After more than a decade of ups and downs, membership changes, and stop-and-start momentum, Straight Line Stitch finally seems to have it together. The Knoxville-based metal band popped back up on national radar in 2008 with its second album (and first for mini-major label Koch, now E1) When Skies Wash Ashore. The disc was the first to feature singer Alexis Brown, whose demographic appeal (she's probably the most high-profile black woman in metal) is nearly as important to the band as her voice, which switches between a convincing hardcore bark and big, wide-open melodies. (She's reportedly part of Revolver magazine's annual spread on the "hottest chicks in metal" this month.) The band—Brown, sole original member Seth Thacker on guitar, bassist Jason White, and drummer Kanky Lora—has spent the last couple of years touring with Hatebreed (singer Jamey Jasta appeared as a guest on When Skies Wash Ashore's "Taste of Ashes"), 36 Crazyfists, and Soulfly, raising its profile for the upcoming The Fight of Our Lives, which, based on advance single "Conversion," promises to be even more intense than When Skies Wash Ashore. The new disc is set to be released on March 22.