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

no image


Artist: Memphis May Fire
Album: Challenger
Release Date: June 26, 2012
Label: Rise Records

If you felt a little “hollow” after listening to Memphis My Fire’s last album, this next album is definitely a "Challenger." On June 26th, Dallas, Texas’ Memphis May Fire has set to release what may be their best album yet. What makes this album their best? One could claim it is the heavier roots, or the guest appearances of both Kellin Quinn from Sleeping With Sirens and Danny Worsnop from Asking Alexandria; however, although each strengthens the album in their individuality, it is nothing that sets this album apart from any other.

no image

Premiere: Abel, “Fire Walk With Me”


June 26, 2012 – Los Angeles, CA – Poughkeepsie rock group Abel have premiered the first new track, “Fire Walk With Me,” from their forthcoming album, Make It Right, which is scheduled for release on September 18.  The track is streaming now, exclusively at

Formed by four close friends with a passion for creating honest art, Abel released their first full-length, Lesser Men, in late 2010 to over 14,000 downloads and an aggressive touring schedule.  “The band was really thriving,” vocalist Kevin Kneifel explains, “but I watched a lot of close relationships break down that year—it was a difficult time for all of us and our loved ones.”

Recorded with producer Matt Malpass (Manchester Orchestra, Lydia, Copeland), Make It Right showcases a darker and more pragmatic Abel than their previous effort with brooding riffs and honest lyrics that cut to the core.  From the aggressive bite of the opening track, “I’ll Be Waiting”, to the faith-stretching questions in the closing measures, Make It Right is an indie-rock diary, achieving moments of real musical honesty.

“It’s about coming to terms with failures and unfulfilled expectations,” Kneifel continues, “I think that’s a really universal feeling, and I hope that people who hear these songs will be reminded that they’re not alone—and that those times can challenge us to become better people.”

Make It Right will be available on September 18 through iTunes, Amazon, and all digital retailers. To track the band’s progress, map out tour dates, or just say hello, visit or


Abel Tour Dates:
Aug 1 - Gilford, NH - Soulfest

For More Information:
no image

Artist: Altars
Album: Conclusions
Release Date: June 5, 2012
Label: Facedown Records

Altars have really become a huge part of the Facedown Records family, one of the bands that I see replacing the absence of For Today, and Impending Doom. Playing their version of metallic hardcore, these guys sure know how to go hard. With last years release of the Opposition EP, Altars wasted no time in getting down to business with their new album Conclusions. This album is hard hitting and relentless. It covers something that lacks in today's hardcore scene. Passion.
Altars Post "Lower" Video

Altars has released the first video from their current album Conclusions. The video is for the single "Lower" and can be seen below:

Pick up the new album Conclusions (along with the Facedown varsity jacket featured in the video) at the Facedown Records online store now.

xLooking Forwardx - Down With the Ship

Artist: xLooking Forwardx
Album: Down With the Ship
Release Date: June 19, 2012
Label: Facedown Records

It's been seven long years since one of the original straight-edge hardcore bands in the Christian market made their last album. Now, xLooking Forwardx is back with one final EP appropriately entitled Down With the Ship. The EP is relatively short clocking in at 11:30, but that's what hardcore music was and is about. Keep it short and to the point.
no image

Satellite Kite

Artist: Beautiful Eulogy
Album: Satellite Kite
Release Date: June 19, 2012
Label: Humble Beast

The first time I came across Beautiful Eulogy, I instantly took notice of the fact that they were from Portland and based on their image, I figured they were some sort of indie folk group. Turns out I was wrong, completely wrong in fact, as the group in fact create hip hop, and are actually made up of rappers Braille, Odd Thomas, and producer Courtland Urbano. The music of Beautiful Eulogy is quite unique, in the essence that their music feels much more organic than simply a few beats made on a MacBook with the latest production software. The vocals from Odd Thomas and Braille are flawless, whether they be spitting out words so quickly that its hard to keep up or even just a slower, spoken word piece, everything seems fitting, conveying a very explicit message, that of redemption through the blood of Christ, and the incomprehensible love of God.
no image

