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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In July of 2009, I started Christian Rock Rocks as an outlet to review good Christian music, if that term even holds any true value anymore. It's been thrown around so much since its initial inception, and over the past few years, myself, along with many others, have begun to not use it so loosely anymore (I don't think I need to explain the on-going debates). That being said, Christian Rock Rocks will now become Exiled Music Press. This is not a departure, only a new chapter in our journey. The past three years have been amazing, starting out as a small blog and eventually getting to cover some of our favorite musical adventures, such as two years of New Hampshire's SoulFest, two years of the Vans Warped Tour, Haste The Day's farewell tour and the opportunity to create tangible relationships with many amazing bands, such as our great friends in The Ember Days and Phinehas to name a few. These are memories we will never forget, and we look forward to the ones to come.

With the name change comes some new territory for us. We will no longer exclusively cover Christian music. The usual material that we cover will still indeed be present, along with much more indie, punk, hardcore and everything in between. Concert photography, editorials on the music industry, and many more interviews will be available on the new site, and much more content overall will be posted (unlike our dormant state as of late).

Thanks to our readers for sticking with us, and for all the bands, labels, publicists and anyone else that has helped us out over the years. Most importantly, thanks to God for giving us chances I never would have dreamed of when starting this. Soli deo gloria!

- Brooks Ginnan, editor and founder.

P.S. You can now check out Exiled Music Press on Twitter at @EMPmag! Our Facebook page should be live shortly, and of course the new site will be launching in late October at exiledmusicpress.com!
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Ever-changing and always unpredictable, Showbread has spent more than a decade rowing against the current of music industry standards and expectations at a time when other acts are just trying to stay afloat. After ten years of international touring and four genre-hopping releases with indie giant Tooth & Nail records, Showbread made a tremendous shift (even for them) by partnering with the non-profit organization Come&Live! to release their ultimate musical departure Who Can Know It? in 2010, free of charge. So how does an often overlooked and hopelessly controversial act like Showbread follow up their own antics? The answer seems obvious: With an elaborately detailed, science fiction, glam-punk concept record.

Cancer, Showbread's latest studio outing, like Ziggy Stardust or The Wall before it, follows the story of a downtrodden and rebellious rock icon of a protagonist as he attempts to use a punk rock band to lead a revolt against inter-dimensional fascists called "The Principalities" in a not-so-distant American future. In the grand tradition of rock opera, Cancer skillfully runs the gamut of angst, aggression, irony and tragedy. Listeners will follow cryptic liner notes, expansive artwork and provocative lyrics across the detailed terrain of the album's fictional universe—which will ultimately crescendo with the release of a feature film in 2013.

Relentlessly ambitious, Showbread seem to have found in Cancer the perfect storm to accommodate their unusual tendencies. Musically, the record seamlessly blends every style previously explored in Showbread's lengthy discography, building narrative tension with raucous punk rock energy. Cancer resonates long after listening with hooks and catchy sing-along anthems and will have you dusting off the ol' library card to dig deeper into the philosophical, political and theological themes explored in each track.

Equal parts Sex Pistols, Pink Floyd and George Orwell, Cancer will prove to be a creative high-mark difficult for Showbread to top in terms of scale, zeal and sheer listenability. As the album rolls out, you'll find your fist in the air, and a chorus on your lips. Fight the cancer!

Showbread's Cancer is now available as a gift from Come&Live! and can be downloaded here.
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(PORTLAND, Oregon) -- Humble Beast Records is proud to announce today's release of "Excellent," the new album from Propaganda. Distributed by Syntax, "Excellent" is available at all major digital retailers including iTunes and Amazon.

Highly anticipated by fans of Christian, Gospel and Hip-Hop alike, “Excellent” immediately jumped into the Top 5 on iTunes's Hip-Hop chart and Amazon's Christian & Gospel and Rap & Hip-Hop charts. HumbleBeast.com reported over 7,000 album downloads within the first 12 hours of release on their website alone.

“Excellent” features multiple collaborations, including appearances by label mates Beautiful Eulogy and Hi Society (and former Reach Records) artist Sho Baraka on the album’s first single, “I Ain’t Got An Answer.” Three music videos are planned to follow up the hit video “G.O.S.P.E.L.,” which has received over 1 million views on YouTube.

"This is the first time where I feel like everything clicked from the content, the concept, the sound and the design,” says Propaganda. “This album is the result of effective teamwork and I'm very thankful for everyone who played a role in making it happen. My hope is that the Lord is glorified and that the success of this record acts as a spotlight on the movement of creative artists who are using their talents to engage the culture and make much of Jesus."

With an uncompromising message intertwined with a relevant sound, the Los Angeles-based artist reaches across the spectrum of youth and pop culture. Bringing with him years of classroom teaching and community service experience, he is eloquently bold in the message of each song and never shies away from a strong poetic element in his music.

No stranger to the stage, Propaganda will hit the road again this fall, hosting and performing on the highly anticipated Unashamed Tour (www.unashamedtour.com) alongside KB, Tedashii, Lecrae, Trip Lee, Pro, Andy Mineo and Thi'sl. He'll follow that with a tour of historic black colleges with Lecrae in early 2013. Propaganda has performed worldwide including tours in South Africa, Canada, United Kingdom and the USA, sharing the stage with such artists as Flyleaf, Skillet, POD, Newsboys, Third Day, Kirk Franklin, KJ-52, Rev Run and many more. Ever in demand, he has also been featured at high profile events such as the Catalyst Conference, DCLA, Legacy Conference and more.

