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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A Thousand Angry Panthers

Artist: Bradley Hathaway
Album: A Thousand Angry Panthers
Release Date: 6/1/10
Label: Independent

Songwriting can make all the difference in an artist's work. Good writing can result in popularity and good recognition, where bad writing can get you nowhere. In this case, we have Bradley Hathaway, easily one of the best songwriters out there today. The acoustic singer-songwriter music that he plays is undoubtedly captivating and just shows his talent. The release of his new EP, titled A Thousand Angry Panthers marks some of his best work yet and possibly the peak of his career, that in fact, started off as spoken word poetry.

The music and songwriting on A Thousand Angry Panthers is heart-wrenching, being some of the most emotional music that I've heard in a while that really hits right to the heart. The opening song, "She Was Raised By a Man With a Sickness," doesn't fail to show this, with the delicate vocals from Hathaway, whose voice seems to be perfect for setting the mood, sounding very emotional itself. "Carolina" takes on more of a ballad form, complete with something of a small, dreary guitar solo towards the end.

"Would You Think Less of Me" is a song that recalls a life story of leaving loved ones and the pain of death and saying goodbye. The highlight and easily one of the strongest songs from Bradley Hathaway to date is the closer, "The World Is Screaming." The lyrics are great, with lines such as "He came in the manger, He was born in the stable and He did what no man before Him was able." There is also a constant acoustic guitar being strummed behind the vocals. The music to the song is great to, going beyond the acoustic stature and expanding to what sounds a full band effort, complete with the pounding drums that close out A Thousand Angry Panthers ever so nicely.

Rating: 9/10 You haven't heard heart-wrenching, emotional songwriting until you've heard Bradley Hathaway. His newest effort A Thousand Angry Panthers shows a point in his music where he is at his best, musically and lyrically. I would recommend that anyone give this a listen, as you are missing something quality without doing so.

  1. She Was Raised By a Man With a Sickness
  2. Carolina
  3. Would You Think Less of Me
  4. The World Is Screaming
(Buy Here)

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The Phinehas - Ep

Artist: Phinehas
Album: The Phinehas EP
Release Date: 12/15/09
Label: Independent

Some of the best bands out there today are independent. Unfortunately, this means that many won't discover them, but some will. Phinehas are a band that need to be heard. They play some of the best metalcore out there in fact, being very heavy, fast and melodic. Their self-titled EP certainly showcases this, leaving one question in mind. Why aren't Phinehas bigger than they are now?

The opening track off The Phinehas EP is uniquely titled "Well If The Earths Are Stopped, Then the Fox Faces the Hounds." It starts off with double bass drumming and quick riffs, that quickly lead to the strong screams from lead vocalist Sean McCulloch. The song certainly has a Haste The Day-influenced sound to it. Their guitarist Scotty Whelan is now in fact, a guitarist in Haste The Day. Up next is the chaotic and thrash flavored "The Jungle." A very heavy sound is found, along with some great guitar work and breakdowns.

"Panhammer" seems to have a Southern metal sound coming for the listener in the intro of the song, but soon breaks into a melodic sound, which also has anywhere from deep growls to high-pitched shrieks among the rhythmic drumming, accompanied by precise solos. The strongest track on the album comes with "I Am The Lion," which takes all the heavy and melodic elements from the EP and puts them into one song full of breakdowns and chugging guitars. It seems like it is meant for a live setting, complete with the feeling that a pit could be easily formed on listening.

The closer "Grace Disguised By Darkness" takes a bit of a progressive metal sound, which works well for them. The breakdown towards the end of the song hits me as particularly catchy and shows what Phinehas has in store for us.

Rating: 8/10 Phinehas have proven to be one of the best up and coming bands to the metal scene. Their EP shows that they are capable of becoming very big, with much talent displayed. Every breakdown and solo seems properly placed for a quality sound. Be sure to do yourself a favor and check these guys out.

  1. Well If The Earths Are Stopped, Then the Fox Faces the Hounds
  2. The Jungle
  3. Panhammer
  4. I Am The Lion
  5. Grace Disguised By Darkness
(Buy Here)

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Artist: Hillsong Live
Album: A Beautiful Exchange
Release Date: 6/29/10
Label: Hillsong/EMI CMG

Hillsong may just be the biggest name in worship music. With their hit songs being sung in songs across the country, such as "Mighty To Save," it's not hard to tell why this is. One of the main reasons is that they put everything they have into praising God. In fact, Hillsong Live's new album A Beautiful Exchange was actually a live worship session that they just hit record and took it from there. No studio, but a church full of some of the best worship leaders/songwriters out there and a crowd whose intentions were to praise their Creator with all their hearts. That's what it's all about.

A few tracks on A Beautiful Exchange stand out, being "Forever Reign" and "You." The live version, as well as the recorded radio version of "Forever Reign" are both done and written nicely. The recorded single version has a bit more of an edge to it, but the live setting does add many more worshipers' voices. The other highlight, "You," is a high energy song that has a pop rock feeling to it. The whole album does have a nice worship setting to it and is sure to be a satisfying listen for fans of Hillsong.

Rating: 7/10 Hillsong Live are back yet again with their newest worship album, A Beautiful Exchange. Containing many songs that are soon to be heard in churches all over, the album fulfills it's main purpose, which is of course to praise and worship Jesus Christ. It does have a typical Hillsong feel to it and there is nothing completely new here, but does have some well written worship tracks to accompany it.

  1. Our God Is Love
  2. Open My Eyes
  3. Forever Reign
  4. The One Who Saves
  5. Like Incense/Sometimes By Step
  6. The Greatness of Our God
  7. The Father's Heart
  8. You
  9. Love Like Fire
  10. Believe
  11. Beautiful Exchange
  12. Thank You
  13. Forever Reign (Radio Version)
(Buy Here)

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A Feast For Crows

Artist: Corpus Christi
Album: A Feast For Crows
Release Date: 7/6/10
Label: Victory Records

Things can take some time to grow on you. In the case of music, some albums take some time to get into and really enjoy. An example of this is A Feast For Crows, the sophomore album from metalcore group Corpus Christi. Their name translates from Latin to "the body of Christ," which shows through their music. A Feast For Crows took a little time for me to get into, considering that I wasn't into their debut effort, The Darker Shades of White. However with this new release, the band has reformed their lineup, replacing nearly every member except one, for a heavier sound. The clean vocals are still there, provided by guitarist Jarrod Christman, the only original member, and certainly have a unique edge to them.

The band's faith is immediately showcased at the start of the album with the intro track, "The Red Horse Is Upon Us." An instrumental track, it builds up into an eerie voice that reads a verse from Revelation. Then the chaos erupts. "A Portrait of Modern Greed" is contained with fast riffs and deep growls that start off the song.   A theme about the problems of pride and self-greed is found in the song "Monuments," which certainly has a good message. The fast paced and fun "Little Miss Let You Know" seems to have a Southern metal influence and feel to it, making for an enjoyable listen.

