By this time in the band’s career, whenever lock were off the road, every member called a various city home. Stephen was now firmly rooted in Nashville, Christian continued to be in mountain Diego, and also the remainder of the band had actually spread out across Florida — Joey in Winter Haven, Nate in Tampa, and also Deon in St. Petersburg. As result of this distance, they frequently wrote new music piece by piece, sharing principles over email and then structure off of every other’s work. “We’ll email it ago and forth and record little parts here and also there, with Pro tools or Garage Band, and then send it to every other and we’ll all just add parts,” Nate defined to Lucy Valentine the the AU Review. “But when we have a good batch the ideas, we acquire together and kind of jam them out and also see which ones we’re feeling and not.”

From the very start, the writing procedure for Anberlin’s 5th album was much more focused and determined 보다 it had remained in the past. “I think specifically now the it is a mindful effort to simply write music that we all love to hear to — what we are into,” Nate called Lucy Valentine. “You know, make sure our influences really come across in our music, which i don’t think came across as lot in the past. No downing ~ above our various other records by any means, but I think together we gained older and also grew together, us all want to head in a much more mature, darker direction 보다 we had in the past.”

Stephen echoed these sentiments in one interview with Indiependent Music: “It was definitely an album the we want to compose as individuals, and also as a band, since we felt like a lot of our spirits were just lost in New Surrender,” the said. “And i think the was type of the following evolutionary action for the tape — come play the music that we wanted. I think that record was composed for the five of us.”

Also v this record, the sense of collaboration between every band member expanded, with everybody contributing assorted parts regardless of their “main” instrument. Nate, because that instance, created the album’s closeup of the door track, “Depraved,” top top guitar. Stephen, reasoning that Nate could just be trying out with his songwriting, tape-recorded demo vocals ~ above the monitor by singing impromptu lyrics, for this reason some that the song’s repetitiveness — however they finished up sticking, and also the band kept the song.

You are watching: Anberlin dark is the way, light is a place


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Photo through Parker Young

With the songwriting procedure for the new album nearing completion, Anberlin quiet hadn’t cleared up on a producer. Lock knew that they want to evolve your sound and also work with someone new; when their suffer recording through Neal Avron had been beneficial and lent your songs a bigger sound than ever, they hoped to attain a an ext organic, less intensive studio suffer this time around. ~ they’d made their perform of potential producers, however, they found themselves negotiating a very unexpected complement with one of the best names in rock and also roll. Brendan O’Brien, known for his work with Pearl Jam, stone Temple Pilots, Incubus, and also Bruce Springsteen (among many others), contacted Anberlin’s management and attended a present in Atlanta after his daughter had introduced that to your music. Complying with the show, he invested some time talk to the band members on their bus, making that clear that he’d be interested in developing their brand-new record.

“There was a great, good vibe between every one of us v him simply right off the bat. We have nothing but the most substantial amount the respect because that him for what he had actually done,” Joey stated in one Ultimate etc interview with Amy Kelly. “It’s type of complicated being in a room v a man that produced pretty much everything you prospered up hearne to. Thinking about working v him is super-intimidating, yet it pushes you to job-related that lot harder.”

In in march 2010, Anberlin travel to Brendan O’Brien’s Blackbird Studios in Nashville to begin tracking their 2nd album for universal Republic Records. Regardless of the intimidating nature that working v a more renowned producer than ever before, the tape members eased into the sessions quickly, many thanks in a large part to Brendan’s encouragement. “He sat me down and also was, like, ‘Listen, I understand you have the right to sing. I recognize you can. It’s what in there. I’ve checked out you live, so I understand you have the right to do it; us just have to put that down on tape,” Stephen stated to Jonathan Bautts the AbsolutePunk. “Brendan just pulled it from me. That would stop in the center of a take and say, ‘This isn’t it. I desire you, i need you come sing.’”


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Photo by Parker Young

For the remainder of the band, Brendan’s own musical capacity and vast collection the recording equipment helped castle dive additional into the songs they’d written. “We gained some impressive tones, a the majority of stuff that i never even thought of. Brendan would run a guitar with an organ amplifier. That was interesting,” Joey told ultimate Guitar. “There to be one etc that was a standard six-string electric, however it to be made totally out of metal. It to be a baritone together well. It had a really, really amazing sound. We used that ~ above a pair of songs.”

