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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To Those Perishing

Artist: A Past Unknown
Album: To Those Perishing
Release Date: July 19, 2011
Label: Red Cord Records

After releasing their first demo last year, A Past Unknown is back with their debut full-length album on Red Cord Records. To Those Perishing does not feel like a debut in any way, not musically, lyrically, or quality wise. It's a very impressive effort from a band that should be on their way to being a popular band in the Christian music scene.

Opening tracks are important, like people always say, you've got one shot to make a good first impression. On "Voice To The Willing," the band shows just how talented they are. The music of the song is so tight, and although it's kind of your typical metalcore sound, the melodies they add to it, and the vocals make it sound so much better than you'd expect. The one thing that really grabbed my attention was the lyrics, how mature they are, and how scripture has played a big role on the lyrics of such a young band. Some of the lyrics are: "Can You take this piece of me/fill it up despite the emptiness and greed?/I'm not worthy/I will take this piece of you/fill it so that you're not alone/I love you too much/I won't let go." I was instantly sucked into the album with this opening track, and was really looking forward to the rest of the album.

I was not let down by the rest of To Those Perishing either. The music is superb throughout, especially on songs like "Nothing To Hide" and "No Strength For The Weak." Also, later in the album, the band includes the use of clean vocals, and I was so glad to hear that they weren't the high-pitched, nasally cleans that many bands have come to use these days. One song that is a great example of what I mean with the use of clean vocals would be "The Critic," where the combination of cleans and screams are impeccable in that song. One other thing I've noticed in this album is a lot of times it seems like bands are mashing their screams with the music, which can sound good, although it doesn't seem like they were written for each other, but A Past Unknown's vocals fit so perfectly with the music, and they complete each other in such a way that has been missing in metalcore for some time.

Overall: To Those Perishing is an awesome debut album from a band that has all the makings of being up there with The Devil Wears Prada and Underoath in the future. There is not a weak moment on this entire album, which is so refreshing when most bands have a lot of "filler" tracks these days. This is one of those albums that will be in my rotation for some time to come, and is also an album that will make you nervous when their sophomore album comes out, but this debut has not only set the bar for this band, but for debut albums from bands to come as well.

Rating: 8/10

Recommended Tracks: "Voice To The Willing," "No Strength For The Weak," "Nothing To Hide," and "Philosophy of the Dying"

Reviewed by Michael Small

  1. Voice To The Willing
  2. The Consequences of Silence
  3. No Strength For The Weak
  4. Nothing To Hide
  5. Wide Is The Path To Destruction
  6. The Critic
  7. This Is Where We Meet
  8. What If You're Wrong
  9. Philosophy Of The Dying
  10. Oblivious State Of Mind
  11. A Perfect Pledge
(Buy Here)

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