The highlight of the album, as well as the deepest track, is "(Seeing You Again) For The First Time." The voice of man is represented by the soft piano laden clean vocals, but lead into the voice of God, which is portrayed by some harsh, brutal screaming. "I am the King of Glory, who was and is to come, I am the way, the truth, the life, Almighty Holy One." These are just some of the lyrics heard and are easily the most meaningful off of A Feast For Crows.

There are a few parts that do come out a bit immature, such as in the song "Blood in the Water." The breakdown seems a bit shallow, with the lyrics being "Here come the sharks!" Otherwise, the song isn't the best work by the band, but still has a message of desperation behind it.

Rating: 7/10 The newest album from Corpus Christi titled A Feast For Crows is an enjoyable listen. Although there is a shallow feel at times, the band still shows hope, which is contained in their message. It has grown on me after further listens and I have enjoyed it. Although not the best metal album I've heard this year, A Feast For Crows can still be a fun listen.

  1. The Red Horse Is Upon Us
  2. A Portrait of Modern Greed
  3. Monuments
  4. Betrayed Redemption
  5. Little Miss Let You Know
  6. Windwalker
  7. Broken Man
  8. Blood In The Water
  9. Invictus
  10. (Seeing You Again) For The First Time
  11. Shepherds In Sheep's Clothing

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Artist: Haste The Day
Album: Attack of the Wolf King
Release Date: 6/29/10
Label: Solid State Records

Good things come for those who wait. That being said, Haste The Day have finally unleashed their follow up album to Dreamer, titled Attack of the Wolf King. What we have here is a big progression, musically and lyrically. The songwriting is great and tells the story of the Lion protecting a herd of sheep from bloodthirsty wolves. Musically, Haste The Day have also matured, putting together many of their good elements, such as the melodic vocals of Stephen Keech, both screamed and sung, along with the heavy breakdowns.

No one could have asked for a better opener than "Wake Up The Sun," as it introduces Attack of the Wolf King with a strong guitar intro, followed up by Keech's brutal screaming, progressing into the ever so melodic chorus. One of the most melodic songs off the album follows up and is titled "Dog Like Vultures." It holds together the album's theme very well, with some of the best lyrics as well. "Our eyes are upon you and we will protect you, be assured no fang will breech your fleece."The Quiet, Deadly Ticking" has an older Haste The Day feel to it, being very heavy and raw at the same time.

The album's first single, "Travesty," contains some of the best songwriting I've seen from Haste The Day to date. In fact, the lyrics nearly take for a worship toll, a cry out to God saying "You cover the darkest part of my, with a look that's sure to set the captives free, with love that the blindest eyes will see, You cover the darkest part of me." A guest appearance from Micah Kinard of Oh Sleeper is found on "The Place Where Most Deny." His vocals add some insight to the song's heaviness and accompany Keech's perfectly. The album slows down a bit with the ballad-like "White As Snow." It has vocals sung by bassist Mike Murphy, which are melodic and very catchy, not to mention that the song is all clean vocals. There is also a solo on it that seems meant for a breakdown or to lead into one, but in the end, does not.

The tempo is sped up with "Crush Resistance." The screams on this song seem like they could have come from Dreamer, but relentless, are much heavier. "Walk With A Crooked Spine" serves as the last full track on Attack of the Wolf King, where "My Name Is Darkness" is more of an outro. Mostly instrumental, "My Name Is Darkness" breaks into Keech's brutal vocals, before ending the album.

Rating: 10/10 I thoroughly enjoyed Attack of the Wolf King, the fifth studio album from metalcore act Haste The Day. A newly revamped lineup has added a progression to their sound, making it more mature. I'm sure that fans who were disappointed with Dreamer will be in for a pleasant surprise with this album. As of now, this tops my metal albums for the year and is sure to hold a spot there all year long.

  1. Wake Up The Sun
  2. Dog Like Vultures
  3. The Quiet, Deadly Ticking
  4. Travesty
  5. Merit For Sadness
  6. The Un-Manifest
  7. The Place That Most Deny
  8. White As Snow
  9. Crush Resistance
  10. Walk With A Crooked Spine
  11. My Name Is Darkness
(Buy Here)

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(Albuquerque, New Mexico) Popular New Mexico fashion line Veil Arms Clothing will be hosting The Eminence Conference on August 10th and 11th. The conference itself is designed for aspiring musicians, photographers, graphic designers, writers, actors and entrepreneurs to join with others to learn more about their chosen art and how they can become better educated for when they feel they are ready to move on to the next level, whatever that may be. This series of workshops will teach the average young artist attending what its like to be a professional.

Veil Arms Clothing exists to motivate and encourage their young surrounding art community in hopes of inspiring those with gifts to best develop and cultivate their given talents. The workshops themselves will be taught by the likes of Matt Greiner from heavyweight metal band August Burns RedMicah Kinard from Oh Sleeper and so much more. Lunch will be provided each day as well as several guest speakers including Colby Engstrom andJeral Dickinson. The nights will be capped off with performances by SeabirdB. Reith and more.

Registration is currently available for this event. If you choose to register before July 15th your admittance will be FREE!

This is a great opportunity for any aspiring artist out there, no matter what your avenue, to learn, to build community and to network with likeminded individuals as well as professionals.

“These kids will get direct information and one on one workshops with these artists and people that they respect, hopefully equipping them with enough knowledge to pursue their career.” –Shawn Ulmer, Veil Arms Clothing.

For more information on this event please visit
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Artist: Children 18:3
Album: Rain's 'A Comin'
Release Date: 6/29/10
Label: Tooth & Nail Records

A few years ago, we were introduced to the expertise self-titled debut from up and coming punk rock band Children 18:3. Two years later, their sophomore release Rain's 'A Comin' has finally arrived to high acclaim. Many of the high energy punk elements found on their debut are still found, along with an added pop rock feel as well, expanding the sound to reach out to a wider audience.

The title track starts off the album with a southern rock feel, which goes along with album's title. It is a very short track that serves as more of an intro to Rain's 'A Comin', stirring up the storm ahead. Immediately following up is the faced paced "Cover Your Eyes," that is sure to be a crowd pleaser, as it utilizes their punk rock sound perfectly. A darker song, "The Cruel One," comes next. In fact, their is even a part where David Hostetter , the lead vocalist of the trio made up of siblings, has a very solid scream that ends the song.

"Oh Bravo" and "Oh Honestly!" are great back to back tracks and are two of the album's highlights. "Oh Bravo" has some of the most interesting lyrics off the album and one of the most memorable choruses. "Oh Honestly" is in fact, an acoustic driven ballad. It easily contains some of the catchiest hooks found on Rain's 'A Comin' and is sure to get stuck in your head easily. "Jack 'O' Lantern Dreams" is another favorite, with an upbeat sound that serves as another ballad, but this time, mixes everything that Children 18:3 have done well and mix it together. "Lost So Long" is another darker rock song with a chorus that sticks, declaring "I've been lost so long." The album ends with "The Last Laugh," an instrumental track that surprisingly features a classic southern sounding piano. A very interesting closer indeed.

