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.


Christian Rock Rocks - Copyright 2012. Powered by Blogger.

Follow CRR on Twitter

Follow empmag on Twitter


Like CRR on Facebook

To Speak of Wolves Post New Song, Pre-Orders Available Now

To Speak of Wolves have released a new song titled "Stand Alone Complex," featuring Micah Kinard of Oh, Sleeper, on iTunes, AmazonMP3, and other digital retailers this week, and the lyric video for the song can be viewed below. The band's sophomore album, Find Your Worth, Come Home, will be out May 22nd on Solid State Records, and it can currently be pre-ordered in two different options right here.

no image

Florida's Ascend The Hill have just released their brand new single, "So Good To Us," to stream and/or download right here. The band are releasing their third full length album, O Ransomed Son, on April 17th, as a free gift from Come&Live! (where their two prior albums can currently be downloaded). Before the album releases, the band have a few more surprises, so stay tuned to their Facebook page for more info.
no image

Artist: Mychildren Mybride
Album: Mychildren Mybride
Release Date: March 13, 2012
Label: Solid State Records

When I think back and remember my early days of diving into metal, one of the bands that stick out the most would have to be Mychildren Mybride. After listening to songs like "Faithless" and "Headshot!" rather often, their sophomore album Lost Boy was a big step up for me. The breakdowns were both catchy and well placed, the lyrics were spot on, and most importantly, the album played so well in the live setting, proven on the three separate occasions I saw the band after the album's release. A little less than two years later, the McMb boys are back, with a new drummer and guitarist, and their newest musical venture, the aptly titled Mychildren Mybride. After two solid albums, Mychildren Mybride may have just found their magnum opus in this self-titled album, easily their best work to date.

After the many hardcore vibes of Lost Boy, Mychildren Mybride properly brings back the metal edge from Unbreakable, and steps it up a few more notches. The songwriting is more cohesive, heavier, and even melodic, in a sense, providing a much more full sound. A new dimension of the band is revealed through two new elements incorporated into the mix; programming, and a somewhat risky vocal style from frontman Matthew Hasting. The programming includes subtle synths and electronic, glitchy guitars (in "Anathema") and even some eerie piano parts, which nicely back the chorus of "On Wings of Integrity Pt. II" and the outro of "God of Nothing." Hasting's aforementioned new vocal style has an experimental edge to it, and besides his usual yells and screams, he experiments with spoken word whispers, that even reach a point of clean vocals at times, which are unexpectedly pulled off very well, in a non-typical type of way. To top that off, Matthew's lyrics also are much stronger, thoughtful, and introspective, talking about things such as the defeat of death ("God of Nothing") to the struggles of the touring life ("No One Listens, No One Cares") and the loss of a family member ("The Endless").

"Death will never take us, we are immortal!" kicks off the short intro track, "Morpheus," before smoothly transitioning into the anthemic sequal to the crowd favorite "On Wings of Integrity," with "Pt. II," hitting with just as much energy and lyrics that beg to be screamed into the mic by anxious, sweaty fans. Both "Anathema" and "God of Nothing" prove to be album highlights, with some musically unique elements, described by the band as "cinematic," proven more so in the latter of the two songs. "The Endless" brings back the yelled vocals of Lost Boy behind explosive riffs, and for some reason, reminds me of the emotional grit of La Dispute, in the flow of the lyrics and vocals, although certainly not in the instrumental aspect. The crushing "Dreamcatchers" is also remarkably heavily and well thought out, with a hint of catchiness, and the closing "No One Listens, No One Cares" throws in a what sounds like a radio-frequency clip, with a briefly distorted section of "Boris The Blade," in the breakdown around the middle of the song, to add a bit of nostalgia for longtime listeners of the band.The only complaint I have about the album is a minor one, and it comes with the songs "Black Cloud" and "Hell or High Water." While each song, especially the former, sound so dark and downtuned musically, I can't escape the feeling that they flow a bit too closely into one another, which may not be a problem for everyone. This however, does not hold the album back at all, and if anything, will keep the kids moving in the pits if played live, something I surely expect to happen with such a hard hitting set of songs from Mychildren Mybride.

Overall: After much anticipation and high expectations for the self-titled release from Mychildren Mybride, I can certainly say that the wait was worth it. The album is ridiculously heavy, exciting, energetic, and even at times, both a bit creepy and melodic. While songs like "On Wings of Integrity Pt. II" will hit at home with old fans, the album as a whole is one that is sure to pull in quite a new fan base for the band, from the occasional heavy music listener to the breakdown-loving hardcore kid. The lyrics flow from some of the darkest parts of life, feeling so relatable, laced with sincere messages of hope, faith, and love. It may be only March, but I'm sure that Mychildren Mybride will be a good contender for one of the best metal albums of the year, the band's best work to date; no exceptions.

