Universal Republic rockers Anberlin will launch a North American headlining tour at New Orleans' House of Blues on September 28th. Crash Kings and Civil Twilight will open on the outing, which includes stops at Los Angeles' House of Blues (October 8th) and The Fillmore New York at Irving Plaza (October 30th). Anberlin will also play a show with 30 Seconds to Mars on September 30th in Oklahoma City. (See below for full tour itinerary.)
"Impossible," the lead single from Anberlin's upcoming album, Dark Is The Way, Light Is A Place, is the #1 Most Added track at Alternative radio and the Greatest Gainer for the fourth consecutive week, moving up to #14*. The track is already on every major alternative station in the country, including KROQ-Los Angeles, Q101-Chicago, 89X-Detroit, The Edge-Dallas, KNDD-Seattle and 91X-San Diego. Available now on iTunes and Amazon, the single was recently the "pick of the week" in USA Today, which called it "insistent, insinuating...hard to resist." The video for "Impossible" was directed by Endeavor Media, who worked with the band on its "Feel Good Drag" video and lensed Owl City's "Fireflies." MTV2 recently gave "Impossible" its premiere and it's been added at Much More. You can check out the clip - and Spin.com's recent "Name That Band!" feature on Anberlin - at:
With "Impossible" exploding at radio, Universal Republic has moved up the release date of the new album by two weeks - to September 7th. Dark Is The Way, Light Is A Place - which takes its title from a line in Dylan Thomas' "Poem On His Birthday" - has been hailed as "one of the most anticipated albums of 2010" by Alternative Press. It's the band's fifth studio album and was produced by GRAMMY® Award winner Brendan O'Brien (Pearl Jam, Bruce Springsteen, Rage Against the Machine).
The anthemic "We Owe This To Ourselves," another track from the upcoming album, was the main song used on ESPN's X-Games recently.
Dark Is The Way, Light Is A Place follows Anberlin's 2008 breakthrough album, New Surrender, which was the band's second album to debut in the Top 20 of The Billboard 200. Its No. 1 single, "Feel Good Drag," ranks as the longest-charting single in Modern Rock history and was named 2009's "Rock Song of the Year" by FMQB.
Formed in Winter Haven, FL in 2002, Anberlin has sold over 700,000 albums in its career and toured the world, sharing stages with American Rejects, My Chemical Romance, Taking Back Sunday, Paramore and many others.
The band has been involved in numerous humanitarian efforts and lead vocalist Stephen Christian is a co-founder of Faceless International, an organization that defends exploited people worldwide.
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Anberlin's New Release Hits All The Right Notes| Posted September 03, 2010
Anberlin is one of those bands that continually produces quality music with every recording they make. They got the Midas touch in terms of musical skill. After four critically acclaimed and amazing musical releases, Anberlin is back with their 5th Studio release, intriguingly titled "Dark is the Way, Light is a Place."
Anberlin's major label debut, "New Surrender," has been getting a lot of flack in the light of these new tracks. For some reason, it's suddenly looked down upon, despite many fairly glowing reviews I remember reading about it when it was released. Maybe the new record is so good that it's made people forget that Anberlin's last release was very good too, even if this is better.
"Dark..." opens in what has becomes Anberlin's fashion, a dark and intense rocking opener. I actually think it is weaker than it's predecessors("Godspeed", "The Resistance"), but it's still a strong track overall. The album continues in the Anberlin tradition of the second track being a Pop/Rock track that screams the need for constant radio airplay. "Impossible" does justice to it's predecessors and makes a worthy first single.
However, don't let the first two songs define the album for you, they are my least favorites. "Take Me (As You Found Me)" follows next and it's a real gem of a track, even if it sounds very familiar, but I can't place where. "Closer" brings back the rock for what is ultimately an album highlight in a hauntingly intense and memorable hit. "You Belong Here" has "hit" written all over it. It seems the most likely of any song to be played for movie soundtracks and trailers for Romantic Comedies. It's definitely going to have it's dissenters, but it's good.
"Pray Tell" was a track first glimpsed via a cryptic sound check video on Youtube. The fully recorded version doesn't disappoint and finds Anberlin experimenting with a new sound. With catchy verses and one of the most memorable and soaring choruses of Anberlin's career, this track is one of the ones this album will definitely be remembered for.
"Art of War" is next and finds Anberlin again experimenting and sounding good doing it. It's another album highlight. "To The Wolves" harkens back to the days of "Never Take Friendship Personal" with a fierce rocking breakup song that also packs some "Cities" influence. "Down" is an acoustic number that has drawn comparisons to "The Unwinding Cable Car" from "Cities." The comparisons are not without merit but the peaceful and beautiful quiet track is not without it's own merits.