Rating: 9/10 Children 18:3 have done it again with their follow up release to their great debut, titled Rain's 'A Comin'. It has everything they do well as a band with a few added elements that expand their sound. This is sure to be one of the best albums of the summer, as well as a contender for the year's top albums!

  1. Rain's 'A Comin'
  2. Cover Your Eyes
  3. The Cruel One
  4. Whispering
  5. Hey Driftwood (Tides)
  6. Oh Bravo
  7. Oh Honestly!
  8. Wonder I
  9. Stronger
  10. Jack 'O' Lantern Dreams
  11. Lost So Long
  12. The Last Laugh
(Buy Here)

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Artist: Oh Sleeper
Album: Son of the Morning
Release Date: 8/25/09
Label: Solid State Records

I have always had a love/hate relationship with concept albums. Some are brilliantly done works of art, while others are long, drawn out, boring and over-indulgent pieces of work made perfectly for the dollar used album bin. Oh Sleeper's sophomore concept album, Son of the Morning, based on the battle between God and Satan, thankfully comes much closer to the former than the latter.

Son of the Morning begins perfectly with the title track, which is an explosive song with great vocals throughout. The clean vocals in the chorus, followed by repeating screams, add a strong sense of urgency to the song. "The New Breed," "Breathing Blood" and "Commissioned By Kings" all have very memorable gang chants within them. "World Without A Sun" and "The Fire Dawn," which is the only song without clean vocals, have very nice guitar playing throughout.

"In All Honesty" begins rather calmly with guest vocals by Cody Bonnette, formerly of one of my all-time favorite bands As Cities Burn, before ramping up the intensity. "Reveries of Flight" comes across as the softest song on the album. The extensive use of clean vocals provided by guitarist Shane Blay is definitely the highlight of both the song and the album. My favorite song is "A Banquet For Traitors." This song is brutally heavy and also has a nice tempo change briefly before the second verse. The closer, titled "The Finisher," is great musically, but in my opinion, suffers from a poor melody in the chorus.

Rating: 9/10 Though not as musically progressive as their debut When I Am God, Oh Sleeper's Son of The Morning is a step in the right direction. The overall songwriting has improved rather substantially, showing that this was quite a concept to put music to. Thankfully, Oh Sleeper have pulled it off. This is one of the best metalcore/post-hardcore albums from last year. Kudos to Oh Sleeper.

Reviewed by Matthew Alexander

  1. Son of the Morning
  2. The New Breed
  3. In All Honesty
  4. Breathing Blood
  5. Reveries Of Flight
  6. World Without A Sun
  7. The Fire Dawn
  8. A Banquet For Traitors
  9. Commissioned By Kings
  10. The Finisher
(Buy Here)

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Artist: Inhale Exhale
Album: Bury Me Alive
Release Date: 10/6/09
Label: Solid State Records

With the popularity of metalcore in today's music scene, it is becoming increasingly more difficult to find bands who think outside the box. On first listen, Inhale Exhale's Bury Me Alive sounds like a typical melodic metalcore album. The listener is greeted with screamed verses, clean singing in the choruses and plentiful breakdowns, but to dismiss it as typical would be a big disservice to your ears. The more the album is played, the more the small nuances and experimentation is evident.

One of the aspects that Inhale Exhale use that add depth is vocalist Ryland Raus' versatility. On many of the tracks, Raus' vocal range goes from deeps growls to mid-range screams, as well as high yells and very well done clean singing. "Explosions," more than any other track, is dependent on his versatile screams, as it is the only track without clean vocals.

Other parts of Bury Me Alive that will perk your ears are the bass in "Over and Out," the drum fill in "Fiction," the mandolin in "Better Her Than Me" and The Chariot-like chaos that begins the album with "Rooms." One of the standouts is "Better Her Than Me," which is made up of all clean vocals, until the end, when explosive screams hit you out of nowhere. The choruses on a number of songs are also very catchy, such as "Condemned" and "A Dark Place For Your Mind To Be," and will be in your head for days afterward.

Rating: 8/10 With Bury Me Alive, Inhale Exhale have created an album that will appeal to both the single-buying iPod consumers and will reward those who listen to and dig deep into the whole album as a work of art. Well done.

Reviewed by Matthew Alexander

  1. Rooms
  2. Did You Ever Have A Touch To Lose
  3. Condemned
  4. Over and Out
  5. A Dark Place For Your Mind To Be
  6. Intentions
  7. Explosions
  8. Fiction
  9. Better Her Than Me
  10. Thin Blacklines
  11. An Era
(Buy Here)

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Artist: Advent
Album: Naked and Cold
Release Date: 9/8/09
Label: Solid State Records

In the world of heavy music, when you think of brutality, some of the first things that come to mind are blast beats, double bass, low tuned guitars and a variety of different vocals that range from low grunts to high shrieks. Enter Advent, a four-piece metallic hardcore band from North Carolina, who other than having the screamed vocals and down-tuned guitars, don't incorporate many of the elements that we associate "heavy" with these days, but in the end, Advent's Naked and Cold is as brutal and angry as any album I've ever laid ears on.

Musically, Advent are definitely more hardcore than they are metal. Evidenced by the speedy punk influenced drumming, shouted gang vocals, quick hardcore style riffing and lack of double bass drumming, blast beats, and open note breakdowns heard throughout many of the songs. Advent does include three instrumental tracks to give your ears a brief respite from the barbaric brutality they serve up. These songs, being the first, fifth and last are all similar with their ambient, machine-like sounds that build into a noisy climax before calming back down.

Lyrically, Advent are more than "Christians in a band". The songs range from calls of repentance ("Revival," Crown of Thorns," and "Golgotha") to anger against our apathetic society ("Naked and Cold," "Out of Line," Pierced With Grief" and "Nothing") and finally to songs that call out hypocrisy in the church ("Overcome," "Pack of Fools" and "With Anger"). Advent has a lot of righteous anger pent up and they effectively release that both musically and lyrically.

Rating: 8/10 If you are looking for a brutally heavy, straightforward hardcore album, Advent's Naked and Cold is definitely for you. Be prepared for a righteous tongue lashing. As Joe Musten screams in "Revival," "Jesus Christ, King of Kings," Advent have made their intentions clear.

