Anberlin perform at House Of Blues, Saturday Nov. 6.
Starting with “We Owe This To Ourselves”, moving to “Impossible” and creeping into “Take Me As You Found Me”, Anberlin’s 5th studio opens with a bang big enough to convince even the biggest skeptics or faded fans, looking to be wooed again, that this is the album they have been looking for.
“Take Me As You Found Me” will easily become a massive radio single with its resounding chorus, begging for voices to join in and sing along. “We Owe This To Ourselves” on the other hand scratches the itch for a faster, in your face type of rock song awaking the adolescent youth in each listener. Before slowing things down and turning to a classic Anberlin sound on “The Art Of War”, “Pray Tell” invokes a Needtobreathe feel with its claps and slaps in the verses. While this is a unique and different thing for Anberlin, it’s the chorus of the song that really shines. “To The Wolves” is one of the few other songs that should take you back to the older, ‘Never Take Friendship Personal’ days, both with the lyrical style and musical influence.
In the mist of what is obviously a darker album, lyrically and musically, is “You Belong To Me”. The upbeat and accessible song is an example of perfect song placement. Having the track right after the heavier and more aggressive “Closer”, “You Belong To Me” is able to standout a simple melodically driven, hopeful anthem.
The argument, or rather, indifferent response long time fans will give for losing interest prior to this record is that they’ve heard it before; the spark is gone. While ‘Dark Is The Way…’ isn’t a universal cure, I do think that there is enough innovation here to rekindle a flame. It dabbles in plenty of instrumental and structural surprises that, with lots of layered vocals and harmonies, give the album a lush atmosphere well worth returning to over and over.
Completely unapologetic, ‘Dark Is The Way, Light Is A Place’ falls right behind ‘Cities’ as Anberlin’s best album to date. Instead of becoming gimmicky, the band evolved where they needed while keeping the solid core that has gotten them this far.