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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Artist: The Great Commission
Album: Heavy Worship
Release Date: July 12, 2011
Label: Ain't No Grave Records

Over two years have passed since the release of The Great Commission's debut album, And Every Knee Shall Bow, and those two years have been filled with almost non-stop touring, new members, a new label, and a new musical outlook. Heavy Worship finds The Great Commission moving on from their heavy, death metal style, and taking more of a metalcore direction. To add even more dimension to their music, clean vocals are also very prominent on the album, and are done by one of the band's three guitarists, Victor Cota.

"Don't Go To Church, Be The Church" starts off with the words "I am a walking revival," before exploding into a breakdown, which is followed by a fast pace and the first clean vocal chorus of the album. The question "Will you stand with this generation or will you watch it dig its own grave?" is posed to the listener of "The Walking Dead," which takes on a sludgier sound. One of the album's highlights, "When It Rains It Pours" has the hope-filled message of "One day the rain will come and wash away my pain, one day the rain will come and wash away my shame," preceding a breakdown of "Let the rain fall down!"

The next few songs are lyrically a bit more weighty, the first being "Draw The Line." The song speaks of the war within, and inner struggle. On "Preaching To The Choir," the message is directed at Christians, who only live (or act) their faith out on Sundays. "Weight Of The World" states that with Christ, we are not alone, even if the weight of the world crashes down on us. Some great harmonies are found in the clean vocals of "The Prodigal Son," and "Road To Damascus" starts out with only clean vocals, shaking up the typical song structure found on the album. The use of some vocal distortion is heard during the opening of "The Juggernaut," one of Heavy Worship's only tracks lacking the use of a clean chorus, but instead breakdowns take their place. "Reap What You Sow" follows suit, no clean vocals and breakdowns a plenty. To close the album, The Great Commission pull off a great cover of Hillsong's "Came To My Rescue (Be Lifted High)," which is very well the album's highlight. After playing the song live numerous times, it is a treat to finally have a recorded version of their passionate rendition, made up of dual vocals from Victor and frontman Justin Singh.

Overall: The sophomore release from The Great Commission, Heavy Worship, is a solid album from Californian six-piece. The new musical direction from the band aims for a metalcore sound, complete with clean vocals and plenty of chugging, which brings with it not much variety from song to song, most of them sounding similar. The album is lyrically both hopeful and weighty at times, with one purpose, to bring glory to God. Heavy Worship does boast a number of good tracks, especially the Hillsong cover, and for that, is still worth being checked out.

Rating: 7/10

  1. Don't Go To Church, Be The Church
  2. The Walking Dead
  3. When It Rains It Pours
  4. Draw The Line
  5. Preaching To The Choir
  6. Weight Of The World
  7. The Prodigal Son
  8. Road To Damascus
  9. The Juggernaut
  10. Reap What You Sow
  11. Came To My Rescue (Be Lifted High)
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  1. I find it funny you used the word "weighty" to describe some of the lyrics, and the album is called HEAVY worship. I know, I'm lame...

  2. the cleans are interesting, they sound super pop-punk, like a completely different song. i think they're done pretty well, but could use improvement. i agree with the score, 7/10, pretty good album.