Artist: The Overseer
Album: We Search, We Dig
Release Date: June 19, 2012
Label: Solid State Records

Hardcore and metal over the past few years has fallen into either two categories: creative or just more of the same. In 2012, while we've had a handful of good, even less great, releases in terms of heavy music, I've found myself dissatisfied and underwhelmed with the majority of it, following a year that had some of the best albums the genre has heard since its inception. One good place to turn that's still putting out great music is Solid State Records, with a slew of veterans and newer artists like To Speak of Wolves making big waves, but nearly halfway through the year, the label have unveiled what they're called their New Breed, a duo of their newest bands expected to usher in a new wave of music, "post-metalcore," for years to come; made up of Wolves At The Gate and The Overseer. We Search, We Dig has now been unleashed, the debut from The Overseer, being heralded as a mix of Underoath and Thrice, and the album quite easily hits the mark and goes beyond.
no image

After a much anticipated wait, Paper Route have revealed that their sophomore release, The Peace of Wild Things, will be releasing on September 11th, 2012. In addition to that, the band have also released a new song as well, "You and I," which can be streamed here:

The band are currently on tour with HalfNoise, and the tour dates can be found at Paper Route's website.

no image


June 18, 2012 – Los Angeles, CA – Orange County rock band Project 86 has announced plans to release their long awaited, new album, Wait For the Siren, on August 21.  After a catalogue of successful releases on both major and independent labels, P86 decided to go an entirely new route with this new release: partnering directly with their fans.  After a successful Kickstarter campaign which raised tens of thousand dollars, they have emerged with a reinvented sound which demonstrates why they are one of the most formidable rock bands around.  To celebrate their loyal fan base, the band is offering a free MP3 download of their first single from the album, Fall, Goliath, Fall, available on the bands website for a limited time at

Check Out: Beautiful Eulogy

Beautiful Eulogy may be an unfamiliar name to you, but there's a good chance you've heard them in some way. The Portland, Oregon trio were recently on "Misconception" on Lecrae's Church Clothes mixtape, and the group itself is made up of veteran rappers Braille and Odd Thomas, along with producer Courtland Urbano (formerly Xperiment). The band's debut album, Satellite Kite, will be out on June 19th, and will be available as a free download from Humble Beast, and can currently be pre-ordered right here as well. You can watch the band's new video for their song "Entitlement" below.

no image

Love & War & The Sea In Between

June 15, 2012 will mark one year since the release of Love & War & The Sea In Between, an 18-song endeavor by Portland, OR native Josh Garrels. It's been a journey too, as Garrels' decided to give away his beautifully intricate piece of art for one year, free of charge between independent music sites BandCamp and Noisetrade. Every listen of the album has only seemingly been better, revealing the true emotion and tangibility behind the massive collection of songs, each unique, yet tied together with a common thread; pieces in a story of love, tension, and faith. The musicianship is remarkable, from orchestra-laden pieces to intimate acoustic melodies and even a bit of hip-hop influence thrown in for good measure, which accompany Garrel's thick, deep vocals and haunting falsettos. The cunning lyrics are yet another thing that can't go without mentioning, using imagery and good flow to convey the themes of Love & War to the listener. If you're like me, you've heard plenty of good music over the past few years, but I'm willing to say that Josh Garrel's Love & War & The Sea In Between is truly something special, willing to astound listeners for years to come.

Love & War & The Sea In Between is available for free download at Noisetrade and BandCamp until June 15. If you miss the opportunity, the album will still be available on iTunes and AmazonMP3 as well. The trailer for the upcoming film that documents the inception of the album, The Sea In Between, can also be seen below, with more info to be found here.

