#12
The Light in Guinevere's Garden

East West
Floodgate / Epic

East West's debut is the perfect blend of hardcore rock with a taste of rapcore elements, along the lines of P.O.D., Korn, and Project 86. This impressive major label debut is destined to bring the band a great deal of success thanks to their polished sound and balance between raw rock intensity and vibrant melodic emotion.

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#11
Porch and Altar

Charlie Hall
sixstep / Sparrow

Hall lends his blend of alternative worship straight from the Passion movement to sixstep Records. This sophomore release for the worship label showcases Hall mixing up rock and roll with contemplative meditations. Porch and Altar closes with a breathtaking four-song sequence of peace, cleansing, meditation, and comfort.

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#10
Invitation to Eavesdrop

Shaun Groves
Rocketown

Thankfully there are still a group of singer/songwriters that aren't afraid to wear their hearts on their sleeves and challenge listeners with various themes. Groves is amongst the top new troubadours this year, combining cutting-edge acoustic jams with contemplative coffee-sipping tunes. Songs such as "Damage Done," "Should I Tell Them," and "Welcome Home" are a few poetic highlights from this performer with a promising future.

Read the original review here.

#9
Big Surprise

The Elms
Sparrow

Since their debut EP, The Elms have matured tenfold, developing a knack for clever songwriting and a British-inspired rock backbeat. The group abandoned their formulaic acoustic rock sound to incorporate more prominent musical influences, including The Beatles and Radiohead. Songs such as "Hey, Hey" and a new version of "Lifeboat" are undeniably catchy, while the lush orchestration ...

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