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: Norma Jean
Album: Meridional
Release Date: 7/13/10
Label: Razor & Tie Records

Often referred to as "The Almighty Norma Jean," I would have to say that Norma Jean have rightfully earned that title with their new album Meridional. Some of their best work since Bless The Martyr and Kiss The Child, the new album is heavy and chaotic yet melodic. The guitars are all full of crunch and the songwriting is very expertise, covering a numerous amount of topics.

The chaotic pace of Meridional immediately goes into full gear on "Leaderless and Self-Enlisted." Cory Brandan's yells and screams sound great, mixed with the fast paced song and brief clean vocal section. One of the best written songs on the album is "Deathbed Atheist" which talks about the issue of atheism and makes an impact, musically and lyrically. Two of the best songs go back to back, "High Noise Low Output" and "Falling From The Sky: Day Seven," which serves as something of a ballad. Musically, the latter serves as one of the best songs on Meridional. The guitars bring to mind a heavier indie rock sound and a few screams are quickly embraced at the end. Other than that, the song is filled with the clean vocals, a break from the driving, heavy sound.

An interesting element found are the three interludes that serve the albums title, Meridional, aptly named "Septentrional," "Occidental" and the hidden track, "Oriental." The best of the trio is "Occidental," containing a stomp-clap section that stands out as unique among the album.

The music of Meridional cannot really be confined to one genre or such, but features elements of hardcore with a bit of clean vocals, but not metalcore. Also very chaotic, the album seems to stay away from the typical double bass drumming for the most part, but still sounds like a perfect fit. The guitars are also crunched and have an edge to them, unlike your typical album full of chugging and solos.

Rating: 8/10 Meridional has no doubt earned Norma Jean their popular title, "The Almighty Norma Jean." They have left me impressed for sure and will spark an interest back into fans that may have been lost in the past album or so. Chaotic yet melodic, Norma Jean may have one of the heaviest albums of the year, musically and lyrically speaking.

  1. Leaderless and Self-Enlisted
  2. The Anthem Of The Angry Brides
  3. Deathbed Atheist
  4. Bastardizer
  5. A Media Friendly Turn For The Worse
  6. Septentrional
  7. Blood Burner
  8. High Noise Low Output
  9. Falling From The Sky: Day Seven
  10. Everlasting Tapeworm
  11. Occidental
  12. The People That Surround You On A Regular Basis
  13. Innocent Bystanders United
  14. Oriental
(Buy Here)

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1 comment:

  1. Great review! I need to save some money and buy this album.