In today's instantly downloadable and quickly consumed culture, bands like Anberlin are a dying breed. Over the course of six years and four full-lengths, Anberlin has established themselves as one of alternative rock's most exciting acts. Anberlin refuses to limit themselves to one scene or sound... and it's paid off. Anberlin reinvented themselves with 2007's sprawling album Cities - which debuted in the Billboard Top 20 and sold 34,000 copies its first week of release - and transcended that sound with their 2008 Universal Republic debut New Surrender, which reached number 13 on the Billboard 200. In fact, their latest album that shows the band reconciling all of their seemingly disparate moods into a cohesive blend of music that will lull you to sleep with gentle harmonies one minute and shake you to the core via raw, distortion-drenched rock riffage the next.
This control of dynamics has embodied Anberlin's music since their 2003 Tooth & Nail debut Blueprints For The Black Market which instantly caught on with fans of emotional music who didn't want to be fed the same musical cliches. Touring alongside acts like Fall Out Boy and My Chemical Romance to support that album didn't hurt either.
After playing literally hundreds of shows and growing both as musicians and people the band released their sophomore album Never Take Friendship Personal in 2005. Markedly more mature both musically and lyrically, that album established Anberlin as more than another underground sensation and showed that there was no limit to what the band could achieve. This same trend was evident with 2007's mainstream breakthrough Cities, which showed the band progressing even more and expanding their musical vision exponentially.
New Surrender retains the Anberlin sound that fans have grown to love, in may ways it's also an album of firsts that marks the next chapter in the band's illustrious history. For example, after working for years exclusively with longtime producer/friend Aaron Sprinklle this time around the band decided to enlist legendary producer Neal Avron (Fall Out Boy, Yellowcard, New Found Glory) to capture their sound. Additionally, after selling 435,000 albums on the well-respected indie label Tooth and Nail, with New Surrender, Anberlin decided it was finally time for them to step up to a major label. Although they had been courted by various majors for years, Anberlin decided to go with Universal Republic.
The band features lead singer Stephen Christian, guitarist Joseph Milligan, bassist Deon Rexroat, drummer Nathan Young and new addition and former Acceptance guitarist Christian McAlhaney - spent three months in the studio with Avron carefully crafting their most fully realized effort to date.
Although both ofAnberlin's guitarist have completely different styles, they perfectly complement each other both rhythmically and melodically on New Surrender - and this sonic interaction has added a new level of depth to Anberlin's already powerful sound. Additionally, this renewed sense of enthusiasm doesn't just apply to the guitars but also carries over to Stephen Christian's vocals, which manage to achieve almost religious levels of grandeur on the falsetto-fueled "Retrace" or soaring, operatic ballad "Breathe." Every vocal part on the album is sung individually without relying on studio trickery such as auto-tuning. While this unorthodox approach required additional work on the band's part, the result is a vocal performance that shows Christian extending his already impressive range and solidifying him as one of the strongest frontman in the genre.
Over the years, many fans, critics, and other members of the media have consistently characterized Anberlin as a Christian band. However, Stephen Christian stated in an interview that their faith is more complicated than a simple label: "I think we're categorized like that a lot because we're on Tooth & Nail Records, which, years ago, was known as a Christian label and never lost that reputation. I don't care who listens to our records. If it helps people in whatever circumstances they're in, that's amazing, but I definitely don't classify us as a Christian band."Elsewhere, Christian has remarked, "[My faith] affects every single aspect of my life, but I'm not a preacher, I'm an entertainer."
In an interview with Smartpunk, drummer Nathan Young commented, "The thing is, some bands that are trying to get out of the Christian market, they get bummed out by questions about it. I don’t really mind it, because I’m a Christian, and I’m okay talking about it. With the whole term 'Christian Band,' I don’t understand how a band can be Christian. We get the question, 'Is Anberlin a Christian band?' and it’s like, yeah, Anberlin is — as humans".
Listen To Anberlin Here
|Blueprints for the Black Market||2003||Tooth & Nail Records|
|Never Take Friendship Personal||2005||Tooth & Nail Records|
|Cities||2007||Tooth & Nail Records|
|Lost Songs||2007||Tooth & Nail Records|
|New Surrender||2008||Universal Republic|
|Blueprints For City Friendships:The Anberlin Anthology||2009||Tooth & Nail Records|
|Dark Is The Way, Light Is A Place||2010||Universal Records|