Josh Garrels: The Sea In Between - Trailer from Mason Jar Music on Vimeo.

no image

Artist: Bellarive
Album: The Heartbeat
Release Date: June 19, 2012
Label: Sparrow Records

Led by Sean Curran, some may be familiar with Bellarive from their days with Come&Live! and through their first EP, The Being Human Project... Start Listening, and fans of Leeland and Coldplay noticed and found something to like in the similar melodies and piano driven rock songs. The six-piece worship band from Orlando, whose name translates to "beautiful river," now are bringing their debut full-length, The Heartbeat, to listener's ears through Sparrow Records. Many of their original songs have been tweaked (albeit not overly) and included on this album. In fact, what you'll find are some of the most energetic and spirited melodies you've heard this year, paired with a heart for true intimacy with God.
no image

Artist: Ascend The Hill
Album: O Ransomed Son
Release Date: April 17, 2012
Label: Come&Live!

Worship albums are always hit or miss it seems like. I remember when Hillsong was the staple worship band around, or even CCM artists releasing worship albums, and all would lack a sense of creativity. We have all heard the songs before, most of our churches play those songs on Sunday morning or your high school worship team overplays them at the loudest volume possible. I for one got pretty tired of the 3 chord songs, with the surface level lyrics and overproduction. Thankfully we have a band called Ascend The Hill.

no image

Artist: Write This Down
Album: Lost Weekend
Release Date: June 5, 2012
Label: Tooth & Nail Records

Unless you're in a well established band with either a hit single and good radio play and hundreds of thousands of likes on Facebook, chances are you aren't touring around in a big, air conditioned bus living the "glamorized" life of a touring band. In fact, your favorite band might call a 12-16 passenger van their home, while sleeping in parking lots or on a spare bed or couch in any given house while on the road. Lost Weekend vividly illustrates this fact, the sophomore album from Minnesota's Write This Down, which feels something like the journal of a hard working band while on the road, struggles and all.

On first listen of Last Weekend, I can't say I was impressed (musically), largely favoring the band's debut over their new, self-proclaimed "grittier" sound. Turns out this album was and is a grower. While frontman Johnny Collier's signature screams are still well intact, his cleaner singing vocals contain this "grit," a new vocal technique that he's experimented with to add some contrast with guitarist/duel vocalist Nate Rockwell, which appear on a majority of the heavier songs, notably on "Red 7" and "Crash and Burn." As time goes on, the vocals do get seemingly more cohesive, and the contrast makes sense, adding in a good effect in terms of new musical ground for the band. The backing instrumentation is also very solid on Lost Weekend, polished off by producer Pete Stewart (of Grammatrain), taking on a much heavier, focused rock vibe over the sporadic sounds of the band's self-titled debut, which was a mixed bag of post-hardcore and pop punk.

"The Older I Get, The Better I Was" kicks things off with a heavy atmosphere that rivals the energy and metal edge of "Renegade" from Write This Down. Perhaps the album's best track, "See Ya Never," follows, displaying the band's fantastic utilization of dual vocals, with Nate and Johnny going back and forth on the life of touring together, similar themes being found in "Crash and Burn" and "Cheap Affairs," which tackle maintaining relationships on the road. "Touch and Go" experiments with some spoken word vocals, very similar to Matt Hastings' of Mychildren Mybride, and guest vocals from Matt MacDonald of The Classic Crime are also present in the bridge, which really hit as an emotional climax, which flows through the "Minnesota Interlude" and into the closing "Song and Dance," a very somber and introspective song which declares "You've seen me at my worst!," a melancholy ending to an album full of sorrowful songs that make you realize that bands spend and sacrifice so much more than just gas money and countless hours to play for audiences every night.

Overall: If you've been a fan of Write This Down in the past, you may have to let go of expectations for a new album continuing their older sound, because Lost Weekend is not that, by any extent. Instead, it's so much more; an emotionally charged album that accurately chronicles the hardships of the touring life, and maintaining both faith and relationships in the midst of it all. While musically there is nothing very groundbreaking here, Lost Weekend is a much more matured album for the band, and has them dipping their feet in both rock and post-hardcore, complete with dueling vocals to pull it all around full circle. Chances are, if you don't fully grasp ahold of the album, it may take multiple listens, but the result just might be something different than initially expected.

