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 Life & Death Of A Plea For Purging

Artist: A Plea For Purging
Album: The Life and Death of A Plea For Purging
Release Date: November 8, 2011
Label: Facedown Records

The A Plea For Purging boys are back at it again with their new album, The Life and Death of A Plea For Purging. I was shocked to find out that Plea was releasing an album so (seemingly) soon, after their last masterpiece, The Marriage of Heaven and Hell, and it seems like only yesterday that it was released. How would The Life and Death stack up with such a short space of time in between? Could they top their last effort, or would they suffer masterpiece hangover?

The Life and Death of A Plea For Purging kicks off quickly with a creative, 8-bit sounding guitar and drum part, that is simply perfect. After the tasty 8-bit intro, the heaviness comes in and kicks you down. The first track, "the life," has powerful lyrics that hit me immediately. They tackle an important issue in a Christian's life: forgetting who got you this far by allowing yourself to get caught up in the rat race. "music city" also moved me. I could feel Andy Atkins' love and homesick emptiness he feels towards his home of Nashville while he's away on tour. A thought not lost on me when considering what these people do to entertain us. The song also features a pretty unique shout-out to fellow hometown bands as well.

Maybe it's just me, but I hope not. The lyrics featured in The Life and Death are heavy, powerful, and meaningful. Even if you're only a few tracks in, it feels like Plea's most important work. "heart of a child," which features an amazing vocal appearance from Chad Ruhlig (of Legend/ex-For The Fallen Dreams), definitely brings Matthew 18 to mind. It's almost an anthem for us to hold tightly to the childlike mentality and innocence that Jesus spoke of. Towards the middle of the album however, things slow down a bit, and we have "skin & bones." It has a slowed down, somber mood, and the singing is handed off to guitarist Blake Martin. He can never sing enough for my tastes, and thankfully we get a few more glimpses of it on this album. I do think an exception on the album's deepness is "room for the dead." I say this because it is a little weak, lyrically speaking. It's also an anomaly because it's a great song. I know it's a strange thought, but it's true. Regardless of my feelings about the lyrics, it flows so well.

Overall: The Life and Death of A Plea For Purging answers my questions poised earlier. Does it stack up to The Marriage of Heaven and Hell? It's better. A tough feat, but they accomplished it. Masterpiece hangover? Not at all. This is a complete record with a ton of bang for the buck. With an astounding 14 tracks that clock in at around 53 minutes long, you can't go wrong. Pick this up.

Rating: 9/10

Reviewed by Gary Peterson

Tracklisting:

  1. the life
  2. music city
  3. heart of a child (featuring Chad Ruhlig of Legend)
  4. miss fortune
  5. my song (featuring Chad Johnson of Hundredth)
  6. skin & bones
  7. room for the dead
  8. a fight for peace
  9. hell at our backs
  10. words misread
  11. hands & feet
  12. "living the dream"
  13. the death (featuring Chad Urich of Venia)
  14. the setting sun
(Buy Here)

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Ali Bajwa
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1 comment:

  1. no way, they made a song with the singer of Venia...

    ReplyDelete