Christian added a larger part of the album’s guitar occupational than top top New Surrender, coming to be the primary songwriter for an ext than half of the record’s final tracks. Because that Joey, who had actually been the band’s principal songwriter for their previous four albums, Christian’s more prominent duty proved come be difficult to readjust to at times. “I no writing prefer I used to — the amount that I used to — and also the tape was also kind of shifting styles, and also so just a couple of of my songs ended up on the record, and also I organized onto it,” Joey said me. “I hosted onto that, hard, and also it took a pair years of me backing up and looking in ~ myself and being like, dude, you’re gift ridiculous. There was additionally a many of an individual turmoil in mine life in ~ that suggest — no excuses, i was gift an asshole — so ns apologized to Christian, and I apologized to everybody.”

“It was more like cultivation pains,” Christian said in one interview because that BLARE Magazine, “but the all worked out because we just talked it out. It’s best to talk around these issues, due to the fact that you desire to be happy with what friend create. The album no going come disappear. Your name is walking to be on there forever.”


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Universal Republic records released Dark is the Way, light is a ar on September 7, 2010, driven forward indigenous its original release date of September 21. It marketed 31,000 copies during its very first week in order come land in ~ #9 on the Billboard charts. The band obtained the album title from a heat in a Dylan thomas poem, “Poem top top His Birthday.” Stephen credits touring member Kyle Flynn with presenting him come Dylan Thomas’s work.

While speaking to Jonathan Bautts, Stephen described how Thomas’s poetry inspired the album: “He’s such a contradiction. Whatever is a contradiction. In that poem, he no God and also doesn’t know if he believes if yes an afterlife or heaven, climate in the next poem he’s, like, ‘Oh, ns love God.’ In one poem he’s like, ‘I hate life. Ns going to death myself,’ then in the next poem he’s like, ‘Life is all us have. Let’s evaluate it,’” Stephen said. “I felt favor that was the perfect means to explain Anberlin. Ours music at time is heavy, and also I don’t typical like distortion metal, but it simply feels heavy and sobering. Then the text come and also it’s confident or that painful. There space so many contradictions inside the document that i felt favor this to be the perfect title.”


Photo by Parker Young

Brendan O’Brien certainly helped Anberlin rediscover your rock edge after New Surrender’s detour into much more sugary territory, through songs like album opener “We fan This to Ourselves” as well as “Closer” and also “To The Wolves” pack a more powerful and more hard-rock beat than any of the band’s ahead work. However they no abandon all of the popular music sensibilities the they discover on New Surrender; rather, they sleek them into a different kind the pop, one that shares an ext in typical with U2 than with optimal 40 radio. “Take Me as You discovered Me,” i m sorry Brendan O’Brien later figured out as his favorite track from the recording sessions, attributes chiming guitars, huge-sounding drums, and flourishes of tricks beneath among Stephen’s most impressive vocal performances ever.

Stephen’s vocals take center stage transparent the album, which he claims was a conscious decision during the record process. “I feeling like, because that the last few records, I revolved about the music. It wasn’t around me — that was about the music and spending a the majority of time ~ above that. This time, came back and to be like, ‘Listen, we’re going to swing the record roughly the vocals,’ and he did,” Stephen said Jonathan Bautts. “I feel like that’s exactly how it shaped up that way to sound the mammoth and also that big.”

But also though the album sounds huge — bigger, even, 보다 Neal Avron’s touch do New Surrender sound — they accomplished the grandiosity differently this time. “ has actually a way of making it sound massive, but really, that not choose we layered the guitars fifteen times favor we did on New Surrender,” Stephen continued. “He just has actually a way of making minimalism sound epic.”

Dark is the way feels more like a follow-up to Cities than to New Surrender; the songs room moody and also introspective, concentrating on relationships and picking up whereby Cites left off as Stephen delves back down right into his psyche. He yearns for a an ext perfect relationship with God throughout “Closer,” and also fears the he might’ve already lost his chance for such a relationship during “Down,” a largely acoustic song featuring various, unique facets of percussion storage of “The Unwinding Cable Car” or “Inevitable” indigenous Cities. “Pray Tell” additionally highlights a new style the percussion because that Anberlin, helping to create a track the truly sounds prefer nothing else in the band’s catalogue. The menacing undertones produced by Deon’s base lines together with the jangling guitar job-related of Joey and also Christian complementing one another carry out a perfect set-up because that Stephen’s hypnotic wails during song’s choruses and bridge.