The album closes with the traditional Anberlin 'epic' track. Although shorter than any of the past 3 tracks, "Depraved" still packs the slow-building, intensely finishing punch that is needed to close out the album in dramatic fashion.
Lyrically, Anberlin delivers what is to be expected, dark and often cryptic poetic phrases to give listeners plenty to ponder on. While the painful break-up songs "Art of War" and "To The Wolves" don't leave much confusion, there is some lyrical meat to be pondered in "Pray Tell" and "Depraved" among others. "Pray Tell" even has a message that could be considered very religious. The lyrics are another high point of the album.
"Cities" is the album widely considered to be Anberlin's best. It's tough to say if this surpasses it. I tend to say that it just falls short, but not by much. However, that could change over time as I get to know these musical masterpieces better. Best release yet or not, this album is by far the album of the year and a must-have for your collection.
There's little not to like about this, save for the length which, at 10 tracks, is a tad on the short side. The various B-sides to collect from various promotions will help to lessen that blow I'm sure.
The album is a bit gloomy, and those who long for Anberlin rocking their face off with every track might be a bit disappointed. But this album is undoubtedly a piece of musical genius. Those left jaded by "New Surrender" have plenty of reason to come back and get to know this awesome band again. It may or may not surpass "Cities" but it's clearly the worthy follow-up to it that some felt "New Surrender" failed at being. It's a stunningly amazing album from start to finish, with not a drop of filler to be found anywhere. So sit back, put your feet up, and take in the latest from one of the most talented acts in the modern rock scene.
Anberlin has never made more excellent music than this, it's just a shame the lyrics can't keep up with the musical quality.| Posted January 04, 2011
Over the past couple years, Anberlin has made a lot of headway into the realm of popularity. After their 2008 release New Surrender, some fans thought the band had “sold out” due to the poppy vibe that permeated the album, but at the same time hit singles “Breaking” and the re-recorded “Feel Good Drag” propelled the band into more mainstream popularity than ever before. In 2010, the pressure was on as Anberlin entered the studio to record Dark Is the Way, Light Is a Place, which needed to satisfy fans who were gained by their previous release and also those who were turned off by it, and the result is a short but sweet work of art that is the band’s best recording to date musically, but leans toward the weak side lyrically, finding itself somewhere between the darker vibe of 2007’s Cities and the poppy, upbeat feel of New Surrender.
The album kicks off with one of its strongest tracks in the fantastic rock anthem “We Owe This To Ourselves.” Lyrically the apparent self-centeredness bugs me (because we really owe nothing to ourselves and everything to our God), but musically it’s simply excellent. The energy and epic drumbeats give it a powerful fist-pumping sort of feel. Lead single “Impossible” follows as a song that almost sounds like a dance track of the past, but the vibe, guitar work, and vocals are totally Anberlin, and the whole group is clearly right in their element on the catchy and fun track.
“Take Me (As You Found Me)” and “You Belong Here” are strong pop ballads despite the forgettable lyrics that turn them into fairly cliché love songs; in fact, I think both of them could have been much stronger lyrically if the song titles’ concepts were applied more to the relationship between God and man. However, “You Belong Here” still makes itself memorable with its whimsical piano opening and lovely chorus. Both songs offer Stephen Christian opportunities to shine vocally in a softer light, showcasing what may be some of his finest singing yet recorded, while the track in between those two, “Closer” reveals another side to his voice that’s harsher and a little more intense, but equally phenomenal. Lyrically this one is also on the weak side, resorting to a bare-bones chorus that mostly repeats the song’s one word title a few times, though it’s still thoroughly enjoyable and well done musically as a harder-hitting rocker.
The finishing chord of “Closer” then gives way to the pounding drumbeats that open up “Pray Tell,” which is possibly the band’s best song ever, musically speaking. It’s strikingly unique and creative, while still feeling just enough like an Anberlin track to fit. The awesome drums never let up as they seem to take the lead throughout the song, and Christian’s superb vocals and some solid guitar work push the song into even further excellence. “Art of War” follows as one of the most depressing songs on the album lyrically (“Because of you I’ll never write another love song”) but musically it’s notably unique and atmospheric, though in a very different way than “Pray Tell.”
“To the Wolves” continues the depressing lyrical content about betrayal in a relationship, but manages to succeed musically in being a dark and effective rocker, as Christian growls “To the wolves, you left me to the wolves.” Acoustic ballad “Down” follows with little distinction to bring to the table musically or lyrically, especially when compared to past Anberlin masterpieces such as “The Unwinding Cable Car,” though it’s fair enough in its own right and still gives off the intended feel.
