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 Valley [+digital booklet]

Artist: Eisley
Album: The Valley
Release Date: 3/1/11
Label: Equal Vision Records

Heartbreak and pain are common things that we are all bound to feel in our lives, and the DuPree sisters, that make up three-fifths of Eisley, are no strangers to the feeling. The Valley comes as a result of these painful times, with lyrics that at times strike as angry, while others show sadness that the band has dealt with through the years. The songs are executed in a good manner, with the band's indie pop/rock style showing to be on top of its game.

Captivating strings draw in the listener on the opening title track, where a bit more edgy alternative rock sound is ventured into on songs such as the angsty "Smarter," "Sad," and "Better Love." The hand clapping, piano-driven "Watch It Die" bursts into a memorable chorus, and vibrant strings give the slower "Oxygen Mask" a nice touch. A golden acoustic intro and swooning harmonies of "whoa-oo" make up "I Wish."

Slower, soothing rhythms take their place on "Kind" and the calming "Mr. Moon," which are followed by the mournful "Please," before the hauntingly dark "Ambulance" ends The Valley on a reassuring note, that the wait for a new album from Eisley was certainly worth it.

Overall: It's amazing to see beauty drawn out of pain, showing on Eisley's latest. Lush piano-strokes, both edgy and soothing guitars, vibrant strings and catchy percussion and bass are only a few things that add to the enchanting melodies and harmonies heard on The Valley. Those looking for an overall harmonious and beautiful album can look no farther, for Eisley have not disappointed with their long overdue release.

Rating: 8/10

  1. The Valley
  2. Smarter
  3. Watch It Die
  4. Sad
  5. Oxygen Mask
  6. Better Love
  7. I Wish
  8. Kind
  9. Mr. Moon
  10. Please
  11. Ambulance
(Buy Here)

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Family Force 5 announced today, after much hype, their upcoming Tourantula. They will be heading out with Stereo Skyline, Swimming With Dolphins and Since Forever. You can find the dates and more tour info here.
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New Tooth & Nail Records pop rock band Hyland have posted two new songs ("Jumping The Gun" and "This Love Is Free") on their Facebook page. The songs are both off their forthcoming debut album Weights & Measures which is dropping on May 3rd.
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Emery have released the album art and tracklisting for We Do What We Want. The cover and more can be seen below. Emery will also be heading out on tour with To Speak of Wolves and Hawkboy (formerly As Cities Burn) throughout March.

1. The Cheval Glass
2. Scissors
3. The Anchors
4. The Curse of Perfect Days
5. You Wanted It
6. I'm Not Here For Rage I'm Here For Revenge
7. Daddy's Little Peach
8. Addicted To Bad Decisions
9. I Never Got To See the West Coast
10. Fix Me

Emery Headline Tour Dates -featuring To Speak of Wolves and Hawkboy (formerly As Cities Burn):

