Anberlin
Vital


3.0
good

Review

by skeletalchemy USER (3 Reviews)
October 17th, 2012 | 67 replies | 1,931 views


Release Date: 2012 | Tracklist

Review Summary: After improving in almost every way possible, Anberlin's vocal delivery has this album feeling like anything but vital.

1 of 7 thought this review was well written

Over ten years ago, I was introduced to a band that I believed were teeming with potential. Comprised of members whose beliefs were strongly Christ-ocentric, it was easy to see where their inspiration came from. In response to what they had experienced in their lives 'in the world', Anberlin garnered moderate praise and attention for 'Blueprints of the Black Market'. Truly succeeding this rather surprising debut with 'Cities' and its slightly less polished sequel 'New Surrender', the quintet established themselves at the forefront of their respective genre. After having spiced things up with 'Dark is the Way, Light is a Place', an essential break from the tried and true, Anberlin returns with 'Vital'.

Unfortunately, like every other follow-up to Cities, this one is a bit of a dud. After showcasing more poignant instrumentation (the drums, guitars and bass are all markedly improved), the band repeatedly falls back to the same overused synths and reliance on electronica. The debut single 'Someone, Anyone' is a mover and a shaker, but it feels like the same old song and dance. While earlier albums are well represented stylistically here (the darker moments are darker, the pop is poppier and the choruses are soaring) a lingering issue has once again presented itself.

This may be a comparison to other bands or simply to past works, but the band's emotional energy is lacking. For every improvement the band has made, Stephen Christian's delivery still feels restrained. While the effect works well at some points, it doesn't allow any one song to be overly memorable. The entire effect is, to be honest, a bit of a disappointment. For someone who's expected the moon and stars for this unit, I'm now beginning to think that as the current line-up stands, that may be asking too much.

If you can connect to Christian's voice and enjoy the potent lyrics regardless, this may be your album of the year. With Circa Survive, Converge, Ceremony, Propagandhi and others stepping up their game though, I've got more deserving candidates in mind.


user ratings (620)
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excellent
other reviews of this album
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Comments:Add a Comment 
skeletalchemy
October 16th 2012



8 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

By effect, I don't mean the vocal effects or anything audibly done to Stephen's voice. It's the effect that Stephen Christian's level of restraint has on me as a listener.

cinaedus
October 16th 2012



26298 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0



Digging: Anberlin - Lowborn

FromDaHood
Contributing Reviewer
October 16th 2012



9033 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

So, Anberlin's first album came out 9 years ago. How were you introduced to them more than 10 years ago?

sixdegrees
October 16th 2012



16847 Comments


he was at their first practice session, obv.

Digging: Ted Nugent - Shutup&jam!

skeletalchemy
October 16th 2012



8 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Anberlin was formed in 2002; within a year of forming, they had signed with semi-independent record label Tooth & Nail Records and released their debut album
Direct pull from Wikipedia.
ten years later, 2012.
The math seems fairly simple to me.
Did you know that they were a band BEFORE their first album? And that a thing called computers and demos were available then too?
I didn't pull a number out of my ass. BEFORE they got signed, I was listening to Anberlin. Why would this be my first review on Sputnik if it didn't have some sort of relevance to me?
The rule is simple: first, you review what's familiar. Then you review something foreign. They also played shows before getting signed.

Cygnatti
October 16th 2012



21349 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

so it's awesome

but the vocals are too restrained so it's a 3

Digging: The Avalanches - Since I Left You

sixdegrees
October 16th 2012



16847 Comments


damn Anberlin OGs represent

skeletalchemy
October 16th 2012



8 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

@Cygnatti
Against their past works and their current competition, yes. The lack of emotional connection and intensity is simply too great for me to ignore. The way a band vocalizes itself is essential. As the voice of Anberlin, I see Stephen Christian as the weak link. He can sing. He just doesn't convey any emotional response.

cinaedus
October 16th 2012



26298 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

doesn't convey any emotional response? ...damn dude.
*fin has some of the best and most emotional vocal delivery ever, he practically makes the song. and i don't think he's vocally inferior on this album either, he sounds as great as ever.

kakemonster
October 16th 2012



2 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5 | Sound Off

I have to somewhat agree with you on this review. My main gripe with Vital is that several songs do not have strong/catchy enough melody to keep you coming back for more listens, and that is partly due to the Stephen's vocal melodies. The main reason I've been a fan since Blueprint is Anberlin's ability to create bone-chilling choruses. On Vital this is unfortunately, more of a hit (e.g. modern age) and miss (e.g. other sider, intensions).

KILL
October 16th 2012



70621 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

bet this sucs

Digging: Gal Costa - Gal Costa

savaah
October 16th 2012



361 Comments


i checked this one out band expecting something dark... and then something poppier happens fuck man

cinaedus
October 16th 2012



26298 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

dude kill jam this

savaah
October 16th 2012



361 Comments


ye all time

dathvada321
October 16th 2012



1429 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

yeah KILL dont knock it till u hear it

Ecnalzen
October 17th 2012



6398 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I don't agree with the overuse of synths/electronica. They just occasionally used them until this album. This is the first time they have really "relied upon them," as you say.

savaah
October 17th 2012



361 Comments


don't you see this is disco music

KjSwantko
October 17th 2012



9054 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

Nothin wrong with Christian disco

TooLateToGoBack
October 17th 2012



1753 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

dude, no.

Eko
October 17th 2012



2119 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

inb4 dev rages for electronica

recommended by reviewer section is kinda cool/interesting



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