Photo by Parker Young

The hypnotic quality of “Pray Tell” bleeds right into “Art the War,” one of the pinnacle moments of the album. Again, Nate’s percussion cd driver the remainder of the band’s performances, this time lending the track a slow-burning, commercial feel. “I never really listen to Anberlin songs but I remember gift in mine car and listening to ‘Art of War,’ the demo, over and over and over and over because something just resonated, I simply felt it,” Stephen said. The song ended up being a fan-favorite and the band started to add it right into their live collection soon ~ the album to be released.

“Impossible,” the lead single from Dark is the method and Anberlin’s second most commercially successful single behind “Feel great Drag,” impacted radio in July 2010 and also spent 22 weeks on Billboard’s alternate Songs charts, peaking at #5. ~ above entering the studio, Brendan O’Brien chopped up your demo for the song, leaving several of the tape members ambivalent around the tune as a whole and also its future ~ above the record. “So once we flew come Brazil around halfway through the record, I visited Christian and was, like, ‘Listen, ns don’t want to put <“Impossible”> on the record. It has no soul, it’s lost, and also I don’t desire anything the doesn’t feel right on this record. Ns don’t desire anything that doesn’t have actually some sort of depth come it. Ns feel prefer “Impossible” has been cut up and also chopped as much as make this sterile single and ns don’t desire it,” Stephen said Jonathan Bautts.

“So indigenous Brazil, Christian dubbed Brendan O’Brien earlier in the States and was like, ‘We’ve gained to perform something. We have to. Us can’t shed this song. Everybody loves it yet Stephen’s walking to poll it out. He just doesn’t want it.’ that was, like, ‘I’ll think about. You males think around it. Fine come ago and placed our minds together and also do this.’ So we came earlier and we added different tones ~ above the guitar. We wrote an entire intro. We just made it into the song that I had actually envisioned.”

“It was simply amazing because that to be a tune where i was like, ‘Eh, i think that going to it is in gone,’” Stephen continued. “But in between Brendan and Christian’s creativity, and also the rest of the band adding in, that turned out to be, well, the single.” castle premiered “Impossible” ahead of the album’s release through a music video clip directed once again by Steven Hoover. “We didn’t desire a story. We didn’t want, like, guy meets girl and girl rejects guy. That runs with a maze and he find her. We want no storyline. No live activity shots with every one of us in a room v flashing lights. We simply wanted cinematography. That’s all us cared about, therefore that’s just how we approached it,” Stephen said. “We just recorded for hours and hours top top slow motion film. It to be awesome. It was a an excellent experience.”


The album art for Dark is the Way, light is a location is a charcoal illustration by Michael Zavros; Nate discovered the item online and also contacted the artist in order to negotiate making use of it for the cover. “When friend look at that cover, if you really look at it, if friend really research it and also not just glimpse at it or look for a sticker or a shining font, but if you yes, really look in ~ it, it provides you feel something. Whether you hate it or you love it, yes something there, and also that’s why we wanted it,” Stephen told Jonathan Bautts. “For us, we just wanted to go ago to as straightforward as possible. This is a piece of canvas and also a male with a pencil and that’s it, yet he beginning so much from it. ‘Dude, that equine is falling. There’s walking to be a minute of ending.’ You feeling angst, you feel impatient, girlfriend wonder what’s going to occur next, girlfriend know? that felt prefer the album. We went ago to ours basics. All us were concerned about wasn’t flash or hype or shock; we simply wanted someone to feeling something.”


Following Dark is the Way’s release, Anberlin took on a headlining tour across the US and also Canada with support from Crash Kings and also Civil Twilight from so late September through early on November. This tour found the band ramping up their live production, bringing follow me a devoted lighting person for the an initial time and including in auxiliary percussion for part songs. During this tour, they tape-recorded audio and video for a live release, which would be unveiled as an iTunes exclusive the complying with year title Anberlin: Live from home of Blues in Anaheim.


