In the summer of 2018 a photo of the members of Anberlin all together in the same place appeared across the band’s social media channels with the caption “WE’RE FRIENDS AGAIN. STILL. #ANBERLIN.” Longtime fans knew that this couldn’t just be a casual post. It was the first publicly released photo of all members of the band together since their conclusion in November, 2014. The photo hinted that Anberlin might be considering a reunion.
Almost four years to the day since that cryptic social media post, Anberlin is preparing to release their first new music in over eight years in the form of their forthcoming EP Silverline, due for release on July 29, 2022 via their newly announced label home at Equal Vision Records. The five track effort is an indication that despite their hiatus, Anberlin’s best days are in no way behind them. Rather, the band has created some of the most polished music of their career.
From Anberlin’s early days, their music has always been full of intricacies, and the tracks on Silverline are no exception. Stephen Christian’s trademark vocals illustrate this on “Body Language.” While a subtle reference to one of Joy Division’s biggest hits may be noticeable within the track’s lyrics, discerning listeners will also note an allusion to “Hell or High Water,” a b-side from the band’s 2010 album Dark Is the Way, Light Is a Place. Intricate too is the work of bassist Deon Rexroat on “Circles” that contributes to its somewhat industrial feel.
Any band that perseveres for over 20 years is to be commended, especially a band such as Anberlin who have undergone only minor member changes in that time, with a consistent lineup since guitarist Christian McAlhaney (also of Acceptance) joined the band shortly after the release of their epic record Cities in 2007. What makes Anberlin unique is their ability to create music that is deeply meaningful on numerous levels. This gift has undoubtedly contributed to their well-deserved longevity.
Anberlin find themselves in a different place in 2022, both musically and personally. Pre-release single “Two Graves” is both a heavy rebuke against revenge and one of Anberlin’s heaviest songs in their history. As the members pursue other ventures such as the coffee business and brewery that drummer Nate Young is a part of, the production work that guitarist Joseph Milligan is engaged in or the ministry that Christian is undertaking, none of the members of Anberlin rely on the success of the band as the primary source of their livelihood any longer. This frees them to approach Anberlin as a passion project that is carried out on their terms. The result, as heard on Silverline, is some of Anberlin’s most meaningful music to date.