Finally, the album closes with “Depraved.” For a long time I think I misunderstood this song’s lyrics, as they seem to make excuses for depravity and say, “You’re not a slave, so get off your knees,” when in fact everyone is a slave to someone or something, whether it be God or some earthly thing that reigns in His rightful place. But as I took it less at face value and thought about it more, the lyrics seemed to take on a less sketchy meaning, like maybe they’re just saying you’re not a slave to sin, so stop worshiping it, or something like that. But unfortunately, it’s very short on lyrics and resorts to repeating the same lines over and over, making it hard to fully develop the song’s ideas. Musically the song is definitely epic and atmospheric, but it isn’t as coherent as it should be, making it a weaker closer than the band’s past two finishing songs.
When it’s all said and done, Dark Is the Way, Light Is a Place is quite simply a fantastic piece of musical excellence in the world of alternative rock music. The weak and often cliché lyrics definitely hold the album back from realizing its full potential, but the music is so well crafted and the performance is so rock solid that it’s hard to think very lowly of this album. Once you take into account the fact that there are only 10 tracks (making this the shortest Anberlin album yet), it further deepens the partial disappointment, but then again, those 10 songs are so sweet musically that it’s hard to ignore the album’s high level of overall quality. For me, it’s hard to love or hate Anberlin’s latest work, but Dark Is the Way, Light Is a Place is still a wholly worthwhile album for Anberlin fans or anyone who just wants some quality alternative rock music.
Eh...| Posted January 04, 2011
I was disappointed with this album. I thought it may have been going back to the epic-ness of "Cities" but it fell short in so many ways. Most of the songs just don't grab your attention
Impossible and Down are best tracks on the album. So I would just download those and save yourself the money and the heartache.
The last two albums from this band have only produced 2-3 songs worth keeping around.
Honestly Disappointing| Posted December 23, 2010
Let me begin by saying I am a huge Anberlin fan after being turned on to them with the album "Never Take Friendship Personal," however this latest offering is extremely disappointing. I love the song "Impossible," it has become one of my favorite songs. However, that is about the biggest bright spot on the album. The art of war is solid, but that is about the only other highlight if you are looking for that signature Anberlin rock sound. Most songs are close to New Surrender in sound, but I was a huge fan of that album either. If you like New Surrender you will be very happy with Anberlin's more ballad sound, but if you are like me and were hoping to a return to more of an Anberlin sound found on the early albums you will be very disappointed.
A Solid Return| Posted September 18, 2010
The first thing that hit me when listening to this album was, Hey this is way better than their last album. The production is better the music and better and the lyrics are great. This album has held my attention for the past few days and seems to keep getting better and better to me. The first track rocks it in you face then chills out some and the album progress on from there. I recommend this album to anyone who likes a good rock band.
4.5/5| Posted September 15, 2010
Anberlin returns for their 5th album and it is probably their most ambitious one to date. Luckily Anberlin has a reputation for making even the most ambitious music very enjoyable to listen to and this album is no exception. There are two ways you can listen to this album: First, you could listen to it as an average person who has heard some Anberlin songs but hasn't become a true fan. They might listen to this album and not like it at first but, after some repeat listens, it might grow on them. The second way you can listen to this album is if you already are a fan of the band. You'll notice a change in style that feels more ambient then their previous albums. (Big fans of the bands earlier work will especially enjoy the track To The Wolves.) Yes, Anberlin has evolved and this album really feels like an experiment. There are a lot of unfamiliar sounds that have not been present on any of the band's previous albums, but that's ok. I really enjoyed this album because of how different it sounded from their previous works. If you didn't like New Surrender, you will definitely not like this album. Vice versa for people who enjoyed New Surrender. I really liked this album and I think it's a strong contender for album of the year.
(On a side note: Don't worry, Anberlin's trademark idea of having the last track of any of their albums be as epic as possible is still in full force here. Depraved is my second favorite last track. First being *Fin from Cities.)
"Dark is the Way, Light is a Place" - An Album to be Played Over and Over Again!| Posted September 14, 2010
Anberlin has already proven themselves to be an unforegttable and irresistable rock band once more with their newest album, "Dark is the Way, Light is a Place." This band is already known for having a great and unique rock sound and captivates listeners with their incredible sound but this new album was quite a surprise to me as an Anberlin listener because this album did not only have a great sound, but it was so completely different from their older albums. Their sound was new and fun to listen to and their lyrics are on a completely different depth this time around too.
There is so much to discover with this album that the band isn't direct with. They want you to search for the meaning of the album, the artwork, and each song but don't want to just lead you in directly with each word they give to you. There's a hidden beauty worth discovering in this album, and I can't wait to share it with my friends!