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: A Hope For Home
Album: Realis
Release Date: 3/30/10
Label: Facedown Records

Genre labels are an odd thing. They both succeed and fail at what they are set to accomplish. They succeed at giving you a general idea of the style of music being performed, but fail at giving you a definite answer to exactly what is taking place musically. As humans, we tend to want everything, including God, to fit into convenient, neat little boxes. Once the boxes are established we label them, thus creating a problem for anyone or anything that has a smidge of creativity.

A Hope For Home is one such band. Their brand of atmospheric, heavy music can be labeled with a number of genres, from post-hardcore to post metal and melodic metal, but these labels would only be scratching the surface. On Realis, A Hope For Home utilize the the screamed/clean chorus style vocals, but what set A Hope For Home apart from the myriad of bands that use this technique are the high quality of the clean vocals. They are always on key and never come out whiny.

Realis has quite a deep texture to it. The guitars are equally crunchy as they are melodic. On a number of songs, the guitar playing has an almost meandering experimentation comparable to Son I Loved You At Your Darkest-era As Cities Burn. Another effect A Hope For Home use on the album to add texture to the sound is the sudden change in tempo. All of these would be just nice, singular parts if they didn't flow cohesively into the next section. Thankfully, AHFH know how to write a song.

Contained on Realis are a good amount of songs that have a slow build up before exploding into action. The few that don't use the exact opposite effect, having an explosive beginning before calming down to experiment a bit with the dynamics. Some of my favorite tracks are "Nightfall," with it's steady, beautiful build up, "Withering Branches" and "The Machine Stops" with their wonderful guitar playing and "No Light," containing beautiful piano playing and an atmospheric build up.

Rating: 9/10 In Realis, A Hope For Home have created a sonic journey of experimentation, beautiful atmospherics and passionate vocals. This is so much more than any genre label could describe.

Reviewed by Matthew Alexander

  1. Nightfall
  2. The Overman
  3. Withering Branches
  4. The Machine Stops
  5. No Light
  6. Post Tenebras Lux
  7. First Light Of Dawn
  8. The Crippling Fear
  9. The Warmth Of The Heavens
  10. Seasons
  11. Ascension
  12. After
(Buy Here)

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