether it be pounding drums or the gentle strokes of a piano. "The Marching Of The Clocks" is a good example, focusing on a heavy indie sound. The haunting opener and closer "The River Empires Theme I" and "The River Empires Theme II" appropriately hold the chilling sound heard throughout the successful debut from The River Empires.

Rating: 8/10 The debut album from The River Empires comes as a good debut. When listening, you can actually feel the music and the story within the album. I recommend the new project from Jessy Ribordy to fans of Falling Up's later stuff and just about any indie or folk fan.

Tracklisting:
  1. The River Empires Theme I
  2. Overture In Thales Summer
  3. Our Neighbor, The Earth
  4. The Coventry
  5. Galloping Through Day Blooms
  6. The Harbourland
  7. From Faye To Astral
  8. A Toast To The Snake King
  9. The First Message
  10. Catacombs and Orchards
  11. Three Tigers
  12. Stag Hollow Fair
  13. Lull of Celeste
  14. From Outside The Cellar
  15. Vcias In The Pines
  16. A Dimmer Lux
  17. Lillius
  18. Witches Blossom
  19. The Curse of Maybel Cains
  20. Wildbriar
  21. The Motorbike
  22. The Pelican
  23. The Backyard In Sparkles
  24. Land Of Canoes
  25. Theon, The Fox
  26. An Elliptic Figure From Borelli
  27. The Marching Of The Clocks
  28. The Woods Of Northland
  29. The River Empires Theme II
(Buy Here)

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That Was Then, This Is Now

Artist: Chasen
Album: That Was Then, This Is Now
Release Date: 3/9/10
Label: INO Records

That Was Then, This Is Now. A statement made by Chasen with the release of their sophomore release. Playing pop rock that draws similarities to Run Kid Run and at times even Steven Curtis Chapman, Chasen have a good mix of music.

Songs like "On and On" are full of hope and life, while having "hit single" written all over them. The opener "Castaway" has more of a rock feel to it, being a plea to God to save us when we're separated from Him. "Leave You Alone" has some of the catchiest hooks off the album, talking about the grace and redemption that we have in Jesus' name. Towards the end of the album comes "Slow Down," which has influence from many CCM artists, but still comes out nicely to close the album.

Rating: 7/10 Chasen has talent that shows in That Was Then, This Is Now. Influences from artists such as Run Kid Run show, making the album a good pop rock effort.

Tracklisting:
  1. Castaway
  2. Love In Your Name
  3. On and On
  4. Leave You Alone
  5. Airplanes
  6. One In A Million
  7. Bullet
  8. Eyes of a Rescue
  9. Slow Done
  10. There Is Love
(Buy Here)

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The Generous Mr. Lovewell

Artist: MercyMe
Album: The Generous Mr. Lovewell
Release Date: 5/4/10
Label: INO Records

Sometimes, the large genre of CCM can get a bit overwhelming. Easily the biggest genre in Christian music, many of its releases come out as mediocre and predictable. I expected the same with MercyMe's new album, but instead was offered an unexpected surprise. The opening electronic beats are something that I wouldn't have expected from listening to their brand of pop rock.

A mainly upbeat album, The Generous Mr. Lovewell offers up a good amount of high energy songs, as well as the slower, but effective, ballads. Songs like the title track and "Move" are some of the best off the album, with great messages of loving others around us. The ballad "Crazy Enough" has a laid back tone and has a bit of a groove to it, especially with the small solo found in it. Another favorite is "Won't You Be My Love," which is in fact a cover of Thad Cockerell. Completely piano laden, the song comes out beautiful and hits the core of the love theme of the album.

Rating: 8/10 MercyMe seem to break through the CCM trend with their newest album, The Generous Mr. Lovewell. A fresh sound that the genre seems to be lacking is found. MercyMe may have given us the best album in the CCM genre for the year. Time will only tell.

Tracklisting:
  1. This Life
  2. The Generous Mr. Lovewell
  3. Move
  4. Crazy Enough
  5. All of Creation
  6. Beautiful
  7. Back To You
  8. Only You Remain
  9. Free
  10. Won't You Be My Love
  11. This So Called Love
(Buy Here)

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Here is the album art for Rain's 'A Comin', the sophomore album from Children 18:3. I received a four song sampler from the new album and it's sounding great! Also be sure to request their new single "Lost So Long" at rock radio.
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Untouchable

Artist: Before Their Eyes
Album: Untouchable
Release Date: 3/9/10
Label: Rise Records

To be honest, I had never really heard of Before Their Eyes prior to their third studio release Untouchable. What I found was an honest surprise. They have a very clean and polished post-hardcore sound at times, with high energy pop rock/pop punk at other times. The mix comes out smooth for a solid album.