# # #

www.HumbleBeast.com
www.facebook.com/Propaganda
www.twitter.com/Prophiphop
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TOOTH & NAIL RECORDS ANNOUNCES THE SELF-TITLED DEBUT ALBUM FROM NEW DUO MATT & TOBY

SPECIAL LIVING ROOM SESSIONS ANNOUNCED

SEATTLE, Wash. –September 21, 2012 –Tooth & Nail Records announces the new group Matt & Toby and their self-titled debut releasing on November 20th. This is a musically adventurous band that is the vision of Matt Carter and Toby Morrell of heavy rock mainstay Emery. Fans do not despair, as they are not leaving Emery. Matt & Toby will be another avenue for the duo to make music. Music from Matt & Toby will range from the lighter side of Emery to elaborate and quirky full production acoustic and electronic music.

Paper Route Release "You and I" Music Video, Pre-Orders



Paper Route have released the new music video for their single "You and I," which comes off the upcoming album The Peace of Wild Things, which can be seen below. The Peace of Wild Things will be available on September 11th, but can currently be pre-ordered right here.

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The Quiet Life

Artist: Anchor & Braille
Album: The Quiet Life
Release Date: July 31, 2012
Label: Tooth & Nail Records

Over the past ten years, Stephen Christian has been a busy man. He's written a book (The Orphaned Anything's), co-founded the non-profit Faceless International, and toured the world as the frontman of renowned alt rock band Anberlin, along with maintaining his other music endeavor, Anchor & Braille. The Quiet Life is the band's sophomore effort, and their first with Seattle's Tooth & Nail Records, and is quite different from the debut Felt.

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After a nearly three year wait since the band's debut release, one of our indie favorites, From Indian Lakes, will be releasing their new full length album, Able Bodies, on November 13th. The band have released a new EP, which features two new songs ("We Are Sick" and "Breaking My Bones") at BandCamp, with a "name your price" deal of any amount which will go towards the funding of the new album. Another way to support the band is at their online store, which has a merch sale currently taking place, right here. The band's upcoming west coast fall tour dates with PK can be viewed below as well.


10/19/2012   Kuppajoe                      Fresno, CA
10/20/2012   Guitar Merchant            Canoga Park, CA
10/21/2012   Chain Reaction              Anaheim, CA
10/24/2012   The Nile Underground   Mesa, AZ
10/25/2012   The Wire                       Upland, CA
10/26/2012   The Box Office              Las Vegas, NV
10/27/2012   SLO Brew                      San Luis Obispo, CA





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Artist: The Chariot
Album: One Wing
Release Date: August 28, 2012
Label: Good Fight

Chaotic. Noisy. Odd. These are just a couple words that could describe The Chariot. But, so could Masterful. Original. Talented.  So few bands can pull off the madness that is The Chariot and still create a work of art that is both disorderly and borderline genius.  The Chariot does not shy away from being a heavy band. Though at the same time they value originality, and not sounding over saturated.  This is the album The Chariot have wanted to create for a long time.  One Wing is The Chariot's magnum opus.
The Classic Crime Chart with Phoenix



The Classic Crime's "PHOENIX" Charts on Billboard and iTunes

SEATTLE, WA - What a difference a few months make. Not long ago the future seemed, at best, uncertain for The Classic Crime. Propelled forward by the success of their Kickstarter campaign, (incidentally the 9th most funded music project in Kickstarter history), The Classic Crime is presently in the latter portion of a successful West Coast tour, and have also managed to chart their self-produced and self-released album, "Phoenix," on both iTunes and Billboard. On iTunes the Classic Crime peaked at #3 on the Rock album chart and #24 on the overall album chart. On Billboard The Classic Crime charted as follows for the sales week ending August 19, 2012:

Top 200 (#130)
Independent Albums (#22)
Current Alternative Albums (#29)
Current Contemporary Christian (#4)
Top Hard Music (#15)

Project 86 - Wait for the Siren


Artist: Project 86
Album: Wait for the Siren
Release Date: August 21, 2012
Label: Independent

After three years, and the departure of every member except lead vocalist and creator Andrew Schwab, Project 86 have come back with their first truly independent album, and their seventh album overall Wait for the Siren. To help make the new album a possibility Andrew enlisted the help of an all-star cast of friends including Bruce Fitzhugh (Living Sacrifice), Rocky Gray (Soul Embraced), Brian "Head" Welch (Love & Death), Blake Martin (A Plea for Purging), and The Wedding. Andrew said with this album he was able to take the reins of the creative process and make an album that he was really passionate about.

Harp & Lyre Announce Tribes, New Lyric Video




Unsigned heavy favorite Harp & Lyre would like to announce their new record title and cover art. The much anticipated record, Tribes, will be coming this fall. In the meantime, the band would like to give fans a preview of what's to come.

Vocalist Tyler Carder had this to say about the new track from their forthcoming record Tribes.

