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: Seventh Day Slumber
Album: The Anthem of Angels
Release Date: November 15, 2011
Label: BEC Recordings

Seventh Day Slumber have been busy. The Anthem of Angels is the band's fourth album in five years. This album is their first original studio album since 2008's Finally Awake. The band's last two albums were a Spanish album of previously released songs, and a worship album. The band returns to the form of the aforementioned Fully Awake on the new album, with the passionate lyrics and vocals, and rocking music.

The album is what it is, in the sense that is a Seventh Day Slumber album, you're going to get your run-of-the-mill rock tracks here and there, and the rest of the album is your more modern CCM music. Not saying this is bad, just what the band does. There are a few rock songs on here, that could get the adrenalin pumping, but most of the guitar playing is along the lines of an edgier adult contemporary band. The Drums are practically nonexistent, or at least never really featured prominently on the album. If you want a solid rock track like "Awake" from their last album your best bet is "Never Too Far Gone" which is one of the examples of the band's rockier side. The song is musically the highlight of the album. On their worship album the band experimented with some string arrangements (How Great is Our God) in the vein of the newer Skillet material, I was looking forward to more of that on The Anthem of Angels, but was sadly let down.

Lyrically, the album has some of the best, most passionate lyrics you'll hear outside of a church service. It is clear by listening to Joe Rojas lyrics that he has a deep love for Christ and isn't afraid to say it in his music. One lyric that sticks out to me is in the song "Knows My Name": "I'm trying to see myself the way you do/Sometimes it's just so hard/There are days that I'm ashamed." Sometimes I am ashamed to call myself a Christ follower, because I don't always give that name a good reputation, but God doesn't care if we slip up he still loves us, and knows our name. That's just awesome. Most of the lyrics are CCM lyrics, very straight-forward worshipful lyrics, with great passion and meaning to them. I have always loved Joe's lyrics and this album continues that pattern. Vocally, Joe doesn't stray too far from what he's been doing for years with the band. It's a very smooth, yet powerful voice. Joe makes you feel the passion and intensity of his words as he sings them, which is a very impressive thing.

Overall: Like I said before The Anthem of Angels is what it is, a Seventh Day Slumber album. Most of the albums sound very similar to each other, which could become boring to fans. However, they do what they do very well, and I still find myself getting excited for each new album, and furthermore thoroughly enjoying each album. I think that streak is coming to end with this new album though, there were a few songs that I enjoyed, but overall the album was too slow, and lost my attention on several occasions. Hopefully the band will come back next year with a new album and restore some of that more upbeat rock tempo.

Rating: 6/10

Recommended Tracks: "Wasted Life", "Never Too Far Gone", and "Knows My Name".

Reviewed by: Michael Small

1. Wasted Life
2. Love Came Down
3. One Mistake
4. Addicted to My Pain
5. Never Too Far Gone
6. Pieces
7. Crash
8. Back Where I Began
9. Knows My Name
10. My Life
11. How He Loves

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