The opening screams of "Hey Dude!" start the album off with a direct post-hardcore sound, that declares "I'm not afraid of death, they can't control me now." Following up are batch of pop punk tracks such as the first single "Sing To Me" and the impacting song "Not Alone," which contains a message of hope that we're not alone and to strive past our struggles. Of the heavier tracks, the highlight comes with "Rick Vs Nick," containing strong yells and screams from vocalist Nick Moore, who has recently departed with BTE.

Rating: 7/10 After listening to Before Their Eyes, a few things are heard. They are not the strongest post-hardcore band out there, but certainly do have some talent. I'm glad that I discovered Untouchable from BTE, which mixes a few different sounds together for a good outcome.

Tracklisting: 
  1. Hey Dude!
  2. Sing To Me
  3. Not Alone
  4. Love Is Misery
  5. My Match, Your Fire
  6. Start With Today
  7. Bulletproof
  8. Finding A Way
  9. Rick Vs Nice
  10. Hell or High Water
  11. Start With Today (Acoustic)

(Buy Here)

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Black Thorn

Artist: Flatfoot 56
Album: Black Thorn
Release Date: 3/30/10
Label: Old Shoe Records

Celtic punk rock is an interesting genre. Picture the likes of MxPx accompanied with mandolins and bagpipes and you get Flatfoot 56. They are not everyone's cup of tea, more of a band where you need to like the style specifically to enjoy the full sound. The lyrics and vocals are strong, but the music itself doesn't quite catch me.

Songs like the title track embrace the mandolin as a key part of the album, along with the gang vocals and chugging lyrics, where "Smoke Blower" utilizes the use of bagpipes to bring the strong Celtic sound of the Chicago natives' sound. Among the fast paced tracks come the acoustic ballad "Shiny Eyes" which is one of the strongest and slowest songs on the album.

Rating: 6/10 Something with Black Thorn from Celtic punk rockers Flatfoot 56 just didn't seem to click with me. They certainly have a strong punk sound but just not of my kind. Not the best album, but not the worst either. There are a batch of strong tracks, found in the likes of "Smoke Blower" and "Shiny Eyes."

Tracklisting:
  1. The Escape (Intro)
  2. Black Thorn
  3. Born For This
  4. Courage
  5. Smoke Blower
  6. The Hourglass
  7. Shiny Eyes
  8. We Grow Stronger
  9. Son of Shame
  10. Stampede
  11. You Won Me Over
  12. Way of the Sun
  13. Hot Head
(Buy Here)

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Artist: Sent By Ravens
Album: Our Graceful Words
Release Date: 4/20/10
Label: Tooth & Nail Records

While listening to Sent By Ravens' debut album Our Graceful Words, a few things immediately come to mind. First off, these guys certainly have plenty of melodic riffs that are heard through the whole album. Second, lead vocalist Zach Riner has a voice that could easily be compared to Jon Micah Sumrall from Kutless and at times, Andrew Schwab from Project 86. Now to the band's sound. There is a constant progressive/hard rock flavor on most of the album, along with a few breakdowns thrown in here and there.

The opener of the album, "New Fire," sets the pace for Our Graceful Words, with a lot of similar guitar work ranging throughout. Producer Aaron Sprinkle certainly gives the album a polished sound as well, especially on tracks like "This Awakening" and "Trailers vs. Tornadoes." A nice surprise on the album is a worship tune entitled "Salt and the Light." A song that struck my attention as very Project 86 esque is "Stone Soup," which is easily the heaviest track off the album.

The album's lyrics are very worshipful, and if Sent By Ravens had a bit softer sound, they could pass as a CCM band. That is something I like about that band, that also seems to be missing in many other bands in today's music industry. The dept in the lyrics.

Rating: 8/10 Sent By Ravens offer up a very solid debut with their release Our Graceful Words. From the ranging guitars to the melodic breakdowns spread throughout the album, not to mention Zach Riner's strong voice to top it all off. SBR has hit the mark with their debut and they can only get better.

Tracklisting:
  1. New Fire
  2. An Honest Heart
  3. I Hear Her Breathe
  4. Beautiful List
  5. Trailers vs. Tornadoes
  6. Jill Plays Tricks, Jack Plays God
  7. Philadelphia
  8. Salt and the Light
  9. This Awakening
  10. Stone Soup
  11. True Bride
(Buy Here)

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Haste The Day's fifth studio album will be releasing June 29th titled Attack of the Wolf King. 

