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: 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.

After the release of Ascend The Hill's hymns album, I was a bit unsure of the direction they were going to take to follow up one of the most well received worship albums in years. Ascend The Hill blends great melodies, and huge chorus' in to some of the best sounding modern worship songs I have ever heard.

O Ransomed Son starts off with "So Good To Us" a perfect song to open the album up with. A very heartfelt song that represents the true meaning of worship, praising our God for who he is and what he has done. The next song "Inheritance" is one of my favorite tracks on the album. The chorus is hauntingly beautiful, and the off beat drumming at the beginning and bridge really add a different style to the music. The number one thing that stands out to me on any Ascend The Hill album is the music. Earlier I said that I was tired of the 3 chord worship songs, and Ascend The Hill has none of that. I appreciate that they take worship seriously and make it creative with great musicianship, and passion. They never become to "showy" to distract the listener of the true meaning of worship, but they make it original while keeping it humble.

The biggest highlight for me was the track "Even When I'm At My Darkest" which features the greatest guest vocalist of all time, Dustin Kensrue, of Thrice. Lyrically, and musically this track is the best on the album, the first half has great lyrics, and the last half has amazing guitar work.

Overall: Ascend The Hill has set the bar high for any modern worship band today. I know that may sound weird for a worship band, because the whole purpose of a band of that nature is to, well, Worship our Savior. But, it should be worth mentioning that Ascend The Hill takes the modern worship experience and amps it up to a degree that feels refreshing, and full of joy.

Rating: 10/10

Reviewed by Tabor Brown


1. So Good To Us
2. Inheritance
3. Power In The Name Of Jesus
4. Whom Have I
5. Great Is Ty Faithfulness
6. Hear The Sound
7. There's No Greater Treasure
8. Even When I'm At My Darkest (Feat. Dustin Kensrue of Thrice)
9. Where Is Grace
10.You Have My Heart
11.Song Of The Redeemed
12.Heaven Come Down

(free download here)

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