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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The Prophecy

Artist: Sovereign Strength
Album: The Prophecy
Release Date: August 2, 2011
Label: Mediaskare Records

Sovereign Strength are one of those bands that kind of came out of nowhere, it would seem. I hadn't even heard of them up until late last year, when I decided to pick up their first album, Reflections, after reading an interview with them. I jammed it for about a week, and then forgot about it. I felt as if the music was just a bunch of chugging riffs thrown together with some lyrics to be heavy just for the sake of being heavy, and honestly that type of music just doesn't stick with me. When I heard that they would be releasing The Prophecy, I was very hesitant to even care to pick the album up. Let me just say that the guys in Sovereign Strength took my lowered expectations and gave me hope.

The Prophecy starts out with "Darkest Sin," featuring guest vocals from Jamie Hanks of I Declare War. The song really sets the pace for the rest of the album. The most noticeable change on The Prophecy, as compared to Reflections, is the production. It is a huge step up from the last set of recordings, and overall makes the album more enjoyable. The next thing I noticed about the album as it went on was the lack of clean singing. Some releases in the last few months have had me really excited, and then only were crushed by the addition of clean vocals that sound thrown in at the last minute. On the track "Bring Me Home," you get a first taste of what might be considered clean vocals, thanks to Shane Raymond of Close Your Eyes. The album closes with "Revival," and is probably my favorite track. Even though there are some clean vocals at the end of the song (from Blake Martin of A Plea For Purging), it sure does close the album out well.

Vocally, I feel like Sovereign Strength really stepped up their game since Reflections. Jordan King's vocals have really improved, which sound more natural and controlled, and of course his lyrics still show a positive message throughout the album, of the hope of God, and the strength He provides. Earlier I said that the band tries too hard to be heavy for the sake of being heavy, but this time around, I do feel as if they did try to keep focus on the structure of the songs, instead of trying to sound as heavy as possible. However, with most metal bands these days, after a few listens, the consistent sound of chugging and breakdowns gets predictable and tiresome, and that is really the only downfall of this album for me.

Overall: Sovereign Strength is a band that I believe has what it takes to keep rising up in the Spirit-filled hardcore/metal ranks. Though there is nothing groundbreaking about this release, I still think it is a solid one. So, if you feel like getting off your feet and throwing down in a mosh pit, I would recommend picking up The Prophecy.

Rating: 7/10

Recommended Tracks: "Darkest Sin," "Bring Me Home," and "Revival"

Reviewed by Tabor Brown

  1. Darkest Sin
  2. Words Without Meaning
  3. No Victory
  4. Bring Me Home
  5. More to Life
  6. Last War
  7. Everlasting Fire
  8. Shame
  9. What I've Become
  10. Revival
(Buy Here)

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  1. yea i'm just not sure this is good enough or memorable, i don't think it'll be a best of 2011 album. I like SS, but there's just not enough diversity in the vocals for me personally

  2. I just dig his heart of Christ and living to search God through Holy Spirit strength. Any album that I see that in, I don't CARE what it sounds like. It's got Holy Spirit power and I EAT IT up :) Num-num :)