Reviewed by Matthew Alexander

  1. Intro
  2. Nothing
  3. Overcome
  4. Naked and Cold
  5. Interlude
  6. Pack of Fools
  7. Revival
  8. Crown of Thorns
  9. Golgotha
  10. Pierced With Grief
  11. With Anger
  12. Out of Line
  13. Outro
(Buy Here)

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Jesus High

Artist: Applejaxx
Album: Jesus High
Release Date: 6/22/10
Label: Fadancy Music

Fun beats, Christ-centered lyrics and a mainstream rap appeal are only a few elements that begin to describe the new EP, Jesus High, from up and coming Christian rapper Applejaxx. Interestingly enough, the actual music is just as quality as any secular songs, but the lyrics are where is matters.

Songs like "iLive" show the love for Christ, stating up front "We live for Christ, yeah, if you love Jesus, clap your hands." The title track, is something of a worship track which shows in the chorus and follows up the EP's theme, which is that as Christ-followers, we should lift Jesus high in our lives. "App For That" offers up God's solutions to many everyday problems with experience in life, such as broken love. The EP ends with a remix of the song "Fear Factor." An uplifting beat is found, along with the rapping talents of Mr. Coldstone. It ends off the EP. Although I have not heard the original version of this song, I can only tell that it was remixed well.

Rating: 7/10 Applejaxx is proving to be an up and coming artist in the Christian hip-hop genre, with his newest EP Jesus High. Worshipful, Christ-centered lyrics are mixed with a good beat that make you want to praise God and dance at the same time.

  1. iLive feat. Ashleigh Nickole
  2. Future feat. Int'l Show
  3. Jesus High feat. Odetta
  4. App For That feat. Trini
  5. Fear Factor (Remix) feat. Mr. Coldstone
(Buy Here)

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Artist: Addison Road
Album: Stories
Release Date: 6/22/10
Label: INO Records

It's a very surprising thing when I stumble across a band like Addison Road that have a good chance in making it in the CCM market, while still maintaining an overall smooth sound. I discovered them a while back, via their song "Hope Now" from their debut record, but now, they return to the scene with Stories. Not to say this album didn't come easy, as the band suffered their tour bus catching on fire and them losing everything earlier this year while on tour.

The band's newest single and opening track "Fight Another Day" has already gained a lot of attention, which is backed by it's catchy high energy and pop sound that is very reminiscent of Britt Nicole. A track that I personally find very interesting is "This Little Light of Mine." Song title sound familiar? Well it's chorus is in fact the children's worship song, but to a slower pace, with other verses as well. "Won't Let Me Go" somewhat resembles Addison Road's former hit "Sticking With You," but with a small bit less energy. Ending is "My Story," which seems to act as the title track. Influences of electronic pop are accompanied with the band's fun sound, seeming to get the message across. With God in our life story, nothing is impossible.

Rating: 7/10 Stories from Addison Road has potential to be one of the best albums of the CCM scene for this year and is obvious with the band's high energy pop songs, filled with a message that we should live for God, adding Him to our everyday stories. Good concept if you ask me.

  1. Fight Another Day
  2. Change In The Making
  3. This Little Light of Mine
  4. Won't Let Me Go
  5. Need You Now
  6. Show Me Life
  7. Don't Wait
  8. Where It All Begins
  9. Who I Am In You
  10. My Story
(Buy Here)

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Armored Heart

Artist: Runaway City
Album: Armored Heart
Release Date: 6/22/10
Label: Vertusent Music Group

There comes a time when things may begin to sound a bit too typical and cookie cutter to me. Maybe it's because I listen to such a wide variety of music or that the sound is overall dull. Armored Heart is the debut album from rock band Runaway City. Although being marketed as a rock album, Armored Heart takes on more of a contemporary alternative/pop rock album, being fronted by an acoustic guitar in a few songs.

A few songs do catch my attention, such as the band's newest single "Fade" and the ballad "Longing," but aside from that, not as many stand out in particular. Now I'm not saying the album is terrible, because in fact, it isn't. All that needs to be said is that Runaway City certainly have time to improve.

Rating: 5/10 Runaway City open up their career with their debut album, titled Armored Heart. It shows that the band does have talent, but have plenty of time to truly develop it, leaving plenty of time for improvement.

  1. Daybreak
  2. Scars
  3. Fade
  4. Longing
  5. Try
  6. Only You
  7. No Escape
  8. Lately
  9. Save Me
  10. More Than This
(Buy Here)

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A Thousand Angry Panthers
(Goshen, Arkansas June 22nd 2010) Spoken word poet turned folk singer songwriter Bradley Hathaway has digitally released his fourth album entitled A Thousand Angry Panthers. The four song EP is a quick emotional glimpse into the recent life of Hathaway. Loss, love, searching and faith intertwine themselves throughout Panthers all the while we enjoy the soft twang of Hathaway’s contagious voice.

We live in a world that is suffering from the epidemic of distraction. Constantly we are being beckoned to have our attention and thoughts pulled away from that which is pivotal to life, existence, and eternity. Inevitably we enter a sort of drowsiness, brought on by the barrage of necessity and amusements around us, all of which slowly chip away at our passions, our consciences, and ultimately, our souls. A function of art is to remind, to awaken, and to bring back into clarity that which matters most. In a sense, great art is the cold water that startles us, the loud noise that rattles us out of this sort of daze. As David Dark once shared, revelatory art is the foundation of the idea of apocalypse. That is, that the greatest art is that which breaks through the illusions and facades of the status quo or “the way things are”, thus enabling us to experience restored vision once again. In these four songs, Bradley seeks to do just that by unveiling the deeper realities that surround and penetrate our lives. Whether it is the tragedies and darkness that infect the world or the brutalities that stay latched inside a home, he challenges us to enter into this collection of songs and to emerge with new eyes and intent ears. Bradley’s writing has never been more acute, more personal, and more focused on waking us out of our stupors and into revelation. Welcome to apocalypse.

Hathaway has previously toured the world with the likes of mewithoutYou, Blindside, The Chariot, As Cities Burn and more. You can catch him this summer on the main stage of the Cornerstone festival in Illinois where you can pick up a physical copy of A Thousand Angry Panthers.

After six straight years of touring, playing over 200 shows a year all over the world, Hathaway is taking a much needed break to go back to school in Arkansas but he assures his fans, this is not the end.

“I'm just taking a much needed breather, but I've every intention to keep writing and hit the road full time again in the near future. I just want to drive the same streets, see the same people, sleep in the same bed, and eat the same foods for a time. In the meantime everyone enjoy my recorded albums and I'll see them again soon."

“Panthers paints a diverse portrait of Hathaway in a personal light that few have shown. The four tracks sweep you away on an introspective journey of ups and downs taking you to the verge of tears and back to a feeling of your heart being too full to hold.” – Magazine

Look for a review of A Thousand Angry Panthers soon on Christian Rock Rocks!

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Artist: Trip Lee
Album: Between Two Worlds
Release Date: 6/22/10
Label: Reach Records

I'll go ahead and blatantly say that I am not a big fan of rap/hip-hop and probably never will be. However, I do have an exception with a few quality artists, one of which being Trip Lee. The music and beats backing Lee's great vocal delivery is done nearly excellent ranging from mellow jazz rhythms to big string flavored dance beats. Also, accompanying the music are the honest, well written lyrics that deal with how God can get us through the tough moments of life.