Tuesday 3/1/11 Towson, MD Recher Theatre
Wednesday 3/2/11 Rochester, NY Montage Music Hall
Thursday 3/3/11 Millvale, PA Mr. Small's Theatre
Friday 3/4/11 Goshen, IN The N.O.T.E.
Saturday 3/5/11 Cincinnati, OH The Underground
Sunday 3/6/11 Joliet, IL Mojoes
Monday 3/7/11 Saint Paul, MN Station 4
Tuesday 3/8/11 Rochester, MN Assembly of God Church
Thursday 3/10/11 Kansas City, MO El Torreon Ballroom
Friday 3/11/11 Joplin, MO The Foundry
Saturday 3/12/11 Little Rock, AR Vino's
Sunday 3/13/11 Dallas, TX The Door
Monday 3/14/11 Amarillo, TX The Refuge
Tuesday 3/15/11 Russellville, AR The Cornerstone
Wednesday 3/16/11 Oklahoma City, OK The Conservatory
Thursday 3/17/11 Wichita Falls, TX TBD
Friday 3/18/11 San Antonio, TX Jack's Bar
Saturday 3/19/11 Austin, TX Bat Bar
Monday 3/21/11 Birmingham, AL The Vineyard Church
Tuesday 3/22/11 Memphis, TN New Daisy Theater
Wednesday 3/23/11 Chattanooga, TN The Warehouse Venue
Friday 3/25/11 Kissimmee, FL Second Saturday Showcase
Saturday 3/26/11 Jacksonville, FL Murray Hill Theatre
Sunday 3/27/11 Atlanta, GA The Masquerade
Tuesday 3/29/11 Mount Pleasant, SC Seacoast Church
Wednesday 3/30/11 Greensboro, NC Greene Street Club
Thursday 3/31/11 Lynchburg, VA Cross Point Venue
Friday 4/1/11 Greenville, SC The Handlebar
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Discover the newest novel written by Showbread’s own vocalist Joshua Dies available now at joshdies.comThe Joke That We Play on the World chronicles the humble beginnings of the band and takes the reader through the tough times, the heartfelt, the hilarious and the just plain bizarre. The journey spans 12 years and more than hundreds of thousands of traveled miles bringing you to the brink of disgust but ultimately takes you by the hand to lead you into further knowledge of this prolific and eclectic act made up of some of the most interesting people you’ll discover in modern literature. You can’t make this stuff up.

Dies’ writing has always been able to pull readers in and make them feel like they were a part of the story, a part of the shenanigans, no matter how badly we might not want to be. Dies has a genuine heart for his gift and an equally passionate knowledge for why he’s spent the last 12 plus years of his life in such an unusual way.

An exclusive excerpt from The Joke That We Play on the World can be read at The book can be purchased at

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Aaron Gillespie, the frontman of The Almost and the former drummer/clean vocalist of Underoath, will be releasing a new worship project titled Anthem Song on March 8th through BEC Recordings. The title track and the album's first single, "We Were Made For You," are both streaming right here.
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Becoming The Archetype have posted the first song off of their upcoming release Celestial Completion on their Facebook. You can view the cover art and lyrics there as well. Celestial Completion is slated to release March 29th via Solid State Records.
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NASHVILLE, TN - February 14, 2011 - Life In Your Way just announced its partnership with Come&Live! and plans to release a project entitled “Kingdoms” this year. The Connecticut based melodic hardcore act is reuniting for the first time since its break in 2008.
“Life In Your Way will be putting out a new record in 2011,” says lead vocalist Joshua Kellam. “So watch out for it.”
Fans across the country have already voiced their excitement and anticipation for the new release. The news went viral after the 2/11 announcement, with posts on Facebook and Twitter quickly spreading the word.
Come&Live! is extremely honored to be working with the band and have high expectations for the future of Life In Your Way’s music and ministry.
For continued updates, check the band’s new site:
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In the Midst of Lions are heading out on a headlining tour with This or the Apocalypse, Your Memorial, No Bragging Rights this March. ITMOL will be supporting their 2010 release The Heart of Man. Check out the dates below and on the tour page of the Facedown site.

Tour Dates:

Mar 7 - Fargo, ND @ The Aquarium
Mar 8 - Grand Rapids, MN @ The Ground Floor
Mar 9 - Sioux Falls, SD @ Bonnies Bar
Mar 10 - Wichita, KS @ Eagles Lodge
Mar 11 - Waco, TX @ VLC Waco
Mar 13 - Montgomery, AL @ Lakewood Center
Mar 15 - Linthicum, MD @ St Christophers
Mar 16 - Richmond, VA @ Jaxx
Mar 17 - Lynchburg, VA @ Crosspoint Venue
Mar 18 - Virginia Beach, VA @ Club Relevant
Mar 19 - Lemoyne, PA @ Championship
Mar 20 - Toledo, OH @ Frankie's
Mar 21 - Lansing, MI @ Mac's Bar
Mar 22 - Portage, IN @ Camelot Arena
Mar 23 - Springfield, IL @ Blacksheep Cafe

