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.


Christian Rock Rocks - Copyright 2012. Powered by Blogger.

Follow CRR on Twitter

Follow empmag on Twitter


Like CRR on Facebook

no image


You can now pre-order the upcoming album from A Plea For Purging titled The Life & Death Of A Plea For Purging in our online store.

Ten different pre-order options are available including

• 4 brand new exclusive PLEA shirts 
• 500 copies of the album as a double gatefold, white double LP  
• all vinyl pre-orders will get a free exclusive “Fat Pride” 7” featuring the bonus song “Fat Pride” which is not on the album  (Limited to 500 copies on brown vinyl. The Facedown store will be the only store offering these for sale.) 
• all pre-orders come with a free poster  
• all pre-orders will be entered to win an Omen-6 guitar compliments of Schecter Guitars
• all vinyl pre-orders will be entered to win a test pressing of the double 12” (limited to only 8 copies)  

The Life and Death of A Plea For Purging will be released November 8.
Close Your Eyes Reveal First Track-By-Track Video and Song Clips

“Musically and lyrically, we poured our hearts into this one,” states vocalist Shane Raymond.

Watch melodic-hardcore group CLOSE YOUR EYES openly discuss the first four tracks of Empty Hands and Heavy Hearts, including the single “Valleys,” which the band filmed a music video for in Chicago earlier this week. The track-by-track video streams 30 second clips of the first four songs on the new album and reveals artwork.

Empty Hands and Heavy Hearts is now available for pre-order at the Victory Records Webstore.

For more information on CLOSE YOUR EYES:

no image

Check out Rejoice the Awakening, a rising melodic hardcore band out of Florida. The have just released a new song, which can streamed over at Indie Vision Music. The new song comes off of their upcoming EP, Many Waters/Many Floods, which is releasing on December 5th. The EP was recorded with Brian Hood at 456 Recordings (A Plea For Purging, Gideon, As Hell Retreats), and is sure to be a good release from this upcoming band, who have shared the stage with the likes of The Chariot, Oh, Sleeper, and My Epic to name a few. For more info on Rejoice the Awakening, check them out on Facebook.
no image

Life In Your Way have just announced the pre-orders of their upcoming triple-disc album, Kingdoms, which is releasing on October 25th through Come&Live!/Kingdom Records. The album can currently be pre-ordered in a limited edition digipak, along with a wide variety of shirts, at the band's webstore. Life In Your Way have also just announced both of their Kingdoms release shows, on November 4th and 5th, playing with bands such as Hostage Calm, Shai Hulad, and I Am Alpha and Omega (reunion show) over the course of both nights. For more info on those shows, and to purchase tickets, you can check out their website.
no image

Artist: Hundredth
Album: Let Go
Release Date: September 27th, 2011
Label: Mediaskare Records

"Give up yourself and you will find your real self. Lose your life and you will save it." – C.S. Lewis

Hundredth is a band that has shown over and over what it looks like to be a band that focuses on the foundation of what it truly means to live a life of purpose. Let Go is the band’s sophomore release through Mediaskare Records. Hundredth holds nothing back and has no problem with getting in your face with issues that they strongly believe in. Let Go is an album full of catchy songwriting, honest and passionate vocals, and tons of aggression.

Let Go starts off with a very short instrumental track that serves as a great opener for the next track “Weathered Town”, which has some great gang vocals on it, and really sets the tone of the album. “Live Today” is the first song Hundredth released and though I loved the track at the time, it has since became one of my least favorites on the album. The next track “We Can Take Them All” is one of the more political songs on the album, it talks about the “American Dream” and to really question and challenge everything about it. You soon find out that Hundredth is a band that stands against violence, hate, and injustice in all forms and focuses on loving others above all else. In songs like “Humane” it talks about putting an end to redemptive violence and spreading love over our enemies and reminds us that justice lies in God our King.

Though some of the album is about social justice issues, I feel that the true theme is about changing our lives to live for a purpose and giving up the things that hold us back. “Monumental Part I” is a partial instrumental track that features a recorded audio clip of C.S. Lewis doing a live radio broadcast. I personally think that this track alone sums up what Hundredth is trying to get a across to the listeners.

