August 9, 2022 Anberlin – Silverline (EP Review)
There is no denying that Anberlin has been busy over the past year. Yet, it has been nearly a decade since they last delivered a full-length collection of new material. Unfortunately, a full taste of the future is still not here, but they are more than happy to tease their new era with the Silverline EP, which arrived on July 29, 2022, thanks to Equal Vision Records.
Florida rockers Anberlin formed in 2002, finding success within the scene with albums such as 2003’s Blueprints for the Black Market and 2005’s Never Take Friendship Personal. Stints on the Vans Warped Tour and sharing stages with the likes of Bayside, Straylight Run, and more did wonders for their growing fan base, paving the way for a proud future. Prolific, the talented quintet would create another five full-lengths between 2007 and 2014, including 2007’s Cities, 2010’s Dark is the Way, Light is a Place and 2014’s Lowborn. Then, shocking many, the band opted to call it quits.
But a new hope dawned at the tail end of 2018 when one gig opening for Underoath led to a 2019 headlining tour of the U.S. and Australia. By 2020, the discussion of a reunion was back on the table and, two years later, the first physical proof of the reenergized quintet is here.
The arrival of the Silverline EP aids Anberlin in celebrating two decades as a group and proudly marks its Equal Vision Records debut. Self-produced with the help of some equally talented friends—Chad Carouthers (Anchor & Braille, Sheila Walsh) and JJ Revell (Underoath), as well as Underoath’s Tim McTague—the 5-song EP ushers in the latest incarnation of Anberlin with the catchy, carefully-crafted material that fans have come to expect from the quintet—Vocalist Stephen Christian, Guitarists Joey Milligan, and Christian McAlhaney, Bassist Deon Rexroat, and Drummer Nate Young.
Though short on quantity, the EP is definitely high quality. They are quick to build their newest era, introducing it all with the opening track, “Two Graves.” Here, a heavy Thrice vibe pervades as Christian demands that you never count this talented group out. To prove it, Rexroat’s bass grinds us into “Nothing Lost,” which harnesses the minimalist power of Anchor & Braille and mashes it with the best of the band’s oeuvre. Lyrical moments that feel inspired by poetic titans Frost and Thomas cap off the track, which succinctly states: “We didn’t come this far to only come this far.”
Speaking in rhythm, an electronic backbone twinkles above the sensual longing of “Body Language,” where poor communication can tear any relationship apart. Its calming feel fails to dissipate as the band crafts pure magic on “Asking,” diving deep to inquire, “Where do all the demons go when they’re not inside your head?” All of this before they capture the visceral qualities of “Circles,” bringing listeners along for a whirligig of a ride on a Gravitron as the EP comes to a close.
Save for more examples of their creative might, there is nothing missing on Silverline. In fact, despite adding a multitude of textures to their sound, while sanding certain edges and leaving others raw, they are careful to never overpower their instrumentation or Christian’s well-honed vocals. The end result is a collection that reintroduces the Alt Rockers to new and old alike via the sing-along “Two Graves,” alluring spiral of “Circles, and everything in between. For this, Cryptic Rock gives Anberlin’s latest 5 out of 5 stars.