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: Underoath
Album: Ø (Disambiguation)
Release Date: 11/9/10
Label: Tooth & Nail/Solid State Records

Change can be a big word, especially regarding music. That being said, the anticipated new album from Underoath, Ø (Disambiguation), is not a complete change for the band's sound. However, with the departure of long time drummer and clean vocalist Aaron Gillespie, Underoath are certainly not the same band you once knew. With the addition of former Norma Jean drummer Daniel Davison, it is not a coincidence that the band now contain elements reminiscent to Norma Jean, while still keeping some of their overall sound, minus Gillespie's vocals, which have in turn have been manned by frontman Spencer Chamberlain, which have matured greatly since They're Only Chasing Safety, and have a very natural and smooth feel to them.

The driving opener "In Division" kicks off Ø (Disambiguation) on a high note, a driving track that is sure to get fans acquainted with what Underoath have to offer with the album. "Catch Myself Catching Myself" resonates with more of a chaotic sense, ringing with the standout line of "I'm not the same anymore." The dark and atmospheric "Paper Lung" represents a bit of a new direction for the band, filled mainly with Chamberlain's clean vocals, and a head on breakdown to conclude the track. The album then kicks back into full gear with the bass heavy, raw-sounding "Illuminator," a track that really boasts Davison's expertise drumming.

The ambient "Driftwood" is heavily layered with great programming and eerie synths from keyboardist Chris Dudley, followed by the explosive "A Divine Eradication," one of the album's heaviest tracks. The anthematic "Who Will Guard The Guardians" contains a great spoken part from Spencer about halfway through, and also some of his best clean vocals on Ø (Disambiguation). A brief interlude is taken with "Reversal", that gives you little time to catch your breath before leading into the fast paced "Vacant Mouth," containing rapid fire guitars that will have you wanting to move. "My Deteriorating Decline" serves as an assault on your ears, with punk like drumming, and yet another one of Underoath's heaviest tracks to date. The album slows down one last time for the concluding track, "In Completion." Lyrically, it continues a common theme of water and drowning that goes on throughout the album, and like "Paper Lung," sets an atmosphere that is both melodic and heavy at the same time, no doubt a fitting song to close out one of the year's best heavy releases.

Rating: 9/10 Their first album containing no original members, many may have expected Underoath not to come through with Ø (Disambiguation), but they certainly have come through, better than ever. Dark, heavy and melodic are just a few words to explain their album, filled with great drumming, driving riffs and frontman Spencer Chamberlain's deep, throaty screams to his smooth clean vocals, which contrast just right. Ø (Disambiguation) sits as one of the year's best releases in the heavy scene, and will certainly catch the attention of many who have doubted the band's ability in the past to make such an album of this caliber.

  1. In Division
  2. Catch Myself Catching Myself
  3. Paper Lung
  4. Illuminator
  5. Driftwood
  6. A Divine Eradication
  7. Who Will Guard The Guardians
  8. Reversal
  9. Vacant Mouth
  10. My Deteriorating Incline
  11. In Completion
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