The final tracks of the album I personally believe are the strongest of the album, and some of the most well written songs Hundredth has put out. The “last” track on the album “Soul” has a part in it that actually made my jaw drop and say out loud “What just happened”, and is for sure the heaviest part of the album. The album closes out with a hidden track, a cover of Johnny Cash’s rendition of Nine Inch Nails “Hurt”, and it is one of the best covers I have heard in a long time.

Overall: Hundredth is a band that in my eyes can do no wrong. Though they have abandoned their metallic hardcore style, the new melodic style is sure a thing of beauty. The lyrics of the album are uplifting and they challenge a way of life that some of us have been accustomed. The musicianship is top notch, with soaring guitars, huge hits, and catchy riffs that will make any hardcore fan happy. Hundredth really hits the head of the nail on Let Go, and believe me when I say that this is an album that you should not miss.

Rating: 9.5/10

Reviewed by Tabor Brown

  1.  Let Go
  2. Weathered Town
  3. Live Today
  4. We Can Take Them All
  5. Carry On
  6. Humane
  7. Remain & Sustain
  8. Monumental Part I
  9. Monumental Part II
  10. I Hold the Key
  11. Restless
  12. Soul
  13. Hurt [Hidden Track]

New Music Video from sosaveme

Indie rock quartet sosaveme are currently premiering their music video for their new single, "Gentle Slope," off their album The Garden, which is releasing October 4th. The video can be viewed below.

no image


Artist: Exiting The Fall
Album: Parables
Release Date: June 2011
Label: None

I love discovering new bands who show a lot of potential, like many people out there. A few months ago, before trekking to SoulFest, I heard about a new post-hardcore band named Exiting The Fall, and soon after, got to listen to them, and a few weeks later, their recently-released EP, Parables. The seven-song effort is a solid release for the genre of post-hardcore, complete with somewhat technical guitars, heavy breakdowns, and clean vocals that are not high and whiny like so many other bands on the same type.

A short, ambient intro slowly fades in when you press play, with the words "If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated Me first. Remember the words I spoke to you, no servant is greater than his master. If I had not come and spoken to them, they would not be guilty of sin, now however, they have no excuse for their sin." Right after, Parables kicks into full gear with the breakdown-laden "Pharisee" and "The Prodigal." The latter of the two ends with a haunting gang vocal section, boldly proclaiming "My God is bigger than this world, I know the truth."

A bit more melody is shown on "Finisher of Faith," which builds strongly on clean vocals, and near melodic-hardcore sections as well. "The Great Lie" follows up much more aggressively, taking on a darker aspect, that fits with the song's title. "Sin. Faith. Duty." shows off lead vocalists Matt Vacaro's vocal range, from his lower growls, to higher screams, which he shows a good deal of professionalism in, and are not some bad attempt at trying to hit different notes. The seventh and closing song, "Eye of The Needle," is the EP's most technical song, that even includes a short guitar solo, and gang vocals which sound more like a choir, with a message of not giving up because of finding hope.

Overall: Exiting The Fall have gotten off on a great start with the release of Parables. A fresh take on post-hardcore, with a technical edge, the seven-song EP shows off some quality musicianship, and lyrics of hope, and the realization that God is love. I would be glad to hear a full length from the band, although the songs on Parables do satisfy the listener, and look forward to hearing new material, and some growth from the band. That being said, look for Exiting The Fall to be making waves in the heavy music scene over the next year, and perhaps years to come. Check these guys out if you like technical post-hardcore, I Am Alpha and Omega, and Wolves At The Gate.

Rating: 8/10

Reviewed by Brooks Ginnan

  1. Intro
  2. Pharisee
  3. The Prodigal
  4. Finisher of Faith
  5. The Great Lie
  6. Sin. Faith. Duty.
  7. Eye of The Needle

no image

Dead Throne

Artist: The Devil Wears Prada
Album: Dead Throne
Release Date: September 13, 2011
Label: Ferret Records

The Devil Wears Prada have always been a groundbreaking band in both the Christian and secular heavy music markets since their inception. They've influenced countless metalcore bands out there today, and for some reason, almost every new band will tell you that they sound like The Devil Wears Prada. Dead Throne is something a bit different for the band, an album that shows them moving away from the "scene" metalcore that they've come to master over the years, and has them leaning towards more thrashier metal, with less of emphasis on clean vocals, and more on Mike Hranica's screaming, growling, and newfound yelled vocals.