Photo by Parker Young

In November, they returned to Jimmy Kimmel Live! to do “Impossible” and also “We fan This come Ourselves” ~ above the show’s outdoor stage. Randy Torres, previously of project 86, join the band’s live ensemble to play keys. In early 2011, Anberlin and Circa endure co-headlined a tour with openers Foxy Shazam; afterwards, they returned to Australia because that their 2nd performance at the Soundwave Festival, playing reflects with The beginning Line and Bayside while down under, also traveling come the Philippines, Thailand, Taiwan, and also Hong Kong. Once ago in the US, they take it a sustaining slot ~ above a tour through 30 seconds to Mars. Throughout the rest of the year, castle toured globally quite often, performing in the joined Kingdom, Germany, Austria, Czech Republic, Russia, Netherlands, and also France.

Continuing to emphasis on their live show, the band put together a production dubbed An Evening through Anberlin and take it it come Australia in August and September 2011, with support from this evening Alive. Top top each stop for this tour, castle played nearly thirty songs consisting of b-sides and covers (such as Crowded House’s “Don’t Dream the Over,” a much-loved tune in Australia and brand-new Zealand), inserting one acoustic set and a Q&A session into the center of the show. Castle rounded out their year through a united state co-headlining tour through Switchfoot. In mid-October, Stephen had to leave the tour in order come be with his mam for the bear of their very first child. Afterwards, the tape took part much-needed downtime to spend with your families and also loved ones prior to gearing earlier up to write and also prepare their 5th record early on the following year.


Reflecting top top Dark is the Way, irradiate is a ar on an AbsolutePunk podcast in 2013, the tape members referred to it together their punk rock album (“not sonically punk rock, just our mentality,” Nate clarified). “It was sort of as with a huge F.U. To these exact terms that us felt favor the brand was putting on us, and the fans were placing on us, so Dark is the method is certain a record that the 5 of united state wrote because that ourselves,” Stephen said. “And ns love it. I genuinely love it.”

“I think us literally said while making the album, so numerous times: this sound too Anberlin, us don’t want to carry out it,” said Deon. “Which, in hindsight, you know, probably was the not correct idea, however that was exactly how we felt in ~ the time, and also that’s just what us did.”


Christian composed the main guitar riff because that “Closer” throughout his time in Acceptance, and revisited it for Dark is the Way’s writing sessions.

Before sending the perfect album to universal Republic, the tape members assumed that one of two people “We fan This to Ourselves” or “Closer” would certainly be the an initial single, however the label reacted strong to “Impossible” and also chose that instead.

“We owe This come Ourselves” was initially titled “King,” however Universal Republic argued that the tape rename it. Stephen wrote the song’s lyrics after being inspired by a boy name Luther King, Jr. Documentary.

The band recorded the acoustic variation of “Impossible,” which was released as an Amazon.com exclude, track, in Sweden. Other non-album tracks consisted of “All us Have” (an iTunes exclusive), “Hell or High Water” (released ~ above a 7-inch vinyl record as the b-side come “Impossible”), and also “I’d choose to Die” (released ~ above a hybrid vinyl/digital disc in addition to “We owe This come Ourselves” and the video clip for “Impossible”).

“I’d prefer to Die” to be not had on the album because the tambourine to be not combined to the band’s liking.

Anberlin: Live from home of Blues in Anaheim was released together an iTunes to exclude, audio/video parcel on July 5, 2011, but was later on pulled by the band and their administration due to comes to with its quality.

In addition to their performance ~ above Jimmy Kimmel Live!, the band additionally played top top The Tonight show with Jay Leno, performing “Closer,” the album’s third solitary (after “Impossible” and “We fan This to Ourselves”). “Closer” just barely cracked the peak 40 alternative Song charts, peaking in ~ #39.

In 2011, both Joey and also Nate introduced side-projects the they had been functioning on — Sins and also Carrollhood, respectively. In between 2011 and also 2012, Stephen recorded the 2nd Anchor & Braille album, titled The Quiet Life.

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Nate has said the his favorite track from Dark is the way is “Pray Tell.” A video of the band play the song throughout soundcheck before the album’s release surfaced virtual in may 2010, giving fans their first glimpse into the new material.