Anberlin has never been the band to drop copious amounts of J-bombs in its songs, but the band's music often has served as a musical metaphor for how people maintain their faith during troubled times. Anberlin's latest, Vital, combines aggressive modern rock and New Wave beats with stories of people trying to navigate through the minefield of life while clinging to the belief — blindly or otherwise — that God exists. "Someone Anyone" marries clubby synths and big guitars while questioning if there is anything worth fighting for. Amid the machine-gunfire rock 'n' roll of "Little Tyrants" or the bomb-like guitars and drums on "Desires," singer Stephen Christian unleashes his trademark war-like cries as he laments being deceived by his baser instincts, a not-uncommon theme in Anberlin's songs. The epic closer "God, Drugs & Sex" highlights Christian's struggle to avoid temptations, and on the piano-led "Type Three," when he sings, "I look to Heaven to save me / And you call me naive / Rather be a hopeless lover / Than cursed with disbelief," you cannot help acknowledging his commitment to such an ideal, even if you disagree with it. Anberlin always positions itself squarely at the intersection of art and faith, and the rocking Vital is the latest exhibit.
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