“’Believe, Divide, and Find Yourself Alone’ is and intimate view of the Christian Church through the eyes of a believer looking to see a change in the false ideas and personal agendas of the body of Christ. It's not meant to elude the point to make a good song, but clearly states a problem and makes a point, and that point is relative to everyone by means of misrepresentation of what the body of Christ should ensue. It is a more real look at the institution that many of us attend on a regular basis and a call to move, to fight, to not settle in to a simple routine but to live out the belief you and I claim.”

Watch the video of "Believe, Divide, and Find Yourself Alone" below:


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Grace Alone

Artist: The Modern Post
Album: Grace Alone
Release Date: August 14, 2012
Label: Mars Hill Music

Less than a year ago, one of my all time favorite bands, Thrice, announced that they would be going on a hiatus after their farewell tour this spring, shortly after the release of the fantastic Major/Minor. However, there had been rumors and a few photos from frontman Dustin Kensrue's Twitter account that stated that he had been working on a worship album slated to be released this year, after moving to Seattle to lead worship at Mars Hill Church alongside Pastor Mark Driscoll.

The Wedding Sign to Tooth & Nail Records




Rock outfit The Wedding have signed with Tooth & Nail Records and will release their label debut No Direction on September 25th.

The Wedding first formed in 2003 and despite a few lineup changes, quickly created a stir with their soaring rock anthems.  The band finally hit its stride with the addition of front man Matt Shelton (formerly of Island Records’ Letter Kills.)

On the album’s title, Shelton explains, "No Direction" means cutting ties with the idea that you can prepare your life in such a way to keep you from danger.  As C.S. Lewis said, it's an illusion of safety. We are meant to live life unabashed and free, and this can only happen in the face of danger; which to most is the idea of not knowing where you are going. It is when we have No Direction at all and still we press on, trusting that the great unknown will be our rescue and not the demise we are so fearful of. We went into making this record with complete reckless abandon. We tried to write the record that we wanted and needed to hear.”

"We are stoked to join the family at Tooth & Nail. It's exciting to get to make the records we want to make with so many good friends," says Shelton.

Consisting of 12 tracks, No Direction was produced by Jasen Rauch (Breaking Benjamin) at Harker House Studios in Springfield, TN, and features guest vocals by Dan Marsala of The Story Of The Year on the track “The Lesser Worth.”


No Direction Track Listing:

1. No Direction
2. The End
3.  The Lesser Worth (feat. guest vocals by Dan Marsala of The Story of The Year)
4.  The Raconteur
5. Hang on Love
6.  The Wildest Ocean
7.  Mors Tua Nos Vita
8. Kill Any Excuse
9. Heartbreak In Melody
10. Don’t Let Me Down
11. Young and Dangerous
12. Distance and Resolution

www.theweddingrockandroll.com
www.facebook.com/thewedding479
www.toothandnail.com
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Artist: Children 18:3
Album: On The Run
Release Date: June 19, 2012
Label: Tooth & Nail Records

Over the past 20 years, punk rock has been the fuel for the teenager or 20 something who have searched for an escape from conventional pop or rock that flows through our radios and everyday pop culture. Since their first release back in 2008, Children 18:3 have constantly been crafting good punk music in the purest sense, and four years later, the band have truly found their niche with On The Run. While no real new musical ground is really broken, the sibling trio have created what is their most cohesive project yet.

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HUNDREDTH's music video for "Weathered Town" has been premiered excusively on Alternative Press' web site and can be found here http://www.altpress.com/aptv/video/video_premiere_hundredth_weathered_town. The video was directed by Micheal Dean and features footage from the band's tour of Europe alongside Vanna. The song comes from the band's abum 'Let Go', which is availble in stores and online now from Mediaskare Records.

The band will be heading back out on the road alongside Defeater, Rotting Out, and Silver Snakes beginning August 27th; followed by another tour of Europe with Walls of Jericho, Death Before Dishonor, and Betrayal. Here are the band's upcoming tour dates:

w/ Defeater, Rotting Out, Silver Snakes
8/24 Houston, TX - Walters on Washington
8/25 Austin, TX - Red 7
8/26 Dallas, TX - Club Dada
8/27 Midland, TX - Pinebox
8/28 Albuquerque, NM - Gasworks
8/29 Mesa, AZ - The Underground
8/30 San Diego, CA - Che Cafe
8/31 Anaheim, CA - Chain Reaction (w/ Blacklisted)
9/1 Anaheim, CA - Chain Reaction (w/ Blacklisted)
9/4 Canoga Park, CA - Cobalt Cafe
9/5 Camarillo, CA - Rock City
9/6 Fresno, CA - CYC
9/7 Berkley, CA - 924 Gilman

w/ Walls of Jericho, Death Before Dishonor, Betrayal
9/10 Hannover, Germany - Musikzentrum
9/11 Leipzig, Germany - Conne Island
9/12 Solothurn, Switzerland - Kofmehl
9/13 Esslingen Am Neckar, Germany - Komma
9/14 Muchen, Germany - Backstage
9/15 Usmate Velate, Italy - Un Tranquillo Weekend Di Paura Festival
9/16 Saarbruken, Germany - Garage
9/17 Paris, France - Glalzart
9/18 Antwerp, Belgium - Muziekcentrum Trix
9/19 Berlin, Germany - SO 36
9/20 Cham, Germany - LA
9/22 Koln, Germany - Essigfabrik
9/23 Den Bosch, Netherlands - W2
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The Weight of Glory: Songs Inspired by the Works of CS Lewis cover art

Inspired by the many books and literature of C.S. Lewis, the eclectic singer-songwriter Heath McNease has just released his new album, The Weight of Glory. The album can be steamed below, and can be downloaded for free or purchased with a variety of options, which include a hard copy, t-shirt or even the chance to bring Heath to your town!




