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 Hollow

Artist: Memphis May Fire
Album: The Hollow
Release Date: April 26, 2011
Label: Rise Records

On their second album, The Hollow, Memphis May Fire step it up in a big way! The screaming vocals sound deeper and more rooted in the metalcore genre, whereas the band's previous effort, 2009's Sleepwalking, felt like it was more of a southern rock/metal style. The clean vocals have changed a lot as well. They sound less screamo and more along the lines of The Devil Wears Prada's clean vocals, which compliment the screams very well. These two major changes, combined with the overall move towards a more "straight up" metalcore sound, have worked amazingly well on The Hollow. The album shows how much the band has grown and matured in just two short years, and why the band was recently signed to Rise Records.

One big way to see the growth and maturity of Memphis May Fire is by the lyrical content. The greatest example of this is the opening track, "The Sinner," which is full of excellent lyrics. My favorite lyrics being: "Beneath the sun I am rotting/Just like the ones that came before me/I cannot deny my walk has become a crawl/I've never felt so.../I've never felt so lost!" Another great thing about these lyrics is that after a few lines, you can tell the band has a deep love for God. This is shown in the words: "I need to hear Your voice, I can't do this alone."

I think these two lyrics describe a moment a lot of us as Christians, myself included, have felt at some point during our lives. The lyrics on every song are great, and touch on so many different subjects. "The Sinner" is about needing God when struggling, and the song "The Commanded" is about a war and the remorse the person feels about the deaths. The versatility of the band's lyrics is downright amazing. I'd suggest reading the lyrics as you listen to the album, they'll blow you away!

Overall, I think the album is a great step forward for the band, both musically and lyrically. The band has gone to a metalcore sound without sounding like every other band out there and more importantly without losing their identity. You can still hear some of the old Memphis May Fire at times on this album, but you can also tell how they're growing and moving forward. I know I'm looking forward to the next chapter in the Memphis May Fire saga.

Rating: 8/10

Recommended Tracks: "The Sinner," "The Victim," "The Deceived" and "The Commanded"

Reviewed by Michael Small

  1. The Sinner
  2. The Unfaithful
  3. The Victim
  4. The Abandoned
  5. The Deceived
  6. The Commanded
  7. The Burden (Interlude)
  8. The Haunted
  9. The Reality
  10. The Redeemed
(Buy Here)

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