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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The Absolute

Artist: Ace Augustine
Album: The Absolute
Release Date: 1/18/11
Label: Strike First Records

Have you ever had a good feeling about something, but ignored it? Well, that very thing happened to me last summer at Lewisberry, Pennsylvania's annual Purple Door music festival, where a small, local band named Ace Augustine were one of the opening acts for the second day of the festival. I knew that I should muster up enough energy to go see them, but could not resist the urge to watch a small indie band and relax to start off my morning right. Little did I know that only a few months later the band I missed would sign to Strike First Records.

Now, only a few months after joining the Strike First family, Ace Augustine are giving us their debut offering, The Absolute. On first listen, I was not completely sure what to think. The songs didn't seem to be all that unique from other metalcore bands out there today, not bringing anything really groundbreaking, musically, to the table. However, after further listen, the album really started to grow on me.

One of the first things that should be said about the album and Ace Augustine would be frontman Ben Moser's vocals. He has an interesting scream, mostly a his higher screeches, that sound familiar to Mike Hranica of The Devil Wears Prada, but he also reaches into some deeper growls as well. The important thing to note though is that despite that, they are no copy of TDWP, by far. Another notable thing on The Absolute would be the clean vocals. They are nicely spread out and come into play at the most unexpected times.

The instrumentation found on The Absolute is interesting, at times sounding exactly like what you would expect on a typical album of the genre, with chugging, yet technical, riffs and great double-bass drumming, but at other times, hints of riffs leaning towards more grunge-like rock break through, before crushing breakdowns take place that are sure to get people moving.

On a song like the opener, "Justifiers," the more standard metalcore sound can be heard, contrasted with bits of ambience that are found on the following "2013 Looks Promising." A nice set of gang vocals and catchy clean vocals precede a heavy breakdown, with the words "For I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me" spoken mid-way through the heavy assault, on "Jonah Spoke of Innocence." A few other high points on The Absolute are found in "Delorean," "Axioms" and the album's title track, the latter of the bunch proclaiming "The Absolute is coming down" for the album's closing moments.

Overall: Ace Augustine have gotten off to a good start with their debut record, The Absolute.  Their faith boldly shows throughout the lyrics, and goes along well with the technical instrumentation, from the breakdowns to the chanting gang vocals. Although the album is not groundbreaking and not metalcore at its finest, it is metalcore done right, and I find the offering proves to be an enjoyable listen.

Rating: 7/10

  1. Justifiers
  2. 2013 Looks Promising
  3. Jonah Spoke of Innocence
  4. Negotiations
  5. Senior Year at Sky City
  6. Delorean
  7. Axioms
  8. The Debt That All Men Pay
  9. The Merchant Tales
  10. The Absolute
(Buy Here)

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