Rating: 8/10

Reviewed by Brooks Ginnan


  1. The Older I Get, The Better I Was
  2. See Ya Never
  3. I'll Make You Famous
  4. Red 7
  5. Crash and Burn
  6. Don't Speak
  7. Cheap Affairs
  8. The Florida Rage
  9. Lost Weekend
  10. Touch and Go
  11. Minnesota Interlude
  12. Song and Dance
(Buy Here)

no image

Our new Summer Sampler is available now, for FREE, and features tons of new music from Facedown Records. You can download the sampler here:

The tracklisting includes the following songs:

1. Your Memorial "Redirect" (new album, Redirect, out July 17)
2. Gideon "Prodigal Son" (new album, Milestone, out July 3)
3. War of Ages "Redeemer"
4. Altars "Scum"
5. Letter to the Exiles "Retribution"
6. The Burial "Pears; The Frailty of Matter"
7. Leaders "Conviction"
8. xLooking Forwardx "Down With the Ship" (new 7", Down With the Ship, out June 19)
no image

From A Plea For Purging:

PLEA will be playing our final U.S. shows alongside long time friends, AS HELL RETREATS in August and September of this year. The run has been dubbed the "QUIT YOUR BAND AND GET A JOB TOUR."  The last seven years have been amazing so come have one more party and a few more stage dives with us at one of these final shows.

w/ As Hell Retreats
Aug 10 - Little Rock, AR @ Downtown Music
Aug 11 - Fort Worth, TX @ Tomcats
Aug 12 - Jackson, MS @ The Carter
Aug 17 - Jacksonville, FL@ Murray Hill Theatre
Aug 18 - Douglasville, GA @ The 7 Venue
Aug 19 - Chattanooga, TN @ TBA
Aug 24 - Dayton, OH @ The Attic
Aug 25 - Owensboro, KY @ TBA
Aug 26 - Herrin, IL @ HTTS
Aug 31 - Greenville, SC @ The Channel
Sept 1 - Lynchburg, VA @ Crosspoint
Sept 2 - Annapolis, MD@/ Knights of Columbus
Sep 7 - Birmingham, AL @ The River
Sep 8 Nashville, TN @ Rocketown

PLEA also has a string of dates throughout the summer.

Jun 21 - Wilmore, KY @ ICHTHUS FESTIVAL
Jun 23 - Knoxville, TN @ Building B
Jul 8 -  Springfield, IL @ Black Sheep Cafe
Jul 9 -  Rockford, IL @ Frontline
Jul 11 - Willmar, MN @ SONSHINE FESTIVAL
Jul 15 - St. Paul, MN @ Station 4
Your Memorial Streaming "Redirect"

Your Memorial has posted a lyric video for "Redirect", the first single from their highly anticipated upcoming album of the same name. Redirect will be released July 17 and pre-orders are now available.

You can catch Your Memorial on this summer's Scream the Prayer Tour with Sleeping Giant, Demon Hunter, Facedown's own Gideon, and more.

Check out "Redirect" here:

Tour Dates:
Jun 22 - Nashville, TN @ Rocketown
Jun 23 - Douglasville, GA @ The 7 Venue
Jun 24 - Jacksonville, FL @ Murray Hill Theatre
Jun 25 - North Charleston, SC @ The Warehouse
Jun 26 - Charlotte, NC @ Amos Southend
Jun 27 - Richmond, VA @ Kingdom
Jun 28 - Baltimore, MD @ Sonar
Jun 30 - Dayton, OH @ The Attic Club
Jul 01 - Joliet, IL @ Mojoe's
Jul 02 - Memphis, TN @ Newby's
Jul 03 - Birmingham, AL @ Mountaintop Family Life Center
Jul 05 - Corpus Christi, TX @ House of Rock
Jul 06 - Houston, TX @ Warehouse Live
Jul 07 - San Antonio, TX @ White Rabbit
Jul 08 - Dallas, TX @ The Door
Jul 10 - Tulsa, OK @ The Compound
Jul 11- St Louis, MO @ FUBAR
Jul 13 - Willmar, MN @ Sonshine Festival
Jul 14 - Goshen, IN @ The Goshen Theatre