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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One Reality

Artist: Texas In July
Album: One Reality
Release Date: April 26, 2011
Label: Equal Vision Records

Since entering into the heavy music scene in 2007 and releasing an EP and a full length through CI Records (who have launched the careers of bands such as August Burns Red), Texas In July have been poised to gain attention, being one of the best young metalcore bands out there. This being said, the band's time to shine has come, with their signing to the notable, Albany, NY based label Equal Vision Records, and now the release of their second full length, One Reality.

One Reality shows Texas In July maturing, with more experimental and melodic riffs, as opposed to the somewhat monotonous, overused chugging riffs heard on most of I Am (their CI full length). While there is still use of some chugging, those riffs are strategically placed in the album's bone crushing breakdowns, and a few other suitable places as well. The production of the album is much tighter than their previous work also, letting frontman Alex Good's vocals be heard more clearly than before. Good's growls have improved a lot, being yet another element showing maturity from the band.

Although it may be said that some of the songs on One Reality sound similar, it does not take away from the fact that the formula used on each song is used to the band's advantage. A few highlights from the 11 tracks include the two openers, "Magnolia" and "1000 Lies." Both start off with build ups of the aforementioned melodic and almost spacey guitar work, that builds its way into heavy verses. Some great drumming from Adam Gray is heard on the opening of another one of the album's strongest songs, "No Greater Love." The song sets itself apart from the other songs on the album, as it features a strong proclamation of the band's faith, heard on the sermon-like spoken word section that is heard in the song between Good's screams of "There is no greater Love." The band also sets another song apart from the others on "May" as well. Similar to what they did on I Am, "May" is an acoustic instrumental, that shows a different side of the band, and gives the listener's ears a rest before heading back into the heaviness that follows on the rest of One Reality.

Overall: One Reality shows Texas In July at their best, truly finding their sound. Melodic guitars build into bone-crushingly heavy verses and breakdowns, that fit together with the band's anthemic lyrics written for this generation to leave behind hard experiences in the past, and to stand up for one's faith. One Reality is one of the best albums I've heard as of late from such a young band, and just proves the fact that Texas In July are undoubtedly one the best young metal bands out there today, in both the Christian and secular heavy music scenes.

Rating: 8/10

  1. Introduction
  2. Magnolia
  3. 1000 Lies
  4. Dreamer
  5. Dying World
  6. No Greater Love
  7. May
  8. Our Freedom
  9. Cyclops
  10. Pretender
  11. One Reality
(Buy Here)

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