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Cold Hard Want

Artist: House of Heroes
Album: Cold Hard Want
Release Date: July 10, 2012
Label: Gotee Records

To anyone that has said rock music is dying, they haven't heard House of Heroes. A beacon of hope in the midst of disarrayed radio rock, Cold Hard Want strikes at a time that is crucial. After a seemingly great discography, this new album takes things up a notch (if at all possible) and really goes all out with heart and grit, a much more edgier result than 2010's summer pop rock-laden Suburba. Cold Hard Want is also the band's first album with Paul Moak (Lovedrug, Third Day, Mat Kearney), adding in perhaps some of the raw, untapped energy that hasn't been evoked from the band since moments of The End Is Not The End.

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Following up 2010's fantastic instrumental release Feedback and the controversial and thought provoking Stockholm Syndrome, Derek Webb has just released his new album, Ctrl, at his website a month before the retail release (on September 4th at iTunes, Amazon, etc.). A three song sampler of the album is also available via Noisetrade, and can be downloaded through the widget below.

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Artist: Capital Lights
Album: Rhythm 'N' Moves
Release Date: July 19, 2012
Label: Tooth & Nail Records

Rhythm 'N' Moves is the sophomore release by Tooth and Nail's Capital Lights. Following the vastly successful This is An Outrage, which was released in 2008 and had a #1 single on the R&R Christian Rock charts ("Out of Control"), the group announced that they would be breaking up for personal reasons. This was not the last that their disappointed fans would hear from them though, and on December 24th, 2010 bassist and lead vocalist, Bryson Phillips, announced that the group would be releasing one more album, though they would not be touring behind it. Here it is, nearly four years from the day that This is An Outrage was released.

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Last year, CRR ventured out to the town of Gilford, New Hampshire for a music festival named SoulFest. It was our first year, and it was amazing, and we will be going back this year! Below is a day-by-day breakdown of what to expect across the festival's five stages, including notable artists, speakers, and even a movie.

Wednesday, August 1st: 

Wednesday this year will contain a good collection of indie rock and worship bands, notably at the Inside Out Stage. The night will be headlined by Florida's Ascend The Hill, along with Abel, The Ember Days, and Walking Unity, with opening slots from upcoming artists such as Astoria. The Revival Stage will be led by Jeremy Camp and Plumb, and the Deeper Well stage will feature a joint set of Matt Maher with Audrey Assad, and young rock bands Fixus and Phao.


Thursday, August 2nd:


Thursday is expected to be one of the biggest days, with SoulFest veterans Switchfoot headlining the Revival Stage, after the annual candlelight service, and with thousands of people, it is quite a memorable scene. The Inside Out Stage will also have its most intense day, full of hardcore and metal all day long, with artists such as Sleeping Giant, War of Ages, To Speak of Wolves, and many more. The Mercy St. Cafe will be the host of a late night dance party with New Zealand's Rapture Ruckus and Gabe Smith Pop Culture Icon. The newly revived Five Iron Frenzy are also set to make their first appearance of this year's festival at the Mountain Top stage as well.


Friday, August 3rd:


Friday's Revival Stage appearances are sure to be one of the most energetic of the festival, with tobyMac and Family Force 5 taking their respectful places. Meanwhile, the Mercy St. Cafe will be showing the notable indie film Blue Like Jazz, with a Q&A session with director/musician Steve Taylor, which will be followed by a set from piano rockers The City Harmonic, who really impressed us last year with their unique live show. If you're into hard rock, the Inside Out Stage will be the place to be, with Brian "Head Welch's Love and Death taking the headlining spot, with vets Project 86, Write This Down, Run Kid Run, and Blessed By A Broken Heart to name a few.


Saturday, August 4th: 

Saturday morning will be the start of the SoulFest youth conference, and the day will see Casting Crowns, Kutless, and Lecrae at the Revival Stage, while the Inside Out Stage will present the recent comeback of ska, with Five Iron Frenzy, The OC Supertones, and rockers Children 18:3 and Hyland.

We're certainly excited for SoulFest, and you can currently order tickets right here, or pick them up at the gate as well!
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Artist: Wolves At The Gate
Album: Captors
Release Date: July 3, 2012
Label: Solid State Records


Solid State has been a staple in terms of heavy christian music. Unfortunately, it also has lost some of it's greatest artists in the last few years (i.e. The Chariot, and Norma Jean.)  However, lately Solid State has really started to kick it up a notch. With some of the recent "new breed" signings, Solid State has given us The Overseer, and Wolves At The Gate. Two bands that I believe will be shaping Solid State back in to the label it used to be.Wolves At The Gate has been on my radar for a couple years now.  They released their EP We Are The Ones last year independently, and it was instantly a hit for me.  Their sound was not super unique, but they did have the maturity to come in to their own. When I heard that Solid State was signing them, I was really excited to hear them expand on the mastered sound of the EP.  Captors, is something really special.