Rating: 9/10

Reviewed by Brooks Ginnan


  1. Morpheus
  2. On Wings of Integrity Pt. II
  3. Anathema
  4. God of Nothing
  5. The Endless
  7. Dreamcatchers
  8. Black Cloud
  9. Hell or High Water
  10. Observer
  11. No One Listens, No One Cares
(Buy Here)

War of Ages Release "Redeemer" Lyric Video

War of Ages has just released the first full song from their upcoming album Return to Life. You can see the lyric video for "Redeemer" below.

Pre-order a copy of Return to Life and be entered to win one of 6 prizes awarded weekly. Prizes include a custom Truth snare drum and an ESP guitar. Return to Life will be out on April 24.

See War of Ages live at Facedown Fest 2012:

Come&Live! Releases I Am Living: Mattie Montgomery Video

Come&Live! have released a new video in their ongoing I Am Living series, featuring Mattie Montgomery of For Today, speaking about becoming a father. The video can be viewed below. For Today are currently on the Fight The Silence tour, and will be releasing their new album, Immortal, on May 22nd through Razor&Tie Records.

The Tug Fork River Band - Vulture

Artist: The Tug Fork River Band
Album: Vulture
Release Date: March 20, 2012
Label: Independent

Do you like southern rock, and heavy metal? If so, The Tug Fork River Band from Indianapolis, Indiana is for you. It's been three years since the band released their last album Catch for Us, the Metal on Wounded Records. Now, the boys are back with the Vulture EP and they've decided to go the independent route this time around.

One thing I instantly noticed is that the new music is more metal than southern rock, although the southern sound is clearly heard on every song. I also noticed that the band has grown in the playing skills and this album is harder, more aggressive, and overall a tighter album than their previous two efforts. The guitar reminds me of the newer The Showdown albums. There's plenty of nasty southern riff-age on Vulture. Justin and Brian (guitar and bass respectively) combine the metal and southern rock sounds smoothly and flawlessly throughout the almost 20 minutes of music on the EP. It's some of the hardest southern rock I've heard lately and is so unique right now. Derek's drumming adds a dynamic to the music that really brings home the heavier edge to the music, as well as respecting that old-school southern rock drumming sound. The band isn't reinventing the wheel on Vulture, but they may have put some rockets on the thing for sure.

Aaron Quinn does more metal vocals than the sing/scream southern rock vocals we're used to with some of the bands out there. His vocals have matured, and never let up. He brings the intensity of the music to every song. I've noticed there are fewer clean vocals on this release, which just adds to the transition to the heavier, more furious sound the band has gone on for the new release. The one place where the band really excels is in the lyrics. The opening track "Ex Wives" has some very passionate lyrics about the condition of the church today; "When the flames consume this ship/I'll bet we all are lost in the worship of ourselves as we slowly sink into the ocean of our wealth and greed/Churches without walls are guaranteed never to fall." One excerpt that really spoke to me, because I myself was on the fence about my faith in Christ for so long came in the song "Piggly Wiggly"; "I feel I'm neither hot nor cold/I'm lukewarm in the mouth of the Lord/So spit me out and send me straight to hell/Remind me exactly where I fell/I'd Drown myself in the river if it meant I could wash myself clean/I'd hammer nails through my hands if it meant I could be set free." Another song that had a very powerful message was "Carne Diem" in which Aaron screams "We all look the same/But we don't act much different/How do we expect anyone to listen?" This is very true for what I call Sunday Morning Christians. If we don't act differently than the people we're trying to reach how can we expect them to listen to us?

Overall: I was thoroughly impressed by the growth and maturity of The Tug Fork River Band on their new release, Vulture. Musically it's the best thing the band has done thus far, and is so much heavier than I ever anticipated. Vocally, Aaron has taken some big steps forward and really brought some intensity and passion to the very powerful message of the five songs on the EP. This is EP has better lyrics, and like I said, a more powerful message than anything I've heard from the metal genre in quite some time. It's a shame the band isn't signed and won't get more recognition because this EP is that good!

Rating: 8/10

Reviewed by: Michael Small

1. Ex Wives
2. Breezes Through the Treezes
3. Piggly Wiggly
4. Carne Diem
5. Han Shot First
Pioneer - Pioneer

Artist: Pioneer
Album: Pioneer
Release Date: January 24, 2012
Label: Slospeak Records

Hailing from Indianapolis, Indiana the band formally known as News from Verona, but now known as Pioneer has come out with their debut album on Slospeak Records, fittingly enough the album is self-titled. This album is a combination of soft-rock, and pop-rock goodness. Pioneer raw, energetic, passionate, and refreshing.

