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: To Speak of Wolves
Album: Find Your Worth, Come Home
Release Date: May 17, 2012
Label: Solid State Records

There's a feeling that some get while listening to a new album that holds greatness; hope for a band that fit all the pieces into place to create something of a magnum opus, packed with an emotional intensity and well crafted music to capture attention. I had this feeling on my first listen of Find Your Worth, Come Home, the sophomore release from the North Carolina quintet, To Speak of Wolves. If you're not familiar with the band, they play a form of metalcore (if you can even call it that), that isn't quite as abundant these days, with sounds of quick, punk-esque drumming, ferocious, feeback-laden riffs, and vocals, from new vocalist Gage Speas, that range from commanding growls to clean vocals that break the mold of high and whiny, drawing comparisons to bands such as Underoath, The Chariot, and Norma Jean. That's only the start.

Find Your Worth, Come Home is noticeably different from the band's debut, Myself < Letting Go, and it's not only because of their new vocalist. The band have shifted their sound, making it more cohesive, keeping the melody in a way that flows better with the aggressive sections. This is show particularly well in "Je Suis Fini" and "Dialysis Dreams," which are two of the album's most memorable songs. A different route is taken on "A Simple Thought That Changed Everything," which is filled with strictly clean vocals in a heavy, ambient rock setting, while "Oregon" feels like Balance & Composure mixed with Underoath, a combination that works well, giving the listener a breather from the frantic tempo of the majority of the album.

"Hivemind" and "Stand Alone Complex" kick off the album with a fiery passion, never really letting up on their energy, and when transferred to a live setting, are only guaranteed to have the audience in a sweaty frenzy. The aforementioned "Dialysis Dreams" is an emotional trip, and is an extremely relatable song for those who have faced the loss of friends or family, the theme also being tied into the closer, "Rearview Memories," which features Levi the Poet and his sister Bree Macallister, both who convey the emotions behind the loss of their father, truly touching stuff.

Overall: Find Your Worth, Come Home is a story of life, struggle, and ultimately redemption, and is written in such a poignant way that really tugs on the heart strings. While it's only their second release, To Speak of Wolves have truly crafted an album that shows musicianship and a maturity that surpasses their few year span as a band. Vocalist Gage Speas displays great versatility again and again, backed by frenetic instrumentation (a la Norma Jean or Underoath) that has become less and less widespread in the current state of the heavy music scene. Look for To Speak of Wolves to make big waves in 2012, and far beyond.

Rating: 9.5/10

Reviewed by Brooks Ginnan


  1. Hivemind
  2. Stand Alone Complex (featuring Micah Kinard)
  3. Vertigo
  4. Broken Birds
  5. A Simple Thought That Changed Everything
  6. Nostalgia Seeds
  7. Je Suis Fini
  8. Oregon
  9. Dialysis Dreams
  10. Voidwaker
  11. Rearview Memories (featuring Levi the Poet and Bree Macallister)
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