For Fans Of
Anberlin return home to where it all began, Tooth & Nail Records, on their seventh and final studio album ‘Lowborn.’ The group, who have been successfully rocking stages for the past twelve years, have decided to call it a day and go out with a bang: one more record and world tour.
Interestingly enough, and not in any way to hint that the band members are sick of each other, the group recorded all of their parts individually, each with a different producer for album number seven. What seems like the most annoying and confusing way to record an album is actually pulled together suspiciously well. ‘Lowborn‘ sounds as cohesive as any other Anberlin record and following suit, combines the sounds you know and love with a little experimentation as well.
The band recalls the energy and aggression found on the classic ‘Never Take Friendship Personal,’ with the explosion of opening track ‘We Are Destroyer’, which begins with some slow electronica only to open up to big guitar riffs, pounding drums and Stephen Christian’s high pitched vocals soaring above it all.
A similar path is taken on its follower ‘Armageddon’, soft electro opening leading to some all out rocking, this time sounding more like stadium rock with the band hinting that they aren’t stopping for lack of energy. Anberlin said they were focused more on song craft than “providing a single” on their final outing and despite the obscure method of recording it is clear that they have done that.
Things move towards synth rock in ‘Velvet Covered Brick’, made a stand-out by the blistering drum lines that make the chorus pure chaos. The synths return as a main driver in the electro-pop of ‘Birds of Prey’, a gentle futuristic groove with falsetto vocals, which breaks up the album’s energy nicely.
But how do they group end it? What will be their final message, the goodbye song? The answer comes in the form of ‘Harbringer’, a soft number driven by an acoustic guitar, pulsing beat and breathy vocals. It’s a beautiful song but in some ways the fan in me is disappointed that we weren’t rounded out with a rocker to sum it all up.
‘Lowborn’ manages to include all of the points that Anberlin have touched on throughout their career, while managing to chuck in some new stuff as well. It does not sound like a record made by a group ready to finish but it is a strong finish nonetheless.
- We Are Destroyer
- Stranger Ways
- Velvet Covered Brick
- Birds Of Prey
- Losing It All
- Hearing Voices