Opening up the large bunch of tracks found on Between Two Worlds is "Real Life Music," which offers up more of an R&B sound, along with an interesting mix of strings. It explains who and what Trip Lee performs for, being Jesus Christ. Many guest appearances are found on the album, such as Sho Baraka on "I Love Music." The title is self-explanatory to the lyrical content, which is contained in a fun sound that is perfect for summer. Singer-songwriter Jimmy Needham is also found on the track "Yours To Own," which blends Needham's influential pop and soul elements with jazz instrumentation. Another favorite of mine is "Twisted," featuring an array of guest appearances, in every verse. Among them are rappers Lecrae and Thi'sl, both of which are talented and add to the track. The album ends with the last two tracks, "The Invasion (Hero)" and a bonus track, "My Lord." Both have an upbeat, airy sound to them, ending the album perfectly. Between Two Worlds is for sure one of the best hip-hop albums I have heard, showing that Trip Lee has much potential.

Rating: 8/10 Trip Lee's third studio effort Between Two Worlds seems to have everything you could want from a hip-hop album, well written lyrics, great vocals and upbeat instrumentation are only of few elements of what makes the album a memorable listen.

  1. Real Life Music
  2. Snitch
  3. Invade ft. J. Paul
  4. Prognosis
  5. No Worries
  6. Covenant Eyes ft. PRo
  7. Life 101 ft. Chris Lee
  8. I Love Music ft. Sho Baraka
  9. Limitations ft. Leah Smith
  10. Yours To Own ft. Jimmy Needham
  11. Apathy (Interlude)
  12. Twisted ft. Lecrae, PRo, Thi'sl
  13. Bear With You ft. Tedashii
  14. Show's Over ft. Mitch Parks
  15. The Invasion (Hero) ft. Jai
  16. My Lord (Bonus Track)
(Buy Here)

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Attack of the Wolf King Tour at The Lost Horizon 6/12/10 in Syracuse, NY
Haste The Day, Mychildren Mybride, Upon A Burning Body and Thoughts in Reverse

A long two hour drive in the rain out to Syracuse was certainly worth it for Haste The Day's Attack of the Wolf King Tour. As I arrived at The Lost Horizon, I noticed it was a fairly small venue. There were about 40-50 people there making for a smaller, but explosive show.

I walked into the venue, noticing there was only a small stage with plenty of standing room for the crowd, but meanwhile I headed over to Mychildren Mybride's merch table for an interview with their very nice guitarist, Robert. After talking with him and looking over the merch (McMb was selling their new cologne), the local openers Thoughts in Reverse started.

They played a decent set, falling into the metalcore genre, along with all the other bands on the tour. Thoughts in Reverse did disappoint me a bit, with their rowdy set, not to mention language, but hey, I guess that's a metal show for you. They played a very short set, consisting of a few songs off of their newest EP that released this year.

The tour's set opener, Upon A Burning Body, played a loud soundcheck, which quickly changed to their set. When they came out, I realized that being a band from Texas, they had plenty of Texas pride. They quickly ripped through their set, with the same type of energy, but a louder sound, than the openers. I took notice that they also seemed to be somewhat influenced by the mafia or whatnot, from the way they dressed and song titles, such as "Scarface" and "Carlito's Way." It also wasn't too hard to tell that these guys weren't Christian, along with Thoughts in Reverse, which only made me anticipate the sets from some of my favorite Christian metal bands.

By the time Upon A Burning Body left the stage, I realized how much I was looking forward to Mychildren Mybride's show, which I will also have the privilege of seeing at a festival later this summer. As the stage went dark, I faintly heard the opening sounds of their newest single, "Terra Firma," building up slowly, exploding into a breakdown, anchored by vocalist Matthew Hasting. It was very obvious that these guys were having fun, as they transitioned into the high energy "On Wings of Integrity," off their debut album Unbreakable. They played "Hooligans" which is off their new album, Lost Boy, that had only released the Tuesday before the show. Matt shouted "We need your help for this one" and the opening riffs of fan favorite "Headshot!" started. When it came to the chorus, the whole crowd was chanting "headshot!" as one. A few fans had also managed their ways up onto the stage and were happily jumping off, waiting to be caught, a few not making it.  McMb played another new song, "Crimson Grim," one of my favorites off of Lost Boy. For their closer, they asked "Do you want to hear an old song or new one?" Of course, everyone said an old one and they played "Faithless," which is in fact their first song I had heard from the band. One thing for sure, Mychildren Mybride have a very good live show, that is held together nicely.

As headliners Haste The Day got their set up, which composed of amps with pictures of a wolf and lion face that are featured on the artwork for their new album, Attack of the Wolf King, I walked over to take another look at the merch table. There were a few very nice shirts that I regret not buying a bit. Finally, Haste The Day opened their set with a new song titled "Wake Up The Sun," then moved into a personal favorite of mine, "Mad Man," from Dreamer. Surprisingly, they played fan favorite "Blue 42" from their debut album, Burning Bridges. I have to say, it does sound good with Stephen Keech singing it. Stephen then introduced Haste The Day and gave a short message about the band's beliefs in Christ, which was great to hear in a show and venue like the one they were in. Shortly after, he asked "Do you want to hear some new songs?" They played some of my favorites off of their new album, that releases in two weeks, which were "Travesty" and "Dog Like Vultures." They were done very strong live, making for a good show. They played two more new songs after that, but I had to leave in the middle of the last one to make the long drive home. Regardless to say, it was a great night and I can say that Mychildren Mybride and Haste The Day can put on a great show!
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Artist: Dependency
Album: Convicted
Release Date: 5/25/10
Label: Blood & Ink Records

Sometimes when something is gone for so long, you can learn to truly appreciate it. Especially a return. What we have here is the return of Spirit-filled hardcore, with the debut from Dependency. Their debut Convicted is filled with plenty of good hardcore and punk-influenced instrumentation. The vocals from Kyle Fesmire do have a unique sound to them, nearly strained. Set asides this, Dependency have a message that is just waiting to be heard.

The short opener "Goliath" is nearly an intro to the album, which follows into the title track. Memorable gang vocals in the song shout "We will prevail!" Interestingly enough, "Forgiven" is a calming instrumental track, leading into the brutal "Ready For Conflict." The guitars come along nicely, seeming to pull the song together.

Convicted does feel a bit short, even for an EP, with only seven tracks, two of which serve as an intro and instrumental. The song lengths are also a bit over two minutes per song, but still pack a lot into them. A lack of production also seems to be present, but does not hold back Dependency's sound.

