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: 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
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