To be honest with you, I've never really been a fan of the band. Dead Throne changes some things for me. There are a handful of tracks I enjoy, unlike the usual one or two. The craftsmanship of these songs have improved from the band's prior material, and really shake things up a bit. The guitar work is not all chugging, although it is at times, and there is a good amount of shredding. The clean vocals, from guitarist Jeremy DePoyster, are not really whiny this time around, although they do still maintain some scene vibes, and they do add a lot to the tracks that they're featured on.

Some of the album's best crafted songs would have to be "Born To Lose," "Chicago," "Constance," and "Holdfast." Both "Born To Lose" and "Holdfast" come off as more typical metalcore pieces, but both are done well, both musically, and especially lyrically, with themes of anti-idolatry and hope. "Chicago" is perhaps the album's best song, an ambient piece with Hranica screaming, before reaching a point of yelling emotionally, "I did it for the Lord, I did it for Chicago!" Immediately after comes "Constance," filled with some good guitar riffs and a guest appearance from the one and only Tim Lambesis of As I Lay Dying, who adds a different level of intensity to the song's closing.

I do have some problems with Dead Throne. First of all, a good deal of songs on the album to run together a bit, and start sounding similar after some time. Another thing I'm worried about is its lasting value. Despite the few aforementioned highlights, the album doesn't hold my attention for long, and leaves me moving onto something else to listen to.

Overall: Dead Throne is a step in the right direction for The Devil Wears Prada, and has a handful of highlights, but really does not have much value other than that for me. I do like the band's new direction, hinting at an altogether departure from metalcore, certainly a risky move in the scene they're in, and I do expect some longtime fans to be disappointed, along with some new ones to become interested in the band.  However, besides a few songs in the past, the band have never really caught my attention all that much, and while I do find myself enjoying some of Dead Throne, I can't call it great, but maybe good, just maybe.

Rating: 6/10

Reviewed by Brooks Ginnan

  1. Dead Throne
  2. Untidaled
  3. Mammoth
  4. Vengeance
  5. R.I.T.
  6. My Questions
  7. Kansas
  8. Born To Lose
  9. Forever Decay
  10. Chicago
  11. Constance
  12. Pretenders
  13. Holdfast
(Buy Here)

no image

Quiet Science Announces Details of Forthcoming LP, Premieres New Track on Alternative Press

The Space Coast electro-rock trio Quiet Science have announced their upcoming LP Dark Words of Dark Wings will be released October 25th via Last Satellite Records.

Dark Words On Dark Wings is a collection of stories about characters facing the darkest hours of their lives and how in these tremendously difficult times, the characters choose to respond. “In a world where hurt is easy to come by and despair is not always addressed, we want to plant a seed of hope and a challenge for all of us to help mend the broken,” exclaims singer Nathan Walter.

“A Feast For Crows”, one of the first standout tracks from the album, can be streamed  via it’s exclusive premiere on Alternative Press. Additionally, the band has officially released the track listing, which can be found below as well as the official album art by Brett English.   

For Dark Words on Dark Wings, the band enlisted Jeremy SH Griffith (Underoath, Sunbears, Norma Jean) to produce and engineer, with Drew Lavyne  (Foo Fighters, White Stripes, Moby) at the helm of mastering. The result is a sonic masterpiece that sounds big enough to fill arenas while maintaining the innovation to demand multiple listens.

