Anberlin
Lowborn


4.5
superb

Review

by humblerodent USER (29 Reviews)
July 23rd, 2014 | 17 replies


Release Date: 2014 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Anberlin's final album "Lowborn" varies in tempo, but never in quality. A must listen for fans of the band or alternative rock.

So there’s good news, and bad news.

The good news? Anberlin’s new album “Lowborn” is fiery, moving, and introspective in all of the best ways. In fact, it rivals the band’s 2007 magnum opus, “Cities,” that blended aggression and subtlety to amazing results. The bad news? Anberlin announced this is their last album, which means no more consistently good albums full of impassioned energy to look forward to. And while a world devoid of Anberlin is a dismaying prospect, there is a certain poetic justice to a band deciding to call it quits before their inevitable decline into irrelevance and selling out (I’m looking at you, Weezer). What’s more, Anberlin couldn’t have picked a better swan song than “Lowborn.”

Right off the bat, the album sinks its teeth into the listener with the incendiary “We Are Destroyer” and never lets go. Rumbling bass lines, blaring guitar work, and the passionate vocals of Stephen Christian made me want to get up and find the nearest smashable object. In that vein, tracks like the pulse-pounding “Velvet Covered Brick” and raucous “Dissenter” use walls of sound to spark adrenaline rushes and sub-conscious head-banging.

But “Lowborn” isn’t all raw energy and frenzied sounds. Some of the best tracks are slow and artfully composed. “Stranger Ways” begins with haunting, echoed guitar strums and builds to a climax over its four-and-a-half-minute duration by gradually layering in thumping drumbeats, muted violins, rich synths, and delicate guitar lines. This extremely effective and well-executed layering effect is also present in the pensive “Hearing Voices” and in the evocative album closer “Harbinger,” demonstrating the versatility Anberlin has on “Lowborn.” Perhaps the strongest tracks on the album though, are the ones like “Armageddon” that start soft and subtle before transforming into a maelstrom of crushing guitars and drums.

Ultimately, “Lowborn” is an album accessible to both longtime fans and newcomers, and should be on the radar of anyone who enjoys alternative rock. We may be sad to see Anberlin leave us, but they couldn’t have picked a better way to exit.



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Comments:Add a Comment 
humblerodent
July 23rd 2014


252 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Originally published by The Daily of the University of Washington:

http://dailyuw.com/archive/2014/07/23/arts-leisure/album-review-lowborn#.U9AA7oBdVJ8



So sad to see these guys go, but man, what a way to exit the stage.

humblerodent
July 23rd 2014


252 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Originally published by The Daily of the University of Washington: http://dailyuw.com/archive/2014/07/23/arts-leisure/album-review-lowborn#.U9AA7oBdVJ8



So sad to see these guys go, but man, what a way to exit the stage.

Sowing
Moderator
July 23rd 2014


44136 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

This is an incredible review. To the point yet 100% descriptive. Bravo.



If I may though, two minor nitpicks: (1) The first line of your review should either be incorporated into that opening paragraph or spaced off to separate it. (2) "But “Lowborn” isn’t all raw energy and frenzied sounds" gives the impression that this album proceeds mostly at a blazing pace, with exceptions. The opposite is true, it plods along through careful and creative ballads, very occasionally turning up the pace.



With that said, easily one of the better reviews I've seen for this.

humblerodent
July 23rd 2014


252 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

That means a lot coming from you Sowing, really appreciate it. Made the first change, the second one is something to file away for future reviews because I can definitely see what you're saying.

mryrtmrnfoxxxy
July 24th 2014


16662 Comments


wag review bro check out tenement

cryptside
July 24th 2014


2406 Comments


Awesome review, man! Easy pos, and this makes me much more excited to hear this one.

humblerodent
July 24th 2014


252 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Wag?

Glad you liked it Signal, would love to hear what you think of the album after you get around to listening to it.

cryptside
July 24th 2014


2406 Comments


I'll check back in with you after I check it, man. I have been late to the party on the last two Anberlin records, so I have been listening to Vital the past week and giving it time to settle.

humblerodent
July 24th 2014


252 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Vital is solid too. Really the only Anberlin albums that aren't top notch most of the way through are New Surrender and Blueprints for the Black Market

cryptside
July 24th 2014


2406 Comments


Haha yeah those are my two lowest rated Anberlin releases. To me, New Surrender didn't have many songs that were memorable at all.

NordicMindset
July 24th 2014


25137 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

no man New Surrender is great

cryptside
July 24th 2014


2406 Comments


Sorry, man. I just don't see any redeeming qualities. Cities and Dark is the Way are both incredible releases, and meld the electronic qualities with a dark atmosphere. They both still have some incredibly energetic songs. I don't love anything off of New Surrender.

Atari
Staff Reviewer
July 24th 2014


27993 Comments


yeah new surrender is my least favorite

cryptside
July 24th 2014


2406 Comments


What's your favorite Anberlin, Aaron?

Atari
Staff Reviewer
July 24th 2014


27993 Comments


i'm gonna hold off on answering that for now because i'm thinking of doing an anberlin ranked list pretty soon haha. I'm not even sure I know though, other than new surrender and their first 2 albums I like the rest about equally. What about you?

cryptside
July 24th 2014


2406 Comments


Honestly, I waffle on that quite a bit. I really love Cities, but lately I've been going back to Dark is the Way a ton more. Definitely between those two, with NTFP and Vital close behind.

Atari
Staff Reviewer
July 24th 2014


27993 Comments


yeah, I loved Dark is the way when it first came out, but I need to revisit all their albums again.



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