Musically the band is a combination of pop-rock and what I would call Relient K rock. I have no other way to describe it but it's that kind of soft laid-back but incredibly energetic and passionate music. You can tell the band has poured everything they have into this album and from the first actual song "Lights" it's perfectly clear the band decided they were going to make a positive, and highly energetic album. The energy doesn't let up throughout the album, it's constant pop-rock toe taping goodness from beginning to end. There's a cool little guitar riff running throughout the song "Treason" which I completely dig, and it proves this guys know how to play their instruments and they're not one of those manufactured pop-rock bands. There's also some slower acoustic driven parts to this album, one example the incredibly moving and touching closing track "King in Rags" that song ends the album on such a high note, you're left wanting more. There's a very good introduction track, which I usually hate, called "Clarity" which is a very cool start to the album. The band is more-or-less divided between the high energy pop-rock and the more serious tracks by an instrumental track called "Mantua", I don't really see the purpose of the track, other than to virtually serve as an intermission to the two sections of the album.

Josh Randolph's voice reminds me of the original lead singer of The Wedding, which is good because the voice compliments the music pretty well. Josh does make some rookie mistakes which the pop-rock staple "whoas" here and there, but they honestly aren't noticed too much because of the lyrics he is singing. The album is about reaching past complacency in our relationship with Christ and our everyday sins and reaching out for something more in this life. This message is clearly stated in the song "Reach" where Josh sings "We were made to be failures from the start/That doesn't mean we don't reach for something more than we are."
There's nothing really special about Josh's voice, nothing that when you hear him sing you'll say "Oh that's Pioneer" but with the style of music the band is playing he doesn't need to have that super original standout voice. His voice is strong, and carries well in the high-tempo songs, and excels in the slower songs. He does possess a good range, and an overall good voice.

Overall: Pioneer is a young pop-rock band, there is room for improvement, but at the same time there are a lot of things that the band does right. The album is very solid, and does have some staying power. There are songs on this album, that I listen to on a daily basis, maybe not the whole album but how bands do that these days anyways. The band definitely shows a maturity in the music, their vocals (especially the slower songs), and their lyrics which I find refreshing and an overall good thing for the pop-rock genre. The band doesn't fall into too many of the pop-rock pigeonholes and have made a statement that the genre can be mature, and actually mean something and stand for something. I think the band and their label are a good fit for each other, and with Slospeak's interest in developing and growing their artist this album could just be a stepping stone to something even better in the future, only time will tell.

Rating: 8/10

Recommended Tracks: "Treason", "King in Rags", "Catharsis", and Long Way Home"

Reviewed by: Michael Small

1. Clarity
2. Lights
3. Treason
4. Dreams
5. Whatever it Takes
6. Mantua
7. Reaching
8. Long Way Home
9. Better Days
10. Catharsis
11. Coming of Age
12. King in Rags

no image

Deep Space

Artist: Eisley
Album: Deep Space EP
Release Date: February 14, 2012
Label: Equal Vision Records

The beauty of music is that it can create in listeners a range of emotions. Eisley have always been a band that thrive on this feeling, conveying love, pain, hurt, and hope throughout their oh-so-lovely indie pop rock. After the release of their fantastic album, The Valley, the band headed back into the studio to record more new material, in the form of an EP, which quickly changed from a B-sides compilation to a collection of five new songs, in the form of the Deep Space EP.

The first of the five tracks, "Lights Out," is not without some of the edgy soundscapes heard on The Valley, conveyed in the song's swaying chorus, filled with raw energy, balanced out by a delicate piano part. "Laugh It Off" takes on a dreamy indie pop feel, much like some of Eisley's older songs, and features backing vocals from the talented Christie DuPree, a sister to four fifths of the band and a cousin to the other. The title track of Deep Space proves to be the highlight of the bunch, with an airy atmosphere set by bursting guitars and Sherri DuPree's graceful vocals. For those who heard the band's '09 EP, Fire Kite, "192 Days" may sound familiar, as a fully produced version appears on Deep Space, adding more of a full sound to its vintage pop bliss. The sweet "One Last Song" quickly ends the EP, and does it just the right way, a cheery little love song with delightful lyrics, driven by piano until a tempo change towards the song's climax.

Overall: Deep Space is the perfect way for Eisley to follow up their stellar full length from last year, The Valley. The EP is short and sweet, with an ethereal atmosphere, provided by the enchanting vocals of Sherri and Stacy DuPree, and the driving guitars and percussion which provide a strong backing and are sonically stunning, displayed especially on the title track. My only problem with Deep Space is that it ends too quickly, but after all, it is only an EP, and an exceptionally good one at that.

Rating: 9/10

Reviewed by Brooks Ginnan

  1. Lights Out
  2. Laugh It Off
  3. Deep Space
  4. 192 Days
  5. One Last Song

(Buy Here)