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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2011 has been a good year for music so far, and the second half of the year can only get better, especially a lot of the albums releasing this summer. Read on to check out some of our most anticipated summer releases, tours, and festivals, among some great bands that should be given a listen.

Most Anticipated Summer Releases

As Hell Retreats - Volition: After releasing a new song, I can be confident that As Hell Retreats will be releasing one of the summer's best heavy albums with Volition. Their technical death metal-stylings have been taken up a notch, adding in a bit more melody this time around. This will be an album that should not be missed.

August Burns Red - Leveler: Perhaps Christian metal's biggest and most well known band, August Burns Red will be releasing their fourth full length effort, coming off the release of their live album, Home, that released last fall. Shaking it up with more clean parts, post-rock and ambient parts, and mariachi sections, Leveler can only promise to be the best that we have heard ABR.

Blindside - With Shivering Hearts We Wait: After a four year hiatus, the legendary Blindside are back at it with a new full length record, full of great rockers that are great for the summer feel. A solid comeback from the band.

The Ember Days - Emergency: Come&Live!'s The Ember Days will be releasing their first full length album, Emergency, since 2007 this summer. The album is much welcomed after a great, calming and mostly instrumental EP from the band last August (Finger Painting), and a full album is certainly welcomed. The band will also be heading out on the Come&Live! Arrows Are Deadly missional tour this summer.

Hands - Give Me Rest: Although the Facedown Records ambient hardcore trio are no longer a touring band, it's not keeping them from putting out quality music. Give Me Rest is one album that is going to be a truly unique addition to the wide array of heavy music releasing this year, and is sure to be one of the best records of the pack as well.

My Epic - Broken Voice EP: One of the best bands currently making music, indie rockers My Epic are releasing a brand new, acoustic-based EP, which follows their stunning 2010 full length album, Yet. New music from My Epic is always welcomed, and a new EP can only be for the best.

Sleeping Giant - Kingdom Days In An Evil Age: Known for their heavy worship, Sleeping Giant's long awaited new album will be their first on new label, Ain't No Grave Records, and will be sure to be making waves in the heavy music scene this summer. And to top off the new album, they'll be co-headlining this year's Scream The Prayer tour.

Up and Coming Band To Watch For


One of Red Cord Records' newest bands, metalcore act Phinehas, will be releasing their debut full length album on July 19th and is one that should be looked forward to. Blending plenty of melody and clean vocals with heavy breakdowns, blastbeats, and great guitar solos set apart Phinehas from many other same sounding metalcore bands out there today. Expect big things from the band in the future, and be sure to check out their new album, thegodmachine, this summer.

Other Releases To Look Forward to in 2011

There are certain to be plenty of other great releases out this year that we are looking forward to. Two from Come&Live! in particular are the new albums from indie rockers Sons of God and the newly reunited Life In Your Way, both of which will be out later this year. Thrice have also announced their new album, Major/Minor, will be out September 20th, and Oh, Sleeper will also be releasing their new album over the next few months as well. The newly reformed Mono Vs. Stereo Records will also be releasing two new albums from indie rockers Farewell Flight and Deas Vail, and have recently released a split EP together. The new, yet to be announced Ocean Is Theory album will be sure to be a good one, from the sounds of their new EP, and metalcore favorites, A Plea For Purging, will be recording their new album this summer, which will be out later this fall.

Notable Summer Tours

Arrows Are Deadly: The Come&Live! Arrows Are Deadly tour will be featuring Showbread, White Collar Sideshow (with Levi The Poet), The Ember Days and Ascend The Hill. This is looking to be a good one, and will be hitting multiple festivals this summer.

Nocturnal Alliance: The Nocturnal Alliance tour will feature on it Mychildren Mybride, co-headlining with Impending Doom, and will also include A Bullet For Pretty Boy, This or The Apocalypse, and The Crimson Armada. The tour will be heading throughout the country (and Canada) at the end of June and run through the end of July.

Scream The Prayer: The yearly big Christian heavy music tour, filled with 10 bands this year, will include Norma Jean, Sleeping Giant, The Chariot, War of Ages, Close Your Eyes, Texas In July, I The Breather, The Great Commission, As Hell Retreats, and Sovereign Strength. The tour will run for the month of July, starting at Cornerstone Festival, and will hit everywhere from the East Coast to the West Coast.

Warped Tour: The annual Vans Warped Tour has a great lineup this year, including August Burns Red and The Devil Wears Prada headlining on the main stage. The tour will also include Relient k, Family Force 5, The Suit, and Windsor Drive to name a few. The tour runs for nearly two months, and will cross the greater part of the States and small portions of Canada.

Notable Summer Festivals

Cornerstone Festival: Perhaps the biggest summer festival out there for Christian rock, hardcore, indie, and worship, Cornerstone has a stellar lineup this year as usual, and will be the place to be from June 30-July 3.

iMatter Festival: The Elmira, NY festival will include a great lineup this year, among its three days, and is taking place Labor Day weekend. The opening Friday night will include worship and hip-hop (from Trip Lee, Flame, and Benjah), Saturday will be mainly all metal and hardcore, featuring August Burns Red, Emery, A Plea For Purging, and many others, and Sunday the festival will end with The Ember Days leading worship.

Purple Door Festival: Now back at their original location in Lebanon, Pennsylvania, Purple Door looks to be a great time this year. Underoath will be headlining the festival, and there will be over 30 other artists of different genres performing this year.

SoulFest: The Gilford, New Hampshire yearly music festival will be four days of great music. From many mainstream, CCM and rock artists to indie and hardcore bands, the festival has a very diverse lineup. Come&Live! will also have many of their artists playing SoulFest as well, including Showbread, Life In Your Way, and Ascend The Hill to name a few.

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