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The Architects Of Guilt

Artist: The Famine
Album: The Architects of Guilt
Release Date: 2/15/11
Label: Solid State Records

This is gonna be one tough album to beat. It's only February, but I don't think anyone will be able to make an album that will be able to compete with this one for the top spot on my year end list. With The Architects of Guilt, The Famine have proved the axiom of good things that come to those who who wait. Weathering the loss of front-man Kris McCaddon and a devastating fire that destroyed their recording space, their gear, and their previous recordings for the album, The Famine also showed a great deal of perseverance and mental toughness.

Musically, The Architects of Guilt is a full-grown beast of a metal album, with rapid-fire double bass drumming, pummeling blast beats, and quirky, disjointed guitar solos abound. Vocally, Nick Nowell is a much more dynamic vocalist than the departed McCaddon. Nick transitions from high shrieks to deep grunts and growls, then back again effortlessly. In my opinion, they give the songs both added depth and that much more of a brutal edge.

Lyrically, The Famine give an extreme tongue lashing to both the church, for their abuse and distortion of God's Word for financial and political gain, and the political and military leaders for doing the same at the expense of the people. However, those who buy into the mass deception are not exempt, and are let have it as well.

While every single song is amazing, I do have a few personal favorites. "The New Hell," with its explosive death metal sound and dueling vocals at the end of the song, "Ad Mortem," which has well done alternating vocals, a nice guitar solo, and a very well done breakdown, and "VII The Fraudulent," which has a nice groove and great vocal delivery. Both "Turner Classic Diaries" and "A Fragile Peace" are standouts as well.

Overall: The Architects of Guilt is a perfect example of brutal death metal. The songwriting, musicianship, and production are all top notch. In comparison to their previous effort, The Raven and The Reaping, The Famine have improved immensely. The Architects of Guilt is heavier, faster, and more cohesive than its predecessor, which was a great album itself. This is one of the best, if not the best, collection of brutal, modern death metal I've heard. The Architects of Guilt will also be the first album to get a perfect score from me. Well done guys. Bravo.

Rating: 10/10

Reviewed by Matthew Alexander

  1. The New Hell
  2. Ad Mortem
  3. We Are The Wolves
  4. Turner Classic Diaries
  5. Bigger Cages, Longer Chains!
  6. The Crown and The Holy See
  7. VII The Fraudulent
  8. A Pavement of Good Intentions
  9. A Fragile Peace
  10. Pyrithion House
  11. To The Teeth
(Buy Here)

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Aaron Newberry

You may remember when we interviewed him last year, but Sons of God frontman Aaron Newberry has been working on a solo album. He has posted a demo of a new song titled "Crawlin' Through My Head" which can be heard here, and look for more new music from Aaron coming soon!
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Artist: Hawk Nelson
Album: Crazy Love
Release Date: 2/8/11
Label: Tooth & Nail/BEC Recordings

Over the years, Hawk Nelson have been making a progression as a band, from their early start as youthful punk rockers, spanned across their first three albums, to more mature pop rock ballads, heard on Live Life Loud. One may not have known which direction they would be taking their newest studio album Crazy Love in, but it can be said that Hawk Nelson have put everything they've done well in the past and compiled it all onto one album. Not to say that Crazy Love isn't missing some more radio-friendly anthems and ballads, but it also includes many high energy punk tunes that I have been longing to hear from the band in a while.

The punk is immediately brought on the minute and a half intro, "Tally Ho," with intentions of pumping up the listener and to set an energetic feeling on Crazy Love. The next few songs however don't follow with the same intentions of the intro, but are instead more of the aforementioned, radio-friendly anthems, which are done well. "Your Love Is A Mystery" spreads the message of Jesus' accepting love, and the title track encourages us to spread His love to everyone. Taking a worshipful approach is "My Next Breath," one of the album's slower song that ends up moving into a bridge of surrendering our lives to God.