Rating: 7/10 Dependency make a splash into the hardcore scene with Convicted. Although very short, it manages to make an impact on the listener, with some of the brutal, higher pitched screams, that do sound a bit strained at times. I'm sure that only time can tell how big Dependency will get, but I'm sure that are destined to be big.

  1. Goliath
  2. Convicted
  3. Forgiven
  4. Ready For Conflict
  5. Fragile
  6. Vultures, Scavengers
  7. Decay
(Buy Here)

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mychildren mybride

Christian Rock Rocks caught up with Robert Bloomfield of Mychildren Mybride on their tour with Haste The Day. Interview took place on 6/12/10.

Christian Rock Rocks (Brooks Ginnan): Could you say your name and what you do in McMb?
Robert Bloomfield: My name is Robert and I play guitar for Mychildren Mybride.

CRR: So you just released a new album this past Tuesday. How is the reaction from that going?
Robert: Really well man, lots are picking it up. Some are even buying two or three copies each and we're almost sold out!

CRR: So there was a progression between Lost Boy and your debut Unbreakable. Can you explain that?
Robert: Well, as a band, we've matured a lot since Unbreakable. Matt's voice has gotten much better as well, he has a lot more range, adding more to our sound.

CRR: So what were some of the lyrical themes behind the new record?
Robert: The themes behind Lost Boy mainly come from personal experiences, which not all are bad. Actually, many of them are good.

CRR: So what role does your faith play in the music and lyrics?
Robert: Well, there are many underlying, somewhat indirect Christian themes in our music. We hope that our music is something that anyone can listen to, Christians or not, but still have a deeper meaning.

CRR: So what is the meaning or reason behind the name Mychildren Mybride?
Robert: Our name actually comes from a title of a poem we found from an old book a while ago. It actually turned out to be a Christian poem, talking about how Christians are God's children and the body of believers are His bride. The other meaning behind it is that the two things a man keeps closest to him are his children and bride.

CRR: Has the band thought about possibly doing a follow up song to "Headshot!"?
Robert: We have, but don't plan on making one. We were the first band to make a song after a theme like Call of Duty for example, so instead of us following others, now they follow us in making songs with that theme. It's actually pretty cool.

CRR: What are some of your favorite venues to play?
Robert: That's a pretty hard choice but I'd have to say the White Rabbit over in San Antonio. I also like playing over at the El Corazon in Seattle, which is also where our label is located.

CRR: So how did you guys get signed to Solid State?
Robert: Well, we got attention from playing a lot of shows a few years ago, but after we released our demo EP, we were constantly getting calls from labels to all our homes. We were actually going to sign to Ferret (who has The Devil Wears Prada), but the day we were planning on signing, McMb got a call from Solid State Records with a record deal that was five times better. We didn't intend to get signed to a Christian label, we kinda wanted to be that Christian band out there on a secular label doing our thing. But in the end, it turned out good. Our label has given us a lot of support with this new album.

CRR: What is the concept behind the album artwork for Lost Boy?
Robert: It has to do with a group of those (hooded) people searching for something that they can't find, something that's internal. A "lost boy" is someone that's struggling internally, so they can't find it. Another thing is that they're looking for something that's not there, like the Holy Spirit. People always want to see physical signs of proof. Actually, the hooded guy in the very front of the artwork is the lead vocalist of Emery, but I do not know the rest.

CRR: So what was the idea behind the McMb cologne?
Robert: It came from a Youtube video that our friend Mitchell Davis made. He wondered since Usher (the rapper) had his own cologne, what would it be like if a band like Mychildren Mybride had their own. We recently shot a video for "On Wings of Integrity" and when the label asked what we wanted in it, we said Mitchell Davis. So when we were asked what we wanted to do for a pre-order of Lost Boy, naturally we said McMb cologne. So that's how that got started.

CRR: What are Mychildren Mybride's touring plans for the summer?
Robert: We're planning on hitting a lot of the Christian music festivals, like Purple Door, Rev Gen, Ichthus and a lot more. We'll also be doing like five shows with August Burns Red and then a really big tour in the fall that I can't announce just yet.

CRR: Anything last thoughts you'd like to say? Thanks for the interview!
Robert: Well, just let people know that our new album Lost Boy is in stores and online now. I'd love for everyone to pick up a copy. Thanks man.
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Here is an interview that took place with guitarist Harbor Partin from the Facedown Records band Call To Preserve. They just released their new album Life of Defiance this week. Interviewed by Matthew Alexander.

CRR (Matthew Alexander): There is a definite old-school hardcore feel to the new album. Was this intentional or did it just happen to come out that way?
Call To Preserve (Harbor Partin): Well, we tried to stay away from the same old tough guy formula for this record, so we definitely wanted to try some new things. In some ways, the traditional sound was intentional, but at the same time, it probably has more to do with our tastes evolving as people and a band. The music that I still listen to is consistently from when I first started discovering hardcore are probably more in that traditional style than the bands that probably influenced our sound early on.

CRR: How does Life of Defiance differ from your past albums?
CTP: It's probably our darkest record to date and I think that was a very intentional thing. We wanted the songs to be a little more moody. In the past, we've usually had a bunch of heavier songs and then a few upbeat songs. This record is more emotive I would say. In some places, it's more melodic than anything we've done, but it's still got a heavy side to it. I'd say everything is just more intentional in the mood we were trying to get across.

CRR: Is there anything you would change about the album?
CTP: You always want to change something when you hear your own music back, but it's usually little things that don't really matter to anyone else. Overall, I'm very happy with the album and wouldn't want to try to change anything. I could nit pick at it, but I'd rather just try to appreciate it for what it is.

CRR: How was working with Joe Musten of Advent on "Across The Aisle"?
CTP: Joe is an awesome guy and we were stoked that he got to be on the record. We recorded not too far from where all the guys in Advent live, so they came and hung out with us a couple nights while we were recording. The night he did the song, him and their guitar player Mike came and chilled and cracked jokes with us and stuff. Him laying down vocals was just kind of in the middle of us goofing off and playing around. They also helped us with gang vocals that night too, so surprisingly it was a productive night.

CRR: What has thus far been your favorite tour to be on?
CTP: Every tour is different for good reasons. Touring Europe was amazing because we saw a bunch of different countries for the first time and we were on tour with Agnostic Front, one of the best bands in the history of hardcore. Plus, we were on a tour bus for the first time and it was definitely a cool experience. I also love touring the states though, as I just rediscovered on this last tour. I love the American landscape and I think being able to road trip is something we're blessed with here in the states. Our Canadian tour last year was also fun because the shows were rad and we ate a lot of poutine. Of course, any time we are one the road with Advent it's guaranteed to be a good time. So I guess it's just hard to say. I just love touring in general so I can't really narrow it down too much.

