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: 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

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