The energy then kicks into gear, with pop punk sound taking center stage on "We're Alright," preceding "Skeleton," a straight up punk rocker, bringing to mind a sound reminiscent of MxPx. To take a rest from the energy, a more CCM-like song comes along, "We Can Change The World," before a more general rocker, "One Shot," rolls around as well, that would have fit well on Live Life Loud.

Massive pop punk riffs start off "Fraud," one of the album's catchiest song, which ends up closing out with a capella vocal layers sung by frontman Jason Dunn and David Josiah Curtis of Run Kid Run. "Joanna" takes the band back to their earlier days, being a fun and upbeat love song. The craziest and heaviest song we've ever heard from the band follows, "LAX," a short tune that yells and screams about the band's apparent hate for airports. The album draws to a close with the slower "Done Holding On" and "Thanks For The Beautiful Memories," the latter being a look back on Hawk Nelson's career and their thankfulness to both the fans and God.

Overall: Although I feel at times that Hawk Nelson should have gone in either a punk or straight up slower direction on Crazy Love, it can be left unmentioned that they do a good job of mixing things up. Showing maturity on songs like "Your Love Is A Mystery" and "My Next Breath," and then having some fun on "Tally Ho" and "LAX," I'm sure that there is something for just about anyone's personal tastes on Crazy Love that may be enjoyed, if not the album as a whole.

Rating: 8/10

  1. Tally Ho
  2. Your Love Is A Mystery
  3. Crazy Love
  4. My Next Breath
  5. We're Alright
  6. Skeleton
  7. We Can Change The World
  8. One Shot
  9. Fraud
  10. Joanna
  11. LAX
  12. Done Holding On
  13. Thanks For The Beautiful Memories
(Buy Here)

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Onward to Olympas has just released a new song from their forthcoming album The War Within Us. You can hear "Structures" here:

And you can now pre-order The War Within Us, due out March 15, here:

OTO has meticulously cultivated their sound, blending progressive metal, straight hardcore, and elements of death metal.  Once again they enlisted the help of Jamie King (For Today, Between The Buried And Me) to engineer their new record, and that combined with the matured direction of their writing make for an even more seasoned, technical and ear catching release.  
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Wooden Heart

Artist: Listener
Album: Wooden Heart
Release Date: 7/6/10
Label: Independent

Chances are that you've heard of the genres of indie rock and/or spoken word before, but you've probably never heard them together, in the form of the new genre of talk music. Talk music is an eclectic mix of the two aforementioned styles, and has been introduced by the band Listener. Listener are made up of only two, the vocalist Dan Smith, who you may know from Deepspace5 and from The Chariot's latest album, and the very musically talented Christin Nelson. Their latest album, Wooden Heart, which released in July of last year, is certainly like nothing I've ever heard before. Dan's passionate voice, talking and pleading, is backed by a diverse range of instrumentation, and the lyrics are pure poetry that paint beautiful landscapes and imagery.

A soft ukulele fills the opening sounds of Wooden Heart, before flowing into the driving guitars that fill the opener, "You Have Never Lived Because You Have Never Died." "I Don't Want To Live Forever" makes me think heavily of mewithoutYou, both lyrically and musically, showing with its indie-folk rhythm. The drums and percussion take a front seat on "Most Roads Lead To Home," along with the searching guitars that layer the song. Taking on a more simplistic and mellow tone is the awe-inspiring title track, accompanied by some electronic effects that slowly drag along in the background.

On "Falling In Love With Glaciers," some horns and softly plucked strings are introduced to the album, and then thick and grooving bass lines embrace "Failing Is Not Just For Failures." The happy-sounding "Building Better Bridges" uses horns, adding to a folk-like sound. The melancholy  "Seatbelt Hands" tells the story of a woman looking for true love, while just getting by in her life.