CRR: What would you dream tour to be on? To see?
CTP: I think a dream tour to be on would probably be something like opening for Cro-Mags and American Nightmare, even though AN will never reunite. That would be amazing. A dream tour to see would be all the bands that got me into hardcore on one tour. Mostly broken up bands. Maybe something like Dag Nasty, American Nightmare, Refused, Floorpunch and Stretch Arm Strong. That would be a weird tour, but I would be super stoked.

CRR: Is there anything else you would like to mention in closing?
CTP: Please check out the new album and come see us on tour! Thanks to everyone who has supported us over the years. Keep supporting other bands you like who go through a lot just to play for 20 minutes in front of 30 kids every night. Thanks again and God bless.
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Artist: Rapture Ruckus
Album: Rapture Ruckus EP
Release Date: 6/8/10
Label: BEC Recordings

Once in a while, it's good to listen to something that's very fun, but loaded with a good message as well. BEC Recordings' newest act, the New Zealand-based Rapture Ruckus, have an entertaining hip-hop/pop rock sound that is good on the listener. The mix goes well together and makes you want to sing along or just get moving.

A message of hope is found in Rapture Ruckus, which is undeniably powerful. Songs like "Hold On" convey this message, with lyrics such as "hold on, help is coming, hold on, you're gonna make it through the rain." The album also has a bit of fun thrown in with "Tonight," which is a party song with a sticky rhythm that makes you just want to get up and dance, literally.

The highlight of the self-titled EP is easily "I Believe." Containing mainly an electric guitar, the track states the group's belief in God and how we can always trust Him. It hits very hard, right to the core. The closer is the heavy-synth laden "All We Got," which closes the short album off with another party-like sound, that's sure to get stuck in your head. This being said, Rapture Ruckus can bring the message and the party, all the way from New Zealand.

Rating: 8/10 From New Zealand comes the newest BEC Recordings act, Rapture Ruckus. A very fun sounding EP, with various hard-hitting messages in songs like "Hold On" and "I Believe" only add to the fact that Rapture Ruckus are sure to be big, hitting it off on a high note.

  1. No Matter What
  2. Tonight
  3. Hold On
  4. All Things New
  5. I Believe
  6. All We Got
(Buy Here)

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Artist: Since October
Album: Life, Scars, Apologies
Release Date: 6/8/10
Label: Tooth & Nail Records

The genre of arena rock seems to be growing and growing nowadays, with many big artists like Skillet and Thousand Foot Krutch, but there's a new band to the scene. Since October certainly surprised me with their new album Life, Scars, Apologies, the follow up to their mediocre debut This Is My Heart. Honestly after hearing their debut, I gave up on hope for them, but that spark was quickly renewed with their sophomore album. A better crafted bunch of arena rock songs mixed with a few ballads as well along the way make for a solid follow up.

One of the best parts of Life, Scars, Apologies are easily some of the songwriting. Songs like the title track tell a story of redemption, while "Believe" questions "what do I believe in?" The ballad "Sober Love" takes on more of an alternative sound, which along with ""The Way You Move" are both meant to be love songs. Not forgetting the arena rock sound mentioned above, "The Show" is a perfect example, which makes for a perfect fight song. "Life of Mine" is heavily reminiscent of Thousand Foot Krutch and in fact could have been pulled off by TFK themselves. Something that seems very out of place on the album is the closer, "Don't Follow." Surprisingly, it's an acoustic/folk ballad, with a diverse sound, including, yes, harmonica. It offers up a different side of Since October that isn't too easy to take in, but still manages to close Life, Scars, Apologies nicely.

Rating: 7/10 The newest from Since October, aptly titled Life, Scars, Apologies, certainly revived my hope in the band. They are one of the up and coming rock bands out there, shown with a solid album. While not completely perfect, if they can fully polish up their sound from this sophomore release, I'm sure that they can make it far.

  1. The Way You Move
  2. Life, Scars, Apologies
  3. Believe
  4. Sober Love
  5. Life of Mine
  6. Other Side of Me
  7. The Show
  8. Mend All The Pieces
  9. Crying Shame
  10. My Only
  11. Made Up My Mind
  12. Don't Follow
(Buy Here)

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Artist: Mychildren Mybride
Album: Lost Boy
Release Date: 6/8/10
Label: Solid State Records

Maturing over time can only be the best for things. Growing stronger to reach one's full potential is the key thing for many bands with the desire to make it out there in today's industry. That being said, Mychildren Mybride are surely one of those bands. Following up their great debut, Unbreakable, from two years back, the maturity that this band has achieved shows heavily, which is taken literally in the sound. This sophomore release is bold, heavy and just what the McMb fan would expect for a great release. Matthew Hasting's voice has also matured since their debut, with a deeper, more brutal sound.

The opening sounds of "Terra Firma" can only set the pace for Lost Boy, with the growls coming right at the listener full force, accompanied by the quick paced double bass drumming. It clearly shows the increase of heaviness from album to album. The lyrics also talk being risen from the dirt and dust, which also proclaim "We are eternal!" One of the highlights come with the hardcore/punk influenced "King of the Hopeless," which is also loaded with some of the unique songwriting talents of the band found throughout the album. Interestingly enough, the album contains a good amount of gang vocals/gang chants which came a bit unexpected, but only add to Lost Boy, showing that McMb as a band aren't afraid to experiment with their sound. Songs like "Crimson Grim" and "Lost Boys" showcase this well.

The haunting instrumental "Gatekeeper" contains eerie sounding drums, which are followed by a lightly played guitar. "Digital Rebirth" suddenly brakes the trance set by the previous track, turning out to the the fastest track of the bunch. The last track "Lungs Full of Water" is the perfect closer for the album, taking everything from Lost Boy into on final song. A hidden instrumental track is also included, which seems to continue the haunting sounds of "Gatekeeper."

Rating: 9/10 Lost Boy is a great album from the four-piece Mychildren Mybride. The sounds of this album surely surprised me and surpassed my standards, which were in fact, already set high. Already containing potential to be one of my top metal releases of the year, this is one album that you won't want to miss.

  1. Terra Firma
  2. Hooligans
  3. King of the Hopeless
  4. Crimson Grim
  5. Lost Boys
  6. Dark Passenger
  7. Gatekeeper
  8. Digital Rebirth
  9. Redeemer
  10. Nuclear+
  11. Lungs Full of Water
  12. Untitled (Instrumental)
(Buy Here)

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Sons of God on Myspace

Here is CRR's interview with Aaron Newberry of Sons of God, who are signed to Come & Live!. They also released their new EP The Genesis Prologue in February.

CRR (Brooks Ginnan): Hey man, can you say your name and what you do in Sons of God?
Aaron Newberry: My name is Aaron, I play guitar, keys, sing and I founded Sons of God.

CRR: So you first got your start in music after being with As I Lay Dying?
Aaron: I first started making music LONG before AILD. It was really the usual, playing in local bands in Muskogee and Tulsa, and from there I would make connections and slowly began to expand my career by going on to play with other acts that were touring nationally. I was 14 when I started playing in my first band, that was when I was still playing drums. But I definitely began focusing on making my own music after my experience with AILD.