Tracklisting:
  1. Wake Up The Sun
  2. Dogs Like Vultures
  3. The Quiet, Deadly Ticking
  4. Travesty
  5. Merit For Sadness
  6. The Un-Manifest
  7. The Place Where Most Deny
  8. White As Snow
  9. Crush Resistance
  10. Walk With A Crooked Spine
  11. My Name Is Darkness
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    Artist: Superchick
    Album: Reinvention
    Release Date: 4/20/10
    Label: Inpop Records

    Sometimes I wonder if remixes are really worth it, let alone a whole remix album. Superchick just happen to prove me wrong with the release of their newest, entitled Reinvention. A fun mix of some of the band's biggest hits are included, along with an additional three new tracks.

    A bit more rock is thrown into the first two songs, "Cross The Line" and "Rock What You Got," changing them into high energy tracks that seem to surpass the originals by a bit. The electronic driven remixes of "Karaoke Superstars" and "Bowling Ball" come off as the most fun of the bunch. Of the three new tracks, "Let It Roll" comes off as the best and is sung completely by bassist Matt Dally. The song "Still Here" seems like just a typical Superchick song, but "With You" surpasses that. A solo venture by Tricia Brock and an acoustic guitar, it comes off as a nice ballad to close off the wide mix of songs.

    Rating: 7/10 Superchick does a good job with their remix album entitled Reinvention. Offering up three new songs, the highlight comes with "Let It Roll," which is easily the best track on the album. Reinvention comes off as an above standard remix album, actually giving a better feel to some of the songs and not destroying the originals.

    Tracklisting:
    1. Cross The Line (Box Office Blockbuster Mix)
    2. Rock What You Got (Fight Underdog Fight! Mix)
    3. Let It Roll (Matt Dally feat. Superchick)
    4. Karaoke Superstars (Shiny Car Advert Mix) (feat. ThumpMonks)
    5. Hey Hey (Vampires Vs. Cheerleaders Mix)
    6. One and Lonely (Chick Flick Mix)
    7. Breathe (Don't You Die On Me Mix)
    8. Bowling Ball (Not That Into You Mix)
    9. Pure (Brand New Day Mix)
    10. Wishes (Teens Falling In/Out of Love Mix)
    11. Still Here
    12. With You (by Tricia Brock)

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      Eternal

      Artist: War Of Ages
      Album: Eternal
      Release Date: 4/13/10
      Label: Facedown Records

      I am a fan of War of Ages. I loved their last album, Arise and Conquer, as it was a big improvement over their previous work. With that said, I believe Eternal is even a step up from Arise and Conquer. The album is everything War of Ages does well, but taken to the next level. The guitar work is fantastic and shredding is definitely their strong suit. Thankfully, chugging is kept to a minimum.

      The album starts off with the melodic "Collapse," complete with one of the many great solos found through the album. Following up is "Desire," which features guest vocals from Tim Lambesis of As I Lay Dying. It is a pretty average song, but a filler track by no means. The following track "Failure" comes as an improvement over "Desire." It has nice, simple guitar work throughout. It's nice to hear this over the usual chugg-fest on most albums of the genre.

      The song "My Resting Place" serves of one of the heaviest songs War of Ages has ever written. After this comes "Eternal," which starts off amazing. Described as P.O.D. influenced metalcore, it sounds awkward, but rest assured, is not. A nice combination of Sonny Sandoval (of P.O.D.) and Leroy's growls sound great. Leroy's vocals, once the weakness of the band, have become a strength.

      "The Fallen" starts off with a heavy drum blast and is heavy and fast. Out of nowhere comes a heavy breakdown. "Your Betrayal" comes out as nothing special and is the last vocal track, but thankfully the album doesn't end there. The last song is a instrumental track. I am not the biggest fan of instrumentals, but this one however is gold. It consists of a beautiful acoustic guitar, that sounds like it could have been written by Living Sacrifice or Becoming The Archetype, and a very soothing electric guitar. It comes out very nice throughout and I love the solo midway through the song. This was a great way to end the album.

      Rating: 9/10 Overall, Eternal is a must own for both fans of War of Ages and of the genre itself. As mentioned, there is nothing groundbreaking here, but melodic metalcore done very well. A possible contender for album of the year, not only for the genre, but overall.

