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 They Sleep
Album: Dynasty
Release Date: 11/23/10
Label: Solid State Records

With the cross-pollination of metal and hardcore, bands are finding new, but also very limiting ways to express themselves musically. Somewhere along the line, bands have seemed to forget how to craft great metal, trading in technical proficiency for simplistic, mindless bludgeoning, all the while trying to be heavier, faster, and have more breakdowns than the next guy. There is a thin line between doing something and doing it right. As They Sleep, on their Solid State Records debut Dynasty, do it right.

As They Sleep play a brutally fast, yet technically proficient brand of death metal similar to label mates Becoming The Archetype and The Famine. At times, As They Sleep are also reminiscent of Impending Doom, but even more technical and without all the breakdowns. Every song, with the exception of the perfectly placed instrumental "Ritual," is extremely fast, full of shredding guitars, rapid-fire double bass, and blast beats. All of the songs are also very high quality and not one could be called a "filler".

Some of the highlights for me are the aforementioned "Ritual" which provides a nice breath of fresh air in the midst of the brutality. "Oracle of the Dead," "The Third Reich," and "Bedlam at the Nile" are all brutally fast and heavy with great vocal dynamics. "Poseidon" has a nice melodic guitar riff throughout and a cool solo. My favorite track is "Attila" which is extremely fast and heavy, before slowing down for the best guitar solo on Dynasty.

Rating: 9/10 With Dynasty, As They Sleep has seemingly come out of nowhere and hit me like a ton of bricks. This is easily one of the best metal albums of the year. In fact, I have it as my number two album, behind the latest Living Sacrifice album. As They Sleep certainly has a bright future ahead.

Reviewed by Matthew Alexander

  1. Oracle of the Dead
  2. To The Republic
  3. The Third Reich
  4. Bedlam at the Nile
  5. The Darkest Ages
  6. Ritual
  7. The Offering
  8. Attila
  9. Poseidon
  10. God of War
  11. The Unseen
(Buy Here)

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