It feels great to have Anberlin back in the music fold. The band seemed very comfortable walking away from the music scene after the release of their last (and at the time, final) album called Lowborn and an accompanying farewell tour, yet fast forwarding to the band’s reconciliation in 2018, where Anberlin would perform several concerts and then in May of 2020, the band announced they would be working on some new music once again. Add in a few livestream concerts during the pandemic, and Anberlin regained their band chemistry and appear to be re-invigorated in the path that lies before them. This passion was felt first-hand in lead vocalist Stephen Christian when I interviewed him about Silverline. Hearing Christian’s take on how these songs came together with producers Tim McTague (Underoath), Chad Carouthers, and JJ Revell only brings further context to the rich tunes that came together on this EP.
The set kicks off on the right foot with the blistering guitar approach on “Two Graves,” which I’m very happy they chose to put on this record, rather than a one-off single, since it logically fits as a re-introduction to the sound Anberlin were going for. Christian’s powerful vocals on the chorus of, “No down from zero / Don’t you ever count me out / Ever, ever, ever count me out / Of idols and heroes / Soon you’ll never go without / So follow, follow, follow, follow me out,” cut through the fog of guitars to guide the listener through the heavier-tinged material. Anberlin continues to experiment with heavier guitar tones on “Nothing Lost,” where Joey Milligan and Christian McAlhaney’s riffing takes center stage. Not to be outshined, drummer Nate Young really showcases his brilliance as percussionist with some great fills that are at times paired with programmed beats.
”Body Language” and “Asking” sound similar to the electronica-flavored elements Anberlin were going for on Vital and Lowborn, with even better results than before. Stephen Christian’s breathy vocals on “Body Language” are very dream pop-esque while bassist Deon Rexroat contributes some great lines here into the mix. On “Asking,” we get where the Silverline meaning came from as Stephen Christian mentions in the bridge, “I want to be the savior to your complex mind / I want to be the quiet in storms, I Silverline.” The lyrical material, in particular, on this EP is incredibly well thought out, with no real wasted momentum to be found in the approach to songwriting.
Everything reaches its boiling point on “Circles,” a song that sounds like what Anberlin would create if they listened to nothing but The Cure for weeks on end to create something that moves the needle in the right direction. It’s a great choice of a second single on Silverline as it has everything you’ve come to expect from the beauty of this band. Overall, this EP is a great way of getting Anberlin re-focused on creating new music together, which is what the fans wanted all along as the band celebrated different record anniversaries in their storied discography. Hopefully the subtle hints on social media by Anberlin mentioning that there may be “more to come,” in this chapter of their musical journey may mean their is more to tell in this part of their collective careers together.