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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Post Tenebras Lux

Artist: Attalus
Album: Post Tenebras Lux
Release Date: November 18, 2011
Label: None

Social networking has come a long way in the music industry, sometimes drastically effecting and launching the careers of some bands. Whether it be through promoting shows or debuting new music, tools such as Facebook and Twitter have become some of the most crucial parts of bands, believe it or not. It was just yesterday, while on Twitter in fact, that I stumbled upon Attalus' profile bio. Wrapped up in one sentence was one of the most interesting things I've read by a band as of late; "The music is original; the message isn't." And is the heart of the North Carolina band, who mix a strong overtones of faith in their lyrics, with a diverse blend of alternative, indie rock, pop punk, and post-hardcore.

Post Tenebras Lux, the debut full length album from Attalus, tells the story of an individual caught between light and darkness, faith and reason, and pain and healing. "Night" begins the journey of Post Tenebras Lux, with a subtle piano intro that has the tendency to send chills down your spine, before a strong wall of guitars enters the scene, which eventually build into a crescendo of the song's climax, with a fantastic array of dual vocals, and backing screams of "All is vanity!" Clocking over a minute is a sound clip of multiple painful news stories of death and war, and eventually the vocals come in, asking God why there is such thing as pain. One of the album's slower, jazzier tempos is found in the piano-soft title track, although the mood is soon shaken with the highlight "Faith and Reason," which contains strong pop punk elements, and one of the album's best lines; "Whoever said life is easy, they lied!" "Shadow of Doubt" also strongly follows, with a complex section of guitars that are sure to get you moving.

The second half of the album seems lyrical very hopeful, especially the ballad, "When I Lose My Way," a message from the perspective of God, letting the story's individual know that he is not alone. "One Defining Spark" is yet another very solid rock song, which rides the line between indie rock and post-hardcore, with some heavy and soaring riffs, and layered singing and screaming. From there, the album slows down into mainly piano filled songs, ending with the two and a half minute long "Let There Be Light," the album's conclusion. Interestingly enough however, a fuzzy hidden track comes in after a few seconds of silence, with what sounds like an energetic time of worship, an even more fitting way to conclude the journey of trying to find God's love through the dark, painful times that life is prone to throw at anyone.

Overall: Attalus have crafted an extremely well done album with Post Tenebras Lux, creating a mix of truly memorable music, with a storyline of one looking for faith in the dark parts of this world. While the album took a little time to grow on me, the final outcome was something very enjoyable and gripping, as the band dip their feet into not only alternative rock, but post-hardcore and pop punk, backed and layered by heavy doses of piano. Post Tenebras Lux certainly is a surprisingly well done album, and if you're a fan of bands such as Thrice, Emery, or edgier indie rock bands, be sure to check out Attalus.

Rating: 8.5/10

Reviewed by Brooks Ginnan

  1. Night
  2. The Problem of Pain
  3. Post Tenebras Lux
  4. Faith and Reason
  5. Shadows of Doubt
  6. When I Lose My Way
  7. One Defining Spark
  8. At the Rubicon
  9. A Country Road in Two Seasons
  10. Let There Be Light
(Buy Here)

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Ali Bajwa
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