"These Hands Weren't Meant For Us" offers a rather eerie, indie sound that is just as chilling as it is edgy. The dark mood is shaken though, on the following "You Were A House On Fire." A calming, softly-strummed acoustic guitar is met with building up percussion and uplifting lyrics. The closer brings on a surprise, with Middle Eastern-inspired sound, that gloomily speaks of the end being near, bringing back the eerie mood from "These Hands Weren't Meant For Us," but sets a tone to memorably end Wooden Heart.

Overall: Listener might as well be one of music's best kept secrets. Introducing the genre of talk music to the masses, they certainly make an impact on the listener, no pun intended. If you are looking for a great indie rock record, or something completely different than you've ever heard, then Listener's Wooden Heart is the album for you.

Rating: 9/10

  1. You Have Never Lived Because You Have Never Died
  2. I Don't Want To Live Forever
  3. Most Roads Lead To Home
  4. Wooden Heart
  5. Falling In Love With Glaciers
  6. Failing Is Not Just For Failures
  7. Building Better Bridges
  8. Seatbelt Hands
  9. These Hands Weren't Meant For Us
  10. You Were A House On Fire
  11. Save Up Your Hopes Friends
(Buy Here)
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Indie worship artist Tim Mann is offering his latest album, The Dream Is Ended, This is The Morning, on Noisetrade for free. You can check it out here.
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The Great Campaign of Sabotage

Artist: Overcome
Album: The Great Campaign of Sabotage
Release Date: 2/1/11
Label: Facedown Records

Last year when Overcome announced their reformation, I was very excited. I am a huge fan of their past work and own all of their previous albums. One of the main reasons for my excitement was the fact that I have always been curious to hear Overcome with today's cutting edge, digital production. It was no secret that their albums, although highly influential, suffered from less than perfect production, even for their time.

After the first few listens of The Great Campaign of Sabotage, I was torn. Although I enjoyed the songs, I was frustrated with what I perceived as very raw production and monotonous sounding songs. Somewhere along the line, my opinion changed. What I once saw as poor production, now became a breath of fresh air compared to all of the overproduced hardcore and metal that litters the scene. What was thought to be monotonous sounding, began to reveal itself to be rather complex and chaotic. I realized I had become a victim. A victim of the all too frequent culprit known as hype. I over-hyped this album so much that anything less than perfect was a letdown.

As for The Great Campaign of Sabotage, this album is a perfect blend of chaotic metalcore, with elements of Overcome's old Spirit-filled hardcore sound. Some of the highlights for me are "Reverence Part 2" with its great lead guitar work, "Profession," with its spastic tempo changes, "Alone In A Crowd," with its exceptional drum work, and "Clemency," with its dueling vocals. New vocalist Thomas Washington does a good job of adding in low death grunts to spice up his raspy screams. Although I would've loved to hear longtime vocalist Jason Stinson's throaty screams more, Thomas does a more than capable job.

Overall: If you are looking for something different in your hardcore and metal, this album is definitely for you. Overcome has put out a solid release, especially considering their ten year hiatus. With The Great Campaign of Sabotage, Overcome has managed to avoid tarnishing their legacy, all the while becoming relevant to today's hardcore and metal scene.

Rating: 8/10

Reviewed by Matthew Alexander

  1. Intro
  2. Reverence Part 2
  3. Body of Death
  4. Profession
  5. Alone In A Crowd
  6. The Breath of He Who Kills
  7. Seeker Sensitive
  8. Amnesty
  9. Clemency
  10. Lifting the Weak
  11. Campaign of Sabotage
  12. Outro
(Buy Here)

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Emery have posted the first song off of their March 29th-slated release, We Do What We Want. The song is titled "The Cheval Glass" and can be heard here in a lyric video. Devin Shelton of the band also announced yesterday on the band's Facebook page that he is taking an indefinite hiatus from the band.