For Max Stern, the greatest sacrament seems to be marriage. In his second proper respite from the conscious alternative rock of Signals Midwest, his Meridian project (which also features brother, Jake) returns to pen another chapter of folk-rock storytelling, but lets a graceful union between his two worlds take place. Some tracks do pick up where the acoustic-laden arrangements of 2012’s Aging Truths left off, whether in the raucous dual-guitar assault of the title track or the mournful pathos of album closer “Saints Paul and Ann.” However, the tracks that comprise the majority of The Cathedral showcase a welcome balance between modern flourishes of roots-rock and the slicing vitriol of Max’s primary focus.

It seems that this amicable courtship is here to stay, as Max confesses on the penultimate cut “Eyes Like Lakes (Room Within a Room),” singing, “for now, I’ll stand in this cathedral/Scream and let it resonate.” With a sound that clings to both sides of the folk-punk duality, the latest release from this Ohio group proves to linger long after the doors close on their latest sermon.

Youth Conspiracy Records has pressed The Cathedral on red vinyl (limited to 200 copies), blue vinyl (limited to 200 copies), and red and blue split vinyl (limited to 100 copies, already sold out) so make sure to pick up a copy if you like what you hear.

The records will ship out on or around the release date of August 19th.