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: 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.

Conclusions starts out with an opening track much like Opposition did. Vocalist Mike Searle yells "We Are The Red Brick Army! And We Are Here To Take A Stand!" as a declaration of bringing hope to a world that needs it. The intro track opens up the next song "Scum" that really sets a good tone for the rest of the album. It immediately feels like Altars really took a different approach to this album, it never feels like an Opposition Part II, yet it remains brutal and intense, and even carries the overall theme of Opposition. The next track 'The Coward' talks about faith, and the belief of God. It's always awesome to hear bands really proclaim the name of Christ in such passionate ways.

The album continues with a soft instrumental track. Personally I am not a fan of filler tracks, and unfortunately this album has a few. They don't sound bad or anything, but it really disrupts the flow of the album. The next couple tracks set the album back on track, and you quickly forget about the filler tracks. The track 'Revelation' is a highlight of the album, purely due to the lyrics. The yelling of "Jesus reveal your presence, to me!" hits hard spiritually, and is one of the most passionate moments on the album. Altars is a band that will not shy away from speaking truthfully about what they believe in.

Instrument wise this album is top notch. Hardcore can sometimes carry over the notion that it's full of open palmed chugging, and no musical substance. But Altars takes a more melodic approach, while keeping that heaviness flowing. One of the best examples is the final track 'Conclusions'. Full of heavy riffs, and great beats, the track really closes the album out well.

Overall: Altars is a band that I fully believe will be only growing, and maturing. Facedown really knocked it out of the park when they signed Altars to their already outstanding roster. Anytime a band can be passionate in their lyrics, and music will solidify a long standing music career. This album is just the beginning.

Rating: 8/10

Reviewed by: Tabor Brown


1. Red Brick Army
2. Scum
3. The Coward
4. Portlen
5. Lower
6. Unknowing
7. Ryland
8. Montreal
9. Shepherds
10. Revelation
11. Realization
12. Conclusions

(buy here)

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