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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Feel The Power

Artist: Blessed By A Broken Heart
Album: Feel The Power
Release Date: January 24, 2012
Label: Tooth & Nail Records

After touring extensively as a part of the metal scene and an array of member changes, Blessed By A Broken Heart are back in 2012 with a new album, and a bit of a new direction. This time around, the screaming is cut to a minimum, still showing up from time to time, but taking a backseat to the many harmonic vocals, sounding right out of the 80s. In fact, Feel The Power is a modern take on the hair metal and rock n' roll of the 80s, a la bands like Stryper or Bon Jovi, accented with small hints of their past metalcore antics.

"Deathwish" and "Shut Up and Rock" start off Feel The Power with a rush of fist pumping, high adrenaline tunes, the latter drawing on a southern rock influence, courtesy of Dallas Taylor of Maylene and the Sons of Disaster. Following up two tracks later is the album's single, "Forever." There's something about "Forever" that just strikes me as catchy, with layered vocal harmonies in the chorus, and shredding riffs in the verses.

In true 80s style, there is of course a power ballad on Feel The Power, "I've Got You." In fact, "I've Got You" is vocally one of the strongest points of the album, really showing off frontman Tony Gambino's chops, in much more of a solo position, as compared to being backing by harmonies or gang vocals. The album's real heavy hitter, "Innocent Blood," strikes late in the rotation, as track number 11, and shows a real aggression. Gang vocals, growls, and chugging guitars all take their rightful places in the song, alongside a great guitar solo, which Feel The Power is filled with.

Although Feel The Power is a good album, it is not for everyone. For one thing, if you are not a big fan of 80s rock and metal, along with layers and layers of vocal harmonies, you probably won't enjoy this album. There is nothing too serious talked about on Feel The Power, with the exception of a few nods to faith. The album takes some time to get used to, and it is a fun listen, but there not much to delve into lyrically, although the opener "Deathwish" does speak of the pain and downfall of addictions.

Overall: Blessed By A Broken Heart have put out a fun album with Feel The Power, the band's Tooth & Nail debut. Past fans looking for the band's 80s-tinged metalcore will not find much of that sound on this release, but instead more of an 80s rock album, complete with lots of shredding riffs, guitar solos, harmonic vocals, and even a power ballad. Feel The Power is an undoubtedly fun and catchy listen, and may take some time to get used to, with the band's new direction, but if you are a fan of any of the mentioned qualities that this album contains, or are still stuck in the 80s as Blessed are, then certainly give it a spin, and as the band say, shut up and rock!

Rating: 7/10

Reviewed by Brooks Ginnan

  1. Deathwish
  2. Shut Up and Rock
  3. Love Nightmare
  4. Forever
  5. Thunder Dome
  6. Holdin' Back For Nothin'
  7. I've Got You
  8. Rockin' All Night
  9. Scream It Like You Mean It
  10. Skate or Die
  11. Innocent Blood
  12. Sleepless Nights
(Buy Here)

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