Dark Is the Way, Light Is a Place
Dark Is the Way, Light Is a Place shows Anberlin's ability to rage against the world while forging tracks that are both melodically enticing and instrumentally potent. The band’s spiritual underpinnings are given in terse, biting language and driven home by Stephen Christian’s anguished-to-exalted lead vocals. Dark Is the Way… explores the peaks and chasms of love, capturing a boundless sense of desire in “Impossible” and nursing wounds of betrayal in “To the Wolves.” “We Owe This to Ourselves” reasserts Anberlin’s aggressive side with rifle-shot guitar bursts and a ZZ Top-like beat. The band’s sweeter songs — particularly the yearning “You Belong Here” and the acoustic-centered “Down” — don’t lose their edge even as they celebrate the possibility of happiness. Most of all, these songs are concerned with truth and self-liberation, a theme most passionately expressed in the album’s closing tune, “Depraved.” Producer Brendan O’Brien helps Anberlin achieve a widescreen sound with cleanly slicing guitar lines and luminous vocal harmonies.