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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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
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  1. Yeah, maybe this is not a fantastic album but I still enjoyed it .I think musically on Zombies, Mike's voice was a little better. And good to see that despite their huge success, they're still doing it for the Lord :)