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Immortal

Artist: For Today
Album: Immortal
Release Date: May 29, 2012
Label: Razor & Tie Records

The main thing I've always admired about For Today has been their unashamed faith in a scene that has been judged so much for its darkness and anger. In fact, I think that has been the key driving point behind their music. While oh so often For Today are classified as unoriginal, it can be insignificant, because at the end of the day, they make uplifting metalcore, that certainly focuses on message over originality. However, that being said, their new album Immortal does switch things up a bit. The band's typical breakdowns are still there, but are utilized a bit better as compared to their last album, Breaker, and many more melodic elements are implemented, such as clean vocals and brighter sounding guitar riffs, even a jazzy one (layered over frontman Mattie Montgomery's screams in "Immortal").

The Old-Timers - Soli Deo Gloria


Artist: The Old-Timers
Album: Soli Deo Gloria
Release Date: June 14, 2012
Label: Thumper Punk Records

Three men; Dave, Don, and Matt from South Africa have come together to form a hardcore-punk band known as The Old-Timers. The band who record their albums in a very odd way, have come out with their latest high octane album, Soli Deo Gloria. This album was recorded be three men in three different cities and two different countries. Dave (vocalist) and Don (guitarist/bassist) live several hours apart from each other in South Africa, they recorded their parts and then sent them to drummer, Matt whom recorded his parts Idaho. The band states that their main purpose is to make music they love, and music that honors the Lord and they're not going to let anything including distance get in their way.

Guest Editorial: The Year of Christian Hip-Hop




This has been a huge year for Christian hip-hop, and we are only half-way through. We’ve had some releases that I’m certain will go down as some of the best in the genre’s history, and a few that deserve to, even if they end up fading from the eyes of many.

Bloodsport - Blackest Darkness



Artist: Bloodsport
Album: Blackest Darkness
Release Date: July 6, 2012
Label: Deadboy Records

Formed in 2005 in Adelaide, South Australia, Bloodsport has been making a name for themselves in the Aussie hardcore scene. Now with the wonders of digital music retailers like iTunes it appears the band is ready to make their big debut in the United States. Blackest Darkness, the bands second album and first on Deadboy Records is 18 minutes of brutally heavy hardcore music to it's core.

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Coming off of offering his latest full length album Love & War & The Sea In Between  free for a whole year, Josh Garrels is at it again. This time he is offering his latest EP Love &War: B-Sides & Remixes for free download.  The EP features a couple new songs, as well as some remixes featuring the likes of Kye Kye, Mason Jar, and Beautiful Eulogy.

 Get it here! And let us know what you think!
Sobre todo Nombre - Abba Father (en Español)



Artista: Sobre Todo Nombre
Album: Abba Padre
Fecha de Publicación: 29 de junio 2012
Discográfica: Ven y Vive

Procedente de Bogotá, Colombia, Sobre Todo Nombre han irrumpido en la escena del metal cristiano con su álbum de debut de Abba Padre, que la banda dice que el nombre "porque queríamos mostrar a cada persona que escucha, que somos hijos e hijas de un Padre que nos ama sin límites ... " El nombre de la banda en sí viene de Filipenses 2:9-11 "Por eso Dios lo exaltó hasta lo sumo y le otorgó el Nombre que está sobre todo nombre (Sobre Todo Nombre), que en el nombre de Jesús toda rodilla se doble ... " Los chicos de Todo Sobre Nombre no se avergüenzan de lo que esta banda está a punto, o lo que es su mensaje y eso se nota en cada canción.

Sobre todo Nombre - AbbaFather


Artist: Sobre todo Nombre
Album: Abba Father
Release Date: June 29, 2012
Label: Come&Live

Hailing from Bogota, Colombia Sobre todo Nombre have burst onto the Christian metal scene with their debut album Abba Father, which the band says they named "because we wanted to show each and every person that listens to it, that we are sons and daughters of a Father that loves us without limits..." The bands name itself comes from Philippians 2:9-11 "therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name (Sobre todo Nombre), that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow..." The guys in Sobre todo Nombre do not shy away from what this band is about, or what their message is and it shows in each and every song.

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Our good friends from New Zealand, The Ember Days, have just launched a Kickstarter to raise $35,000 to record their new album this September with Paul Moak (House of Heroes, Third Day, Seabird) and Ed Cash (Chris Tomlin, David Crowder). More information is available at the widget below or right here. The band is on tour this summer, and will be playing the final Cornerstone Festival this week, as well as SoulFest in August, and all the dates can be seen at the band's website. The Ember Days' latest full length album Emergency is also currently available as a free gift through Come&Live!, along with the rest of their discography.

Letter To The Exiles Lyric Video




Letter to the Exiles has posted a new lyric video for "Conversations with Fallen Saints", a song from their new album Make Amends featuring guest vocals from War of Ages' Leroy Hamp.
You can hear "Conversations" here:



Pre-order the new album Make Amends now: http://facedown.merchnow.com/catalogs/letter-to-the-exiles

Make Amends is out August 14.

