Anberlin
Vital


4.0
excellent

Review

by Chevy182 USER (10 Reviews)
October 13th, 2012 | 151 replies


Release Date: 2012 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Vital may grow to be Anberlin’s new zenith as it combines what made Cities so great with “Dark’s” maturity.

For various reasons, things got shaken for Anberlin's fans since they entered major label Universal Republic, and I wonder to what direction it has gotten these guys. I mean, it’s not like their tunes are being broadcast massively and I can’t imagine a casual conversation where the name Anberlin pops in and everyone would be like “Oh yeah, that band…”. So their music has certainly changed in the past two releases and still, it hasn't given them the fame they deserve.

New Surrender didn't make an impression and had very bad production while Dark… was very good in its own right and showed a more mature Anberlin. Still, these two albums are often seen as a separate entity when referring to their discography which brings a foreseeable question to mind: Will they ever surpass Cities?
Well, it has been quite a pleasure seeing them evolving as an established alternative rock act and it is such a delight to say for the first time since Cities that this is not an “Anberlin record that disappoints”.

With the same oblige of all their records Self-Starter attacks with a Godspeed vibe but leaves a forceful impression like The Resistance did. Being the first song that leaked I was pleasantly surprised when I heard the vocally layered chorus that was ever present in "…Friendship…". Also, this song showcases synth lines that, while sounding refreshing and youthful, it is not particularly new to the band (Reclusion, There Is No Mathematics…).
This approach is further explored in Vital though, songs like Someone Anyone, rightly the first single, display how successfully it sounds with their amalgam of hard rock riffs and their old school fashion.

To these ears, Anberlin have always struck me as an 80’s band out of their era which is why when they make a cover of Depeche Mode or When in Rome it sounds so ridiculously apt. Both Intentions and Innocent are very aware of this as the vintage keyboards lead through. The former sounds already like a single with one of the catchiest chorus of the album, and the middle section leaves alone power chords with some effects to come full circle. Innocent on the other hand is a ballad á la Empire Of the Sun that features a heavy electronic element.

Stephen Christian shows some surprisingly raspy vocals on Little Tyrants and while this has more of a punk approach, it’s a hard hitting track that offers fast drumming and a startling guitar solo in the bridge. Desires unquestionably own the heaviest intro on the album switching to a very slow verse with a clear rhythmic bass line, and the chorus is just as fitting as brilliant.
With beautiful piano passages, Orpheum is a song with a lot going on yet never feels over-saturated, from the electronic bridge to the constant tempo changes (reminiscent of Pray Tell) the songs marks a 3:51 min epic track that never loses its touch. The actual ending song is not much as impressive on its own, it's more of an assurance of how great is what you just heard.

The band never depends on the instruments, their appeal is the songwriting and in view of that, Vital may grow to be Anberlin’s new zenith as it combines what made Cities so great with “Dark’s” maturity, which even if it will not entertain a great amount of listeners it will definitely satisfy those who write them off after their first major release.



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user ratings (658)
Chart.
3.9
excellent
other reviews of this album
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Comments:Add a Comment 
Chevy182
October 12th 2012


116 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Stream album here http://kroq.cbslocal.com/anberlin-vital-exclusive-album-stream/

Cygnatti
October 12th 2012


22347 Comments


can someone explain to me what the album cover is/means?

Digging: Jerry Lee Lewis - Live at the Star Club, Hamburg

Calc
October 12th 2012


12371 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5 | Sound Off

still sounds like Eric Nally from Foxy Shazam

Atari
Contributing Reviewer
October 12th 2012


20158 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5 | Sound Off

calc stop saying that lol I've never heard Foxy Shazam but i'm pretty sure anberlin came first

Digging: Johann Sebastian Bach - Brandenburg Concerto No. 5 in D major, BWV 1050

DotEight
October 12th 2012


5643 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

This band still exists? Holy shit.

Cygnatti
October 12th 2012


22347 Comments


anberlin > foxxxy agreed

jk foxxxy ya know we all luvs ya :]

Atari
Contributing Reviewer
October 12th 2012


20158 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5 | Sound Off

@DotEight, what rock do you live under? they've been pumping out great releases like every two years

Calc
October 12th 2012


12371 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5 | Sound Off

maybe....but I like foxy shazam better so...

Cygnatti
October 12th 2012


22347 Comments


< / 3

Atari
Contributing Reviewer
October 12th 2012


20158 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5 | Sound Off

calc have you even listened to cities yet?

Chevy182
October 12th 2012


116 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

oh my, he's right

paxman
October 12th 2012


4084 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0 | Sound Off

Review isn't very good

Atari
Contributing Reviewer
October 12th 2012


20158 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5 | Sound Off

review could use a little proofreading. I'd take out the part that says (IMO) if I were you.

Cygnatti
October 12th 2012


22347 Comments


"For various reasons, things got shaken for Anberlin's fans since they entered Taylor Swift’s label"

omg, when I rate, I have to add 0.5 because of this!

Chevy182
October 12th 2012


116 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

ok, me fix

Calc
October 12th 2012


12371 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5 | Sound Off

atari I got it but two other things I recently got are distracting me.

this review needs a lot of work but hey only one neg. shows how people actually vote lol

Atari
Contributing Reviewer
October 12th 2012


20158 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5 | Sound Off

I didn't neg but yeah you should touch it up a little buddy.

I'm starting a review for this myself.

Chevy182
October 12th 2012


116 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

go ahead and thanks, i will

Atari
Contributing Reviewer
October 12th 2012


20158 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5 | Sound Off

Here's some more constructive criticism:

Put song names like 'This' and album names like "This" or in italics (let me know if you'd rather do it in italics.

*first paragraph: Their music "has" certainly changed not have
*also some of the sentences are too long and can be edited into two sentences.

Atari
Contributing Reviewer
October 12th 2012


20158 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5 | Sound Off

that's actually a good question lol maybe a spiritual thing you know they are technically a christian band.



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