Release Date: Oct 16, 2012
Record label: Republic
Genre(s): Pop/Rock, Alternative/Indie Rock, Alternative Pop/Rock
Review Summary: Anberlin smartly evolves while continuing to solidify their position as one of the best alternative rock bands around.Anberlin have always known exactly who they are. It’s why everything from Blueprints For The Black Market to Dark Is The Way, Light Is A Place has sounded completely unflappable. The band remained steadfast in their approach for so long that they’ve managed to release a “three-peat” of commercially successful alternative rock albums, including the revered Cities – an album that they unwittingly turned into a perpetually unattainable milestone.
Moving on from the breakthrough emo-pop sound the band showcased on 2010's Brendan O'Brien-produced Dark Is the Way, Light Is a Place, Anberlin's 2012 effort, Vital, features a heavier metal and electronica-infused sound. Once again centered around the passionate, resonant vocals of Stephen Christian and paired with longtime producer Aaron Sprinkle, this is an ambitious, arena-ready album that, while still reflecting the band's knack for melody, reveals a bent toward bombastic, electronic-tinged hard rock. Although Anberlin have never shied away from angular sounds, much of the band's previous work revealed a mix of sparkling, U2-style uplift and plaintive, Paramore-style emo.