You can catch LTTE on the More Than Sound Tour with War of Ages, Onward to Olympas and Leaders now:

Jul 3 - Barrington, IL @ Rock Room
Jul 7 - Douglasville, GA @ The 7 Venue
Jul 8 - Metairie, LA @ Cypress
Jul 9 - Houston, TX @ Warehouse Live
Jul 10 - San Antonio, TX @ White Rabbit
Jul 11 - Fort Worth, TX @ Tom Cats West
Jul 12 - Oklahoma City, OK @ Conservatory
Jul 13 - Cedar Rapids, IA @ The 167
Jul 14 - Wilmar, MN @ Sonshine Fest
Jul 16 - Denver, CO @ Marquis Theatre
Jul 17 - Ogden, UT @ Mojos Ogden
Jul 19 - Twin Falls, ID @ The River
Jul 20 - Roseville, CA @ Club Retro
Jul 21 - Anaheim, CA @ Chain Reaction
Jul 22 - Mesa, AZ @ Nile Theatre
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Challenger


Artist: Memphis May Fire
Album: Challenger
Release Date: June 26, 2012
Label: Rise Records

If you felt a little “hollow” after listening to Memphis My Fire’s last album, this next album is definitely a "Challenger." On June 26th, Dallas, Texas’ Memphis May Fire has set to release what may be their best album yet. What makes this album their best? One could claim it is the heavier roots, or the guest appearances of both Kellin Quinn from Sleeping With Sirens and Danny Worsnop from Asking Alexandria; however, although each strengthens the album in their individuality, it is nothing that sets this album apart from any other.

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Premiere: Abel, “Fire Walk With Me”


NEW YORK ROCK BAND ABEL DEBUT NEW SONG FROM FORTHCOMING ALBUM “MAKE IT RIGHT”

June 26, 2012 – Los Angeles, CA – Poughkeepsie rock group Abel have premiered the first new track, “Fire Walk With Me,” from their forthcoming album, Make It Right, which is scheduled for release on September 18.  The track is streaming now, exclusively at Altpress.com: http://bit.ly/MPHQL4

Formed by four close friends with a passion for creating honest art, Abel released their first full-length, Lesser Men, in late 2010 to over 14,000 downloads and an aggressive touring schedule.  “The band was really thriving,” vocalist Kevin Kneifel explains, “but I watched a lot of close relationships break down that year—it was a difficult time for all of us and our loved ones.”

Recorded with producer Matt Malpass (Manchester Orchestra, Lydia, Copeland), Make It Right showcases a darker and more pragmatic Abel than their previous effort with brooding riffs and honest lyrics that cut to the core.  From the aggressive bite of the opening track, “I’ll Be Waiting”, to the faith-stretching questions in the closing measures, Make It Right is an indie-rock diary, achieving moments of real musical honesty.

“It’s about coming to terms with failures and unfulfilled expectations,” Kneifel continues, “I think that’s a really universal feeling, and I hope that people who hear these songs will be reminded that they’re not alone—and that those times can challenge us to become better people.”

Make It Right will be available on September 18 through iTunes, Amazon, and all digital retailers. To track the band’s progress, map out tour dates, or just say hello, visit abeltheband.com or facebook.com/abeltheband.

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Abel Tour Dates:
Aug 1 - Gilford, NH - Soulfest

For More Information:
http://www.abeltheband.com
https://www.facebook.com/Abeltheband
http://www.myspace.com/abeltheband
http://www.twitter.com/abeltheband
http://www.youtube.com/abeltheband
http://abeltheband.bigcartel.com
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Artist: Altars
Album: Conclusions
Release Date: June 5, 2012
Label: Facedown Records

Altars have really become a huge part of the Facedown Records family, one of the bands that I see replacing the absence of For Today, and Impending Doom. Playing their version of metallic hardcore, these guys sure know how to go hard. With last years release of the Opposition EP, Altars wasted no time in getting down to business with their new album Conclusions. This album is hard hitting and relentless. It covers something that lacks in today's hardcore scene. Passion.
Altars Post "Lower" Video




Altars has released the first video from their current album Conclusions. The video is for the single "Lower" and can be seen below:



Pick up the new album Conclusions (along with the Facedown varsity jacket featured in the video) at the Facedown Records online store now. http://facedown.merchnow.com/

xLooking Forwardx - Down With the Ship



Artist: xLooking Forwardx
Album: Down With the Ship
Release Date: June 19, 2012
Label: Facedown Records

It's been seven long years since one of the original straight-edge hardcore bands in the Christian market made their last album. Now, xLooking Forwardx is back with one final EP appropriately entitled Down With the Ship. The EP is relatively short clocking in at 11:30, but that's what hardcore music was and is about. Keep it short and to the point.
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Satellite Kite

Artist: Beautiful Eulogy
Album: Satellite Kite
Release Date: June 19, 2012
Label: Humble Beast

The first time I came across Beautiful Eulogy, I instantly took notice of the fact that they were from Portland and based on their image, I figured they were some sort of indie folk group. Turns out I was wrong, completely wrong in fact, as the group in fact create hip hop, and are actually made up of rappers Braille, Odd Thomas, and producer Courtland Urbano. The music of Beautiful Eulogy is quite unique, in the essence that their music feels much more organic than simply a few beats made on a MacBook with the latest production software. The vocals from Odd Thomas and Braille are flawless, whether they be spitting out words so quickly that its hard to keep up or even just a slower, spoken word piece, everything seems fitting, conveying a very explicit message, that of redemption through the blood of Christ, and the incomprehensible love of God.
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Artist: The Overseer
Album: We Search, We Dig
Release Date: June 19, 2012
Label: Solid State Records

