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: Phinehas
Album: thegodmachine
Release Date: July 19, 2011
Label: Red Cord Records

Once in a great while there is a band that comes along who gives you goosebumps because of how disgustingly talented they are. Phinehas is one of those bands. I was first introduced to the band's music in 2009 with their debut EP, and now, two years later, they've brought us the stunning debut full-length thegodmachine on Red Cord Records. After one listen, you can tell the guys have been working non-stop on growing as a band, and making this album even better than the EP, and did they ever succeed.

I originally wanted to label thegodmachine as metalcore, but the vocals have more of a deathcore feel to them. The deep, guttural screams are exceptional. They fit and match the music and the overall message of the lyrics perfectly. There are also clean vocals used on the album, which have an old-school Haste the Day feel to them. The lyrics are by far the best I've heard/read in a very long time. They're so raw, honest, and definitely not sugar-coated at all: "You polish yourself as if you were a monument/Reaching high like a tower to Hell and the ground concedes/Pulled from the Earth like rotting roots." These lyrics (from "Bad Blood") continue to build a story about how wicked pride can be, but like I said, I could go on all day about the lyrics on this album.

Musically, the opening track doesn't do much for me. However, about 2:00 into "A Pattern in Pain," the guitar work is the most amazing stuff I've heard this year. The album doesn't let up from there until the end. Every so often you'll hear a song or a part of a song that just causes you to go crazy, and when Sean McCulloch (vocalist) screams "I am the Lion!," and the song of the same name goes into a brutal breakdown, I instantly broke into a one-man mosh in my car. The music is so intense, and 100% matches the intensity and mood of the vocals, and more importantly the lyrics.

Overall: There is a void in the Christian metal market with the recent departure of Haste the Day, Gwen Stacy, and Call To Preserve, amongst many others. Phinehas is the band to fill this void! They are good enough to hang around and possibly surpass the likes of August Burns Red, The Devil Wears Prada, and For Today. Phinehas has all of the talent, and passion, to be the biggest Christian metal band out there, and if this album is any indication, they'll be there sooner than you think. Musically, the band is already superior to the majority of metal bands you're going to hear today. Lyrically, they're in a league of their own. This is not a debut album, this is a statement: "We are Phinehas and we are the future of this genre!"  Although it's only July, I'm saying right now: thegodmachine by Phinehas is the best album of 2011, hands down!

Rating: 10/10

Recommended Tracks: "Bad Blood," "A Pattern In Pain," "I Am the Lion," and "Crowns"

Reviewed by Michael Small

  1. thegodmachine: The Speaking Stone
  2. Bad Blood
  3. A Pattern in Pain
  4. I Am the Lion
  5. From One End of the Sky to the Other
  6. Legacy
  7. Crowns
  8. The Wishing Well
  9. My Horses Are Many
  10. Grace Disguised by Darkness
  11. Pendulum
  12. thegodmachine: The Rider
  13. That I May Love You
(Buy Here)

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1 comment:

  1. I agree thegodmachine is my favorite album of 2011