For two years Quiet Science has toured the country non-stop sharing the road with such artists as Switchfoot, Showbread, Abandon Kansas, Sleeping At Last, Cool Hand Luke, Future of Forestry, and Remedy Drive. Quiet Science’s first full length album, [With/Without] gained the band much attention including several features in publications such as Relevant Magazine and received airplay on radio stations across North America. Quiet Science has been in demand at many festivals including Cornerstone, Ichthus, and Summer Side Show. The band moved over 3,000 copies of [With/Without] independently, while playing over 150 shows a year since it’s release in 2010.  Music from the album has also been featured on E!’s Married to Rock and several other television shows. Following the albums’ release the band will tour in support. Look for Quiet Science on the road this fall. 

Tour Dates

9/30  Club Relevant – Virginia Beach, VA
10/1  RCM – Haggers Town, MD
10/3 GroundZero  - Allenstown, NH
10/7 Murray Hill Theatre – Jacksonville, FL
10/8 H20 Live – Orlando, FL
10/12 The Warehouse – Chatanooga, TN
10/14 The 86 Club - Coryville, OH
no image

The Poughkeepsie, NY-based Come&Live! band Abel are currently using Kickstarter to fund their upcoming third album that will be recorded this January. The new album is expected to release next spring through Come&Live! as a free gift, and the band need to raise $10,000 to completely fund the project. You can visit the widget below for more info on Abel or to donate to their Kickstarter, and you can also be on the lookout for our video interview with the band from SoulFest this summer!

no image

Major / Minor

Artist: Thrice
Album: Major/Minor
Release Date: September 20, 2011
Label: Vagrant Records

Chances are, if you've read any interviews or talked with any indie or hardcore bands over the past few bands, there's almost always one band that they all say influence them, and that always recurring band is none other than Thrice. Thrice have been constantly progressing through the years, from being a punk band early on, then moving into the post-hardcore scene (before it became over run with countless scene bands with auto-tuned vocals), and are now currently dwelling in indie rock, most notable over their past few albums, especially Beggars, and now on Major/Minor.

Although Major/Minor is still distinctively Thrice, do not just assume that it will be Beggars part two. While the two albums have similarities, Major/Minor finds the band really infusing past elements (not the heavier ones) with the indie rock grooves, for an overall great outcome. The songs on the album range from a more raw, aggressive side ("Blur") to big, melodious, rock songs, including "Anthology" and "Cataracts," the latter with a, dare I say it, soaring chorus, and still even a somber, more contemplative feel, especially on "Call It In The Air," which builds up to a chaotic ending, and emotional, passionate vocals from Dustin Kensrue.

Dustin Kensrue's lyrics are very deep as always, and show of a desperation. One of the best lyrical spots on the album comes on "Listen Through Me," and speaks of Jesus bearing the sins of the world on the cross, and pouring out His love for us. Other topics focus on things such as abuse, on "Yellow Belly." Kensrue's lyrics have always been one of Thrice's best aspects, and Major/Minor is no exception for that.

Overall: For a band that so many others are inspired by, it is no surprise that Thrice have once again put out another great album. Major/Minor truly finds the band honing in on their (now subtle) post-hardcore elements, with a much more melodic, indie, and almost alternative, rock sound. This album is musically a step up from Beggars, which I actually really enjoyed, so in saying that, Major/Minor is a very strong contender for album of the year. Do yourself a favor and go pick up this album, maybe even on vinyl. It's worth every penny.

Rating: 9.5/10

Reviewed by Brooks Ginnan

  1. Yellow Belly
  2. Promises
  3. Blinded
  4. Cataracts
  5. Call It In The Air
  6. Treading Paper
  7. Blur
  8. Words In The Water
  9. Listen Through Me
  10. Anthology
  11. Disarmed
(Buy Here)

no image

California's indie rockers From Indian Lakes have recently posted a new song, titled "We Are Sick," which can be heard here. The band's new album is in the process of being finished up, and their vocalist, Joey, will be playing the west coast section of the third living room tour that Abandon Kansas' Jeremy Spring has done this fall/winter, and dates will be announced soon.
no image

Life In Your Way have just released a brand new song, "Like A River," which comes off their Kingdom of God EP, part of their upcoming album Kingdoms, which will be out October 25th through the band, and as separate EPs through Come&Live!. You can stream "Like A River" at the band's Facebook page.
Family Force 5 Return with III on October 18th

Since 2005, FAMILY FORCE 5 has been galvanizing audiences with their incendiary dance floor mix of dirty South dance-rock anthemsthunderous beats, Southern-fried guitar and good-time lyrics. After raucous performances at Sonisphere, the Vans Warped Tour and a handful of U.S. festivals this summer, the Atlanta quintet will release their genre-obliterating new album III on October 18 via Tooth & Nail Records//III Entertainment.