Hardcore and metal over the past few years has fallen into either two categories: creative or just more of the same. In 2012, while we've had a handful of good, even less great, releases in terms of heavy music, I've found myself dissatisfied and underwhelmed with the majority of it, following a year that had some of the best albums the genre has heard since its inception. One good place to turn that's still putting out great music is Solid State Records, with a slew of veterans and newer artists like To Speak of Wolves making big waves, but nearly halfway through the year, the label have unveiled what they're called their New Breed, a duo of their newest bands expected to usher in a new wave of music, "post-metalcore," for years to come; made up of Wolves At The Gate and The Overseer. We Search, We Dig has now been unleashed, the debut from The Overseer, being heralded as a mix of Underoath and Thrice, and the album quite easily hits the mark and goes beyond.
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After a much anticipated wait, Paper Route have revealed that their sophomore release, The Peace of Wild Things, will be releasing on September 11th, 2012. In addition to that, the band have also released a new song as well, "You and I," which can be streamed here: http://soundcloud.com/paperrouteonline/you-and-i/s-ICAU1

The band are currently on tour with HalfNoise, and the tour dates can be found at Paper Route's website.

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PROJECT 86 TO RELEASE EPIC NEW ALBUM WAIT FOR THE SIREN AUGUST 21 

June 18, 2012 – Los Angeles, CA – Orange County rock band Project 86 has announced plans to release their long awaited, new album, Wait For the Siren, on August 21.  After a catalogue of successful releases on both major and independent labels, P86 decided to go an entirely new route with this new release: partnering directly with their fans.  After a successful Kickstarter campaign which raised tens of thousand dollars, they have emerged with a reinvented sound which demonstrates why they are one of the most formidable rock bands around.  To celebrate their loyal fan base, the band is offering a free MP3 download of their first single from the album, Fall, Goliath, Fall, available on the bands website for a limited time at www.project86.com.

Check Out: Beautiful Eulogy



Beautiful Eulogy may be an unfamiliar name to you, but there's a good chance you've heard them in some way. The Portland, Oregon trio were recently on "Misconception" on Lecrae's Church Clothes mixtape, and the group itself is made up of veteran rappers Braille and Odd Thomas, along with producer Courtland Urbano (formerly Xperiment). The band's debut album, Satellite Kite, will be out on June 19th, and will be available as a free download from Humble Beast, and can currently be pre-ordered right here as well. You can watch the band's new video for their song "Entitlement" below.

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Love & War & The Sea In Between

June 15, 2012 will mark one year since the release of Love & War & The Sea In Between, an 18-song endeavor by Portland, OR native Josh Garrels. It's been a journey too, as Garrels' decided to give away his beautifully intricate piece of art for one year, free of charge between independent music sites BandCamp and Noisetrade. Every listen of the album has only seemingly been better, revealing the true emotion and tangibility behind the massive collection of songs, each unique, yet tied together with a common thread; pieces in a story of love, tension, and faith. The musicianship is remarkable, from orchestra-laden pieces to intimate acoustic melodies and even a bit of hip-hop influence thrown in for good measure, which accompany Garrel's thick, deep vocals and haunting falsettos. The cunning lyrics are yet another thing that can't go without mentioning, using imagery and good flow to convey the themes of Love & War to the listener. If you're like me, you've heard plenty of good music over the past few years, but I'm willing to say that Josh Garrel's Love & War & The Sea In Between is truly something special, willing to astound listeners for years to come.

Love & War & The Sea In Between is available for free download at Noisetrade and BandCamp until June 15. If you miss the opportunity, the album will still be available on iTunes and AmazonMP3 as well. The trailer for the upcoming film that documents the inception of the album, The Sea In Between, can also be seen below, with more info to be found here.



Josh Garrels: The Sea In Between - Trailer from Mason Jar Music on Vimeo.


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Artist: Bellarive
Album: The Heartbeat
Release Date: June 19, 2012
Label: Sparrow Records

Led by Sean Curran, some may be familiar with Bellarive from their days with Come&Live! and through their first EP, The Being Human Project... Start Listening, and fans of Leeland and Coldplay noticed and found something to like in the similar melodies and piano driven rock songs. The six-piece worship band from Orlando, whose name translates to "beautiful river," now are bringing their debut full-length, The Heartbeat, to listener's ears through Sparrow Records. Many of their original songs have been tweaked (albeit not overly) and included on this album. In fact, what you'll find are some of the most energetic and spirited melodies you've heard this year, paired with a heart for true intimacy with God.
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Artist: Ascend The Hill
Album: O Ransomed Son
Release Date: April 17, 2012
Label: Come&Live!

Worship albums are always hit or miss it seems like. I remember when Hillsong was the staple worship band around, or even CCM artists releasing worship albums, and all would lack a sense of creativity. We have all heard the songs before, most of our churches play those songs on Sunday morning or your high school worship team overplays them at the loudest volume possible. I for one got pretty tired of the 3 chord songs, with the surface level lyrics and overproduction. Thankfully we have a band called Ascend The Hill.

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Artist: Write This Down
Album: Lost Weekend
Release Date: June 5, 2012
Label: Tooth & Nail Records

Unless you're in a well established band with either a hit single and good radio play and hundreds of thousands of likes on Facebook, chances are you aren't touring around in a big, air conditioned bus living the "glamorized" life of a touring band. In fact, your favorite band might call a 12-16 passenger van their home, while sleeping in parking lots or on a spare bed or couch in any given house while on the road. Lost Weekend vividly illustrates this fact, the sophomore album from Minnesota's Write This Down, which feels something like the journal of a hard working band while on the road, struggles and all.