CRR: How did that all start?
Aaron: I'd just toured with so many bands up to that point and I thought to myself often that I could make my own music and there was nothing stopping me from doing so. When I was younger, I would experiment with stuff on Cakewalk and although it was very raw and unpolished, I loved what was coming out. So, once I moved to Atlanta and spent about a year there, that's when I began piecing Sons of God together, little did I know that people would come and go too frequent to really be able to practice or play shows.

CRR: How was it to be in As I Lay Dying?
Aaron: Well contrary to popular belief, and I'm not sure how it has happened, but I was never a member of As I Lay Dying. I'm going to go ahead and set the record straight. I was playing guitar for a band out of Grand Rapids, MI, called The Tide. We were managed by Mark LaFay and after a few months with the band, I was getting restless and moral was a bit low due to internal things so I decided to leave the band. On my drive back home to OK, I got a call from Mark and he asked if I'd be interested in playing bass for As I Lay Dying. I said of course and then began talking back and forth with Tim. I sent them a DVD of me playing live upon request and they sent me rough tracks from Frail Words and Shadows to do some overdubs with my vocals. They dug it enough to ask me to fly out to San Diego. When I showed up, Josh (who is now their bassist) was there as well. He and I both tried out at the same time, we took turns pretty much for 3 days and that was it. Nothing spectacular, just tryout sessions that thankfully resulted in the right guy getting the gig and some awesome new friends for me now.

CRR: When did Sons of God officially become a band (in current state)?
Aaron: In it's current state, I believe it was October of last year.

CRR: How did you get signed to Come and Live! Records?
Aaron: Well, having met up with Chad is previous bands I was with that Tooth & Nail was showing interest in, Chad and I just got to know each other a little. I was promoting a show in my hometown and one of the bands on tour told me about Chad Johnson starting a new label and leaving T&N. I thought he was crazy. So, I decided to email Chad and talk to him about it, when he confirmed that was the case, I sent him "Caution," the demo version and he said he loved it but that was the last I heard. A few days later, my friend Casey called me and asked me where I was. I told him I was home and he said he and Chad were going to be in a nearby city that night and that Chad wanted to talk to me. I went, it was a Sleeping Giant and Glorious Unseen show. We hung out and talked more about C&L! and Sons of God's involvement with them and it was just kind of, natural. We also spent that night praying in the center of the venue after the show with a group of people and some amazing things happened, definitely some people healed that night, it ruled.

CRR: How is it to be with Come and Live?
Aaron: It's awesome, many people ask what they do for us and I think people are surprised with my answer to that question. More than giving us money, bonuses, advances, tour support or whatever, they disciple us. It's not about money, it was never about money, it's really just a family and their greatest desire is to disciple us. Often times, the business aspect isn't even involved when we hang out, we will just be together in community or praying hardcore. The greatest gift they've given me is simply their time and care. If it wasn't for C&L!, I even wonder to myself where I would be or if my faith would even still be intact. Things have been difficult spiritually for me lately and C&L! has stepped in every time to pray for me and encourage me.

CRR: You recorded a new EP and it released in February. How did the writing and recording process go?
Aaron: Well, it was new. I recorded that EP a year ago but I suppose considering it came out in Feb. that it is still pretty fresh, haha. It was a hectic process. At the time, it was just me and I was in between tours as I was playing guitars for Spoken at the time. I had five days to get it all done and it was definitely rushed because our time in the studio was short and I was playing all the instruments. I barely made my flight back out to tour because we were in the studio ALL night until my flight left early that morning editing and mixing. I full expect the next record to be much better, but given my circumstances, I'm pretty happy with how the EP turned out.

CRR: Do you have any plans for a full length album?
Aaron: Absolutely. Right now the plan is to get in by the Fall. Things have continued to get pushed back a little but with each member living in a different city and separate states it's been difficult to get a schedule together. It's a miracle we are able to tour for two weeks this year. We are in the process of finalizing those plans, currently writing for it most certainly and we are looking forward to really bringing Sons of God as a band to life.

CRR: What are SoG's plans for touring this summer and in the distant future?
Aaron: We will be doing an East Coast tour July 26-August 6 with Soul Fest thrown in there on August 4th. Right now, those are our only plans for touring, but we keep tossing around a lot of other dates. It's really our focus right now to make a great record and tour on that, so that may very well be our only tour of 2010.

CRR: Any last things you want to say?
Aaron: I'm just so appreciative and thankful for the support we've managed to gain, even though we haven't played out. It really has been overwhelming and we are really excited to get out on the road. Also, a huge thanks to Come & Live! for being amazing and for loving us in a manner that really encourages us to show people who Christ truly is. If you have questions about anything, especially about Jesus or Christianity or if you are jaded from bad experiences with the church, we would love to talk to you. We talk to all our friends/fans all the time about anything, so just know that is why we are here. Feel free to email us (, find us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter. Thanks so much!

Be sure to check out Sons of God's Myspace page to listen to some songs and check out their missionary label, Come & Live!.

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Life of Defiance

Artist: Call To Preserve
Album: Life of Defiance
Release Date: 6/8/10
Label: Facedown Records

With the emergence of metalcore, it is getting harder and harder to find good straight up hardcore bands. With that said, I was very excited to find one of those bands, Call To Preserve, were releasing a new album this June. I have been a fan of Call To Preserve's prior work, Unsinkable and From Isolation, so I have had high hopes for this album since hearing that they were recording. Life Of Defiance is both very similar to their past work, yet a bit different. It also has a very old school hardcore edge to it.

Whether it is the speedy punk drumming of "The Weight," "Thin Skin" and "Holding Embers" or the abundance of gang vocals used throughout the album, the reason they make the album work so well is the way they integrate their prior sound with the new. Some examples of this are found on tracks such as "Functionary," "Desoto" and "Across The Aisle."

"Across The Aisle," which features guest vocals by Joe Musten of Advent, is by far the heaviest song on Life Of Defiance. It, along with "Lost At Sea" are also the shortest tracks on the album, both clocking in at around 1:30. In my opinion, "Last Look Back" is both the strongest track on the album, as well as being the ideal pick for the closer with the way that it builds into quite an epic ending. A very nice surprise from a hardcore band.

Rating: 8/10 I like the way Call To Preserve took a look at the past to add some flavor to their sound. They were able to maintain their identity, while trying new things. The anticipation was worth it and I was not let down. Life Of Defiance is a very good hardcore album.

Reviewed by Matthew Alexander

  1. Life of Defiance
  2. Drawing Lines On All Sides
  3. Empty Promises
  4. The Weight
  5. Functionary
  6. Desoto
  7. Thin Skin
  8. Across The Aisle
  9. Holding Embers
  10. Lost At Sea
  11. Last Look Back
(Buy Here)