      Reviewed by Matthew Alexander

      Tracklisting: 
      1. Collapse
      2. Desire
      3. Failure
      4. My Resting Place
      5. Eternal
      6. Indecision
      7. Lack of Clarity
      8. The Fallen
      9. Your Betrayal
      10. Instrumental
      (Buy Here)

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      Haste The Day Announce Summer U.S. Headlining Tour
      Tour In Support Of Hotly Anticipated New Album, Attack Of The Wolf King, Out June 29th
      Support From Mychildren Mybride and Upon A Burning Body

      April 29, 2010 - Metalcore mainstays HASTE THE DAY are excited to announce a summer U.S. headlining tour from June 4 to July 2 in support of their towering new album, Attack of the Wolf King, out June 29 on Solid State Records.
      Joining the band on the month-long run are MYCHILDREN MYBRIDE and UPON A BURNING BODY. Dates and venues listed below.
      Bassist Michael Murphy offers up this impassioned and convincing argument for why fans should get excited about the upcoming tour: "Come out to a show in your area and you are guaranteed a couple of things.  One- You will have a fantastic time watching me headbang.  This tour is the 9 year anniversary of me "going for it" on stage....Lets just say I've gotten pretty good. Two- You will hear all of your favorite old HTD songs. Three- You will hear a brand new HTD song that will blow your mind and make you forget we even have old songs."
      To that end, HASTE THE DAY have been offering a sneak peek of a track from Attack of the Wolf King in their live set – which some savvy fans have already found on YouTube. The band is encouraging fans to join in the Easter Egg hunt and tweet about their findings.
      Adding even more madness to the mix, the band's June 29th album release show in Bloomington, IN will feature all of the former members of HASTE THE DAY coming back to to play the old favorites. In addition to celebrating the release of Wolf King, the band will perform songs from their entire catalog, swapping out old and new members from HASTE THE DAY's different eras.
      With four acclaimed albums under their belts and more than a quarter-million in album sales, HASTE THE DAY are already among the metalcore elite. Cementing their status, the band return in full technicolor with their most dynamic, ferocious and art-minded album to date, Attack Of The Wolf King – an album that stirs up all of HTD's trademark moves into new frenzied heights.
      "I think that Attack Of The Wolf King has taken the musical elements of HASTE THE DAY – the breakdowns, the melodies, and the mood – and turned it up ten notches," says Murphy. "Fans of the old HTD and the new HTD will be both be in love with this album. It has the raw aggression of Burning Bridges, the catchy choruses of When Everything Falls, the energy of Pressure The Hinges, and the mood and feeling of Dreamer. Get ready for your new favorite HASTE THE DAY album!"
      Following the May headlining tour, HASTE THE DAY will join Warped Tour from June 20 through August 15.

      Dates with MYCHILDREN MY BRIDE and UPON A BURNING BODY
      June 4  Allentown, PA @ Crocodile Rock CafĂ©
      June 5  Lemoyne, PA @ Championship
      June 6  Philadelphia @ First Unitarian Church
      June 7  Farmingdale,@  NY Crazy Donkey
      June 8  Worcester, MA @ Upstairs at Palladium 
      June 9  Hartford, CT @ Webster Theatre
      June 10  Montreal, QC @ Underworld
      June 11  Toronto, ON @ Annex Wreckroom
      June 12  Syracuse, NY @ Lost Horizon
      June 13  Buffalo, NY @ Xtreme Wheelz
      June 15  Cleveland, OH @ Peabody's
      June 16 Columbus, OH @ Basement
      June 17  Wilmore, KY @ Ichthus Festival
      June 18  St. Louis, MO @ Fubar
      June 19  Cordova, TN @ The Arbor
      June 20  Little Rock, AR @ Village
      June 22  Houston, TX @ Warehouse
      June 23  San Antonio, TX @ White Rabbit
      June 24  Corpus Christi, TX @ House of Rock
      June 25  Austin, TX @ Emos
      June 26  Oklahoma City, OK @ Conservatory
      June 28  TBD
      June 29  Bloomington, IN @ Rhinos (Special HASTE THE DAY vs HASTE THE DAY show - featuring the return of all of HTD's past members!)
      June 30  Grand Rapids, MI @ Mixtape
      July 1  Iowa City, IA @ Blue Moose
      July 2  Marietta, IL @ Cornerstone Festival - Encore Tent


                                                                 ###
      For more information, please visit: www.hastetheday.com, www.solidstaterecords.com, or  www.blacklodgepr.com.
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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.

      Tracklisting:
      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