Anberlin
Dark Is The Way, Light Is A Place


4.5
superb

Review

by SowingSeason EMERITUS
September 7th, 2010 | 73 replies | 6,747 views


Release Date: 2010 | Tracklist

Review Summary: “Dark is the Way, Light is a Place” is the sound of Anberlin gaining momentum, with no intentions of slowing down.

I have to admit that I approached Dark is the Way, Light is a Place with a considerable amount of doubt. There are few times in which I can recall a band proclaiming their upcoming work to be their “darkest and heaviest yet” or making some similarly brash prediction without seeing it crash and burn within the wreckage ignited by their own arrogance. Naturally, when Stephen Christian announced that their fifth LP would be “darker and edgier” than prior releases, painting a picture of a magnum opus, I stood unwavering within my stubbornness and reasonable speculation that this would be an unsuccessful attempt at Cities meets New Surrender. Thankfully, Anberlin had the motivation and skill to prove me – along with a slew of other doubters – completely wrong.

On Dark is the Way, Light is a Place, Anberlin flawlessly combines their staple sound with experimental elements ranging from traces of U2 (“Impossible”) to a Jimmy Eat World vibe across several of the album’s later tracks (notably “To The Wolves” and “Depraved”). Perhaps the most impressive feat accomplished here is the band’s ability to mix together all of these musical ideas and turn out something that is both fresh and possessing a sound that is wholly Anberlin. The band’s best and most endearing traits remain intact – Christian’s vocals are as strong as ever, alternating between atmospheric howls and moderately aggressive growling. The guitar work is quite solid throughout, creating peaks of emotional grandeur and breathtaking valleys that will help the listener get caught up in every second of the journey. They still have those “diamond in the rough” tracks that qualify as “good finds”, but the irony is that there is really no “rough” on the album. Dark is the Way, Light is a Place is a consecutive string of gems, with no disconcerting interruptions to make you question the band’s intentions or the thematic direction of the record. As a result, we have Anberlin’s most consistent album to date.

As I alluded to before, Dark is the Way, Light is a Place is one of those albums that qualifies as an experience. The flow from track to track is both smooth and sweet, with virtually no uncomfortable gaps or moments of filler, making the album feel like an intimate travel through the soundwaves created by each carefully crafted bridge and chorus. From the nearly perfect one-two punch of opening tracks “We Owe This To Ourselves” and “Impossible”, to the thunderous drum beats and compelling lyrics of “Pray Tell”, the album offers quite the intriguing listen. Closers “Depraved” and “All We Have” highlight the album’s final moments, with a heavily emotional aura and epic production. Anberlin accomplishes an unmatched flow in a variety of ways, but the most obvious explanation is that, during the recording of the album, they were simply in the zone. If there was any doubt about the band’s direction after the polarizing, streamlined New Surrender, those concerns have be put to rest. They are clearly on top of their game, and have produced three straight critically acclaimed albums to prove it.

Dark is the Way, Light is a Place is the sound of Anberlin gaining momentum, with no intentions of slowing down. It may not obliterate memories of Cities, but it is just what Anberlin needed to show fans that they can mature gracefully while simultaneously bringing new ideas to the table. Best of all, the new ideas they concocted have clearly elevated them to a whole new level of success – one that will pack arenas while also staying true to the most loyal of fans.



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Comments:Add a Comment 
SowingSeason
Emeritus
September 8th 2010



14509 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

Oh yes, another Anberlin review. But this is among my favorite 5 bands and one of my most anticipated albums of the year, so I just couldn't help myself. I didn't read much of the other reviews, so I apologize if I repeated anything the other reviewers already stated.

Believe it or not this was my attempt at shortening up my reviews...I really aimed for brevity and conciseness, so let me know honestly what you think.

fr33convict
September 8th 2010



11678 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Great review. This needz moar negative reviews though. Pos'd.

SowingSeason
Emeritus
September 8th 2010



14509 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

thanks fr33, i agree that this needs a negative review to balance things out; there was just no way i could do it. i really enjoyed this album, a clear 2nd favorite to cities.

tiesthatbind
September 8th 2010



7360 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Great work, pos. I'm loving this. Closer and Art of War are my favorites, but just about every track is great.

LukeB84
September 8th 2010



151 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I like this review SowingSeason. I might do one tomorrow track by track.

SowingSeason
Emeritus
September 8th 2010



14509 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

ties: thanks for the pos, it still isn't as brief as i wanted it, but i'll get there...also i would put this just above new surrender, but well below cities

luke: thats awesome, it is always great to see people starting to write reviews. i would steer away from track by track though, it is frowned upon on sputnik...just put your thoughts into paragraph form, maybe try to make some general observations about the album; what they did well, what they didn't do so well, etc.

Winsomniac
September 8th 2010



7940 Comments


Finally starting to earnestly listen to this. Cities was much catchier than this. It's definitely not bad, but I'm not sure if I personally like this direction Anberlin seemed to take on this album.

tiesthatbind
September 8th 2010



7360 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Nah, this is definitely pretty brief, it's only 4 paragraphs.

SowingSeason
Emeritus
September 8th 2010



14509 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

I had it even shorter, but I added the whole bit about album flow and them being in a zone...it probably served to help the review, though

my fav. tracks so far are impossible, take me, pray tell, and depraved; but honestly i like the album as a whole as cheesy as that sounds

Ire
September 8th 2010



41453 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Great review Sowingseasyn

LukeB84
September 8th 2010



151 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Will do! thanks for the tips on writing reviews.

SowingSeason
Emeritus
September 8th 2010



14509 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

thanks eyre! eh, that doesn't work as well...i'll stick with ire

Winsomniac
September 8th 2010



7940 Comments


I don't know. Usually I have a pretty big soft spot for Anberlin, but something about this album is very much awkward to me. They had always been a fairly accessible good band to me, and this feels like easily their least accessible work to date, which bothers me for some reason. I dunno, I'll give it a few more listens, to be honest I couldn't stand Beggars for almost a year after initially hearing it despite being a Thrice fanboy.

Ire
September 8th 2010



41453 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

thanks eyre! eh, that doesn't work as well...i'll stick with ire



*syn, plz

SowingSeason
Emeritus
September 8th 2010



14509 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

i still don't like beggars that much

and i see where you are coming from with this album, it isn't as hard-edge as Never Take Friendship Personal, not as good as Cities, and not as catchy/accessible as New Surrender. to me, it is just the perfect blend of the three, with a little U2 influence to give it this indescribably good atmosphere...

LukeB84
September 8th 2010



151 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Its so hard for me to like a full album of songs these days but theres no filler on this album.

Winsomniac
September 8th 2010



7940 Comments


I'm actually rediscovering how ridiculously good Cities is these days, because when I was first going nuts over it (right after it leaked lol) I wasn't much of a Sputnik user. And to be honest, Cities really blows this out of the water to me.

*Fin sort of destroys this entire album to me right now. But like I said, I'll come back to it and listen again. Strange, I didn't like new Ivoryline that much either. I'm losing my poppy side.

SowingSeason
Emeritus
September 8th 2010



14509 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

*Fin will always be Anberlin's best song IMO too. If they ever top it, I will be amazed and extremely happy

LukeB84
September 8th 2010



151 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I got into Anberlin when Cities came out that year. My music taste then was on christian rock and bands like Underoath so i decided to check out Anberlin. A good decision on my part. I still listen to Cities every now and then.

Winsomniac
September 8th 2010



7940 Comments


Cities is so so so so so so good holy shit. Alexithymia is also one of my favorites. I really only listened to them for their catchy singles until Cities, maybe that's why I don't get this album.



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