On first listen of Last Weekend, I can't say I was impressed (musically), largely favoring the band's debut over their new, self-proclaimed "grittier" sound. Turns out this album was and is a grower. While frontman Johnny Collier's signature screams are still well intact, his cleaner singing vocals contain this "grit," a new vocal technique that he's experimented with to add some contrast with guitarist/duel vocalist Nate Rockwell, which appear on a majority of the heavier songs, notably on "Red 7" and "Crash and Burn." As time goes on, the vocals do get seemingly more cohesive, and the contrast makes sense, adding in a good effect in terms of new musical ground for the band. The backing instrumentation is also very solid on Lost Weekend, polished off by producer Pete Stewart (of Grammatrain), taking on a much heavier, focused rock vibe over the sporadic sounds of the band's self-titled debut, which was a mixed bag of post-hardcore and pop punk.

"The Older I Get, The Better I Was" kicks things off with a heavy atmosphere that rivals the energy and metal edge of "Renegade" from Write This Down. Perhaps the album's best track, "See Ya Never," follows, displaying the band's fantastic utilization of dual vocals, with Nate and Johnny going back and forth on the life of touring together, similar themes being found in "Crash and Burn" and "Cheap Affairs," which tackle maintaining relationships on the road. "Touch and Go" experiments with some spoken word vocals, very similar to Matt Hastings' of Mychildren Mybride, and guest vocals from Matt MacDonald of The Classic Crime are also present in the bridge, which really hit as an emotional climax, which flows through the "Minnesota Interlude" and into the closing "Song and Dance," a very somber and introspective song which declares "You've seen me at my worst!," a melancholy ending to an album full of sorrowful songs that make you realize that bands spend and sacrifice so much more than just gas money and countless hours to play for audiences every night.

Overall: If you've been a fan of Write This Down in the past, you may have to let go of expectations for a new album continuing their older sound, because Lost Weekend is not that, by any extent. Instead, it's so much more; an emotionally charged album that accurately chronicles the hardships of the touring life, and maintaining both faith and relationships in the midst of it all. While musically there is nothing very groundbreaking here, Lost Weekend is a much more matured album for the band, and has them dipping their feet in both rock and post-hardcore, complete with dueling vocals to pull it all around full circle. Chances are, if you don't fully grasp ahold of the album, it may take multiple listens, but the result just might be something different than initially expected.

Rating: 8/10

Reviewed by Brooks Ginnan

Tracklisting:

  1. The Older I Get, The Better I Was
  2. See Ya Never
  3. I'll Make You Famous
  4. Red 7
  5. Crash and Burn
  6. Don't Speak
  7. Cheap Affairs
  8. The Florida Rage
  9. Lost Weekend
  10. Touch and Go
  11. Minnesota Interlude
  12. Song and Dance
(Buy Here)

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Our new Summer Sampler is available now, for FREE, and features tons of new music from Facedown Records. You can download the sampler here: https://s3.amazonaws.com/facedown/2012_Summer_Sampler.zip

The tracklisting includes the following songs:

1. Your Memorial "Redirect" (new album, Redirect, out July 17)
2. Gideon "Prodigal Son" (new album, Milestone, out July 3)
3. War of Ages "Redeemer"
4. Altars "Scum"
5. Letter to the Exiles "Retribution"
6. The Burial "Pears; The Frailty of Matter"
7. Leaders "Conviction"
8. xLooking Forwardx "Down With the Ship" (new 7", Down With the Ship, out June 19)
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From A Plea For Purging:

PLEA will be playing our final U.S. shows alongside long time friends, AS HELL RETREATS in August and September of this year. The run has been dubbed the "QUIT YOUR BAND AND GET A JOB TOUR."  The last seven years have been amazing so come have one more party and a few more stage dives with us at one of these final shows.

w/ As Hell Retreats
Aug 10 - Little Rock, AR @ Downtown Music
Aug 11 - Fort Worth, TX @ Tomcats
Aug 12 - Jackson, MS @ The Carter
Aug 17 - Jacksonville, FL@ Murray Hill Theatre
Aug 18 - Douglasville, GA @ The 7 Venue
Aug 19 - Chattanooga, TN @ TBA
Aug 24 - Dayton, OH @ The Attic
Aug 25 - Owensboro, KY @ TBA
Aug 26 - Herrin, IL @ HTTS
Aug 31 - Greenville, SC @ The Channel
Sept 1 - Lynchburg, VA @ Crosspoint
Sept 2 - Annapolis, MD@/ Knights of Columbus
Sep 7 - Birmingham, AL @ The River
Sep 8 Nashville, TN @ Rocketown

PLEA also has a string of dates throughout the summer.

Jun 21 - Wilmore, KY @ ICHTHUS FESTIVAL
Jun 23 - Knoxville, TN @ Building B
Jun 25 - Akron, OH @ STRAIGHT HATE FESTIVAL
Jul 8 -  Springfield, IL @ Black Sheep Cafe
Jul 9 -  Rockford, IL @ Frontline
Jul 11 - Willmar, MN @ SONSHINE FESTIVAL
Jul 15 - St. Paul, MN @ Station 4