Anberlin
Dark Is the Way, Light Is a Place


4.0
excellent

Review

by Adam Thomas STAFF
September 4th, 2010 | 499 replies


Release Date: 2010 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Three-peat

From the very start, Anberlin seemed like one of those bands destined for big lights and even bigger stages. Their stadium sized emotional alt-rock was always a little bit deeper and more well rounded than the teenage aesthetics and cheeky attitudes of other scenester turned mainstream acts such as Taking Back Sunday and My Chemical Romance, making a Jimmy Eat World sized crossover on to the radio dials of America an inevitability. Their 2008 release New Surrender took forever to get started, but when the single “Feel Good Drag”, a rerecorded number originally found on the group's album Never Take Friendship Personal, hit the FM waves it catapulted the Floridian quintet to a level of national fame that only seemed right, although some of the band's mainstay fans took issue with the increased number of lighter, poppier tracks on the album, seeing the slight stylistic shift as a lack of depth.

Dark Is the Way, Light Is a Place not only is Anberlin's first album to be released and recorded with the pressure of creating a worthy follow up to New Surrender's national buzz-album success, it's also a reactionary effort to answer the heckles that came from the internet peanut gallery. The result is a darker, more refined Anberlin. While, like every album to bear the Anberlin name, the main formula is relatively the same, Dark Is the Way, Light Is a Place sees the seemingly insipid side of the band that has always pockmarked their albums with songs like “Breathe”, “Breaking” and “Adelaide” put in the corner in favor of the arena sized ballads that always showcased the best of what the band has to offer, making it the spiritual kin of their 2007 release Cities. Stephen Christian is, like always, at his best. His angelic croon gently cascades over the beautifully wound musical landscape that his been laid out for him, soaring over the anthemic power chord sing-a-longs and nudging itself into every nook and cranny of the more intimate moments of delay driven atmospherics. Surprisingly, it is these more atmospheric moments where Dark Is the Way, Light Is a Place finds its own voice in waves of Joshua Tree era U2 pedal board infused grandiosity, that even the Edge himself would be proud of.

While Dark Is the Way, Light Is a Place isn't the album that will make long time fans of Anberlin still holding out for some sort of magnum opus from the band weak in the knees, it is the third straight near perfect album released by them, proving that when it comes to alternative rock at the start of this new decade, Anberlin is the cream at the top of the US radio-rock universe. Who knows where they'll go from here, but if they keep this level of creative consistency going, the sky is the limit.



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user ratings (675)
Chart.
3.6
great
other reviews of this album
1 of
  • Green Baron (2.5)
    Anberlin get left to the wolves....

    David Shephard (3)
    Watery...

    John Fraser (2.5)
    Disappointingly, "Dark Is The Way, Light Is a Place" ends up sounding more like a better-p...

    dupuisj8 (3.5)
    An inconsistent yet hard hitting album from one of the most touching bands in recent years...

  • Luke Beaty (4.5)
    Anberlin is back and this time they go for a more darker edgier sound....

    SowingSeason STAFF (4.5)
    “Dark is the Way, Light is a Place” is the sound of Anberlin gaining momentum, with no...

    ydoc14 (4)
    Anberlin mixes the sounds of their first three albums with a few new twists to create the ...

    J. Ponton EMERITUS (3.5)
    They owe this to themselves...

  • Caleb McAlpine (4)
    Anberlin observes the difference between “playing it safe” and “playing it smart”....

    fr33convict (4)
    While not the band’s promised magnum opus, Anberlin still delivers an excellent album be...


Comments:Add a Comment 
Canyons of Static
September 4th 2010


638 Comments


So i herd this wuz gewd

Athom
Staff Reviewer
September 4th 2010


17222 Comments


that it is

ShadowRemains
September 4th 2010


21058 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0 | Sound Off

so this is a great review...

4 good reviews in a row for this album

Digging: Execration (NOR) - Morbid Dimensions

Ponton
Emeritus
September 4th 2010


5804 Comments


great, great review

agree on the joshuua tree-era bit too

G3N3R1C
September 4th 2010


1945 Comments


I remember REALLY liking a handful of songs from this band a couple years back; haven't listened to them in forever, though.... maybe it's time i got re-acquainted with them...

crazyblinddude
September 4th 2010


3389 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Nice review. Kinda short, but a nice little read nonetheless.

Athom
Staff Reviewer
September 4th 2010


17222 Comments


holy crap, double feature.

Canyons of Static
September 4th 2010


638 Comments


You're moving up in the world

Athom
Staff Reviewer
September 4th 2010


17222 Comments


i hope this means i get double my pay.

Lakes.
September 4th 2010


28433 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

still digesting this

Digging: Scott Walker and Sunn O))) - Soused

Nomos
September 4th 2010


843 Comments


Album is terribad. All of the songs sound the same, and all of Anberlin's charm is gone. Now they're just going through the motions.

DiceMan
September 4th 2010


7068 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

2 x 0 = 0?



.... Why are new users always so.... Wrong?

Athom
Staff Reviewer
September 4th 2010


17222 Comments


@Nomos: personally i think they get better with every album but to each their own.

Lakes.
September 4th 2010


28433 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

??????

DiceMan
September 4th 2010


7068 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Lol he moved his rating from 1.5 to 2.5...

Athom
Staff Reviewer
September 4th 2010


17222 Comments


he's entitled to his opinion. no big whoop

Nomos
September 4th 2010


843 Comments


Blueprints & NTFP were masterpieces of catchy pop rock. I guess that's why I loved them to much in the first place. Ridiculously catchy stuff. Then Cities had a few slow songs, but a lot of great stuff....and...ever since it's just been a decline into slow, moody stuff that I guess I'm just not a fan of.

Lakes.
September 4th 2010


28433 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

NTFP =/= masterpiece

DiceMan
September 4th 2010


7068 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Honestly slow and moody are two words which I would never use to describe New Surrender. I don't even think I've heard their older stuff though.

Lakes.
September 4th 2010


28433 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

their work from cities to now has been a vast improvement on some of the stuff on NTFP and blueprints



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