It’s a great feeling when a band you’ve followed from the beginning of their early days makes a record that seems so fully realized and impactful to their legacy. Anberlin had just released a stellar EP last year, called Silverline, that found them returning to releasing new music for the first time in eight years, and now we’re all treated to some new tunes from the rockers with Convinced. With a sound that reminds listeners of why they became so enamored with the band in the first place, Anberlin still moves the needle of creativity further down the right path. The EP was self-produced by the band, alongside help from their friends Tim McTague (of Underoath), Chad Carouthers, and JJ Revell. At this stage of their career, Anberlin could have become content with releasing “safe” music that satisfies their fans, but there’s something different in the musical DNA of this band that is evolving at an alarming rate. Instead, Anberlin may have just convinced themselves into exploring just how far down the rabbit hole they’d like to navigate.

With the only single to be released from the set to date leading the way, “Lacerate” starts off the record with a brooding, synth-laden approach to their sound that explodes into an aggressive chorus. Lead singer, Stephen Christian handles the weighty lyrical material with grace and poise, and further showcases his limitless vocal range by going from a whisper to an impressive growl with ease. The guitar parts by Joey Milligan and Christian McAlhaney are some of the heaviest riffs that Anberlin have put to tape yet, and yet the material never strays too far into the darkness.

”Decoder” is a great, straight-forward rocker that comes in and blows the doors off the hinges, delivers the thrills, and bows out gracefully in just over two and half minutes of rock and roll bliss. Drummer Nate Young really does a nice job of keeping the tempo in check throughout the various parts, and his playing accentuates each of the pointed lyrics. “Banshee” follows with some more electronic programming, while Anberlin slows things down for a bit to allow the material to breathe a bit, and take a pop-centered approach to the music. “Animals” is a very creative, slow-burn of a song that unfolds with professional swagger and picks up steam at just the right moments in time to keep the listener engaged, while still unsure of where they’ll turn to next. The track has an industrial feel to it, much like NIN paired with the dark themes found on No Devotion’s No Oblivion.

Convinced leaves its most remarkable moment for last, on the expansive, near 8-minute closer “Nothing More,” that opens with vibrant 80’s-esque synths and breathy vocals from Stephen Christian that navigate the audience to the end of this journey. The twists and turns found throughout the closer are paired with an underrated bass line by Deon Rexroat that keeps the momentum going strong until the sound of crashing waves are all that the listener is left with.

This EP is a remarkable odyssey by a band who’s never been afraid to push the boundaries of their sound and the possibilities of themselves as musicians. Anberlin’s Convinced still has the core parts of what makes the band so electric, dynamic, and fun to listen to, yet the imaginative direction they took on this collection of songs embrace the fleeting moments in life that come and go. Much like the waves that wash over the mix at the end of the record, Anberlin continue to reinvent themselves and prepare to start anew at a time when so many artists are looking for their original footing.