Part party-bangers, part grimy rockersFAMILY FORCE 5’s booty-quaking beats and face-melting synths have earned them a loyal following culled from their ceaseless touring and chart-topping albums, the group’s previous album 08’s Dance or Die debuted on the Billboard Top 200 chart at #30and the Modern Rock chart at #8 with 13,000 copies sold in the first week.

III marks a dynamic shift for the group, a return-to-rock sound that resurrects the heavy guitars and bombastic beats of their debut. Opening track “Can You Feel It” explodes with searing guitars and vocalist SOLOMON’s distorted voice slices through the boom-bap of tumultuous drums. “Our goal was to make jock jams for the future,” DEREK (guitars) says about the album opener. “At the time, we were listening to a lot of Sleigh Bells, and we wanted to create something mean and gritty. This track gets people hyped up, and it perfectly sets the tone for the rest of the album.” Unadulterated energy ties the band’s unstoppable genre-hopping as FAMILY FORCE 5 explores low slung bass booms and harmonica howls on “Wobble” and the tongue-in-cheek “scenie baby” call-out pop song, “Tank Top.” These are songs for blaring at maximum volumeblasting from a sweaty club or alow-riding pick-up truck. “III sounds like rock and roll with barbecue sauce,” DEREK laughs. 

III is the follow-up to 08’s Dance or Die which pushed the band into electro-groove territory, as a synth-powered cavalcade lead with SOLOMON’spassionate vocals. An Alternative Press magazine cover story followed the album’s release and the group co-headlined the completely sold-out “Alternative Press Fall Tour” with 3OH!3 and The Maine in late 2009. Ever since their frenetic ’06 debut Business Up Front, Party in the Back(Maverick), FAMILY FORCE 5 has forged their own path. After leaving their major label deal, the band pushed on to sell over 350,000 digital singles and well over 150,000 albums. It’s this DIY-style that has continued to make the group (made up of the brothers JACOBJOSH, and SOLOMON OLDS, and brothers-from-other-mothers, NATHAN CURRIN and DEREK MOUNT) into self-made juggernauts that steamroll audiences with their upbeat party anthems and raucous stage antics.

Although they aren’t afraid to take a trip on the ironic side, the band tips their hats to authenticity. On III, they infused a taste of reality, exploring more than just the party scene they’ve espoused during their career. On “Paycheck,” the band addresses the challenges of living in a country suffering with economic collapse and seemingly incurable unemployment. “I’m broke/broke as a joke/thinkin’ ‘bout movin’ back in with my folks,” Solomon sings on“Paycheck.” FF5 heard the stories of their fans who are down on their luck, unemployed and struggling to survive. “A lot of America is pretty poor right now,” SOLOMON explains. “We kept hearing our fans say they were living paycheck to paycheck. So we wanted to write a song about that, with a positive message that turns it around.”

After a lifetime of making music, FAMILY FORCE 5 have unmistakably come into their own. They’ve forged together their disparate musical influences, their reckless attitude, and heartfelt authenticity into III. Now, with hardships behind them and the open road ahead, the band is on a mission to keep their fire spreading and their family growing. “FAMILY FORCE 5 is a real, authentic community that transcends the music,” Derek says. “We make music that we love, and we hope other people love it too, whether it makes them break-dance, two-step, or simply smile.”
no image

Track By Track/Exclusive Stream: Oh, Sleeper

Solid State have pushed up the digital release of Oh, Sleeper's highly anticipated album, Children of Fire, and the album is out today, September 6th. You can pick up Children of Fire on AmazonMP3, iTunes, and wherever you buy digital music. If you want a hard copy however, the album will be in stores on September 27th.