Vital (Anberlin album)

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Anberlin Vital Artwork.png
Studio album by
ReleasedOctober 16, 2012
StudioElectric Thunder Studios, Nashville TN, Sound Kitchen, Franklin, TN, Compound Recording, Seattle, WA
GenreAlternative rock
LabelUniversal Republic
ProducerAaron Sprinkle
Anberlin chronology
Dark Is the Way, Light Is a Place
Singles from Vital
  1. "Someone Anyone"
    Released: August 31, 2012
  2. "Self-Starter"
    Released: September 14, 2012

Vital is the sixth studio album by American alternative rock band Anberlin which was released on October 16, 2012. In interviews, vocalist Stephen Christian has stated the album has a youthful, energetic energy[1] and features new influences for the band. Upon release, the album was met with favorable reviews from critics and fans alike. The album was re-released in 2013 as Devotion, adding the deluxe tracks from various retailers, new remixes, and a full live album.

Critical reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Aggregate scores
Review scores
AllMusic3.5/5 stars[3]
Alternative Press4/5 stars[4]
CCM Magazine4/5 stars[5]
Christianity Today3/5 stars[6]
Cross Rhythms10/10 squares[7]
HM Magazine4/5 stars[8]
Indie Vision Music4/5 stars[9]
Jesus Freak Hideout4.5/5 stars[10]
4.5/5 stars[11]
New Release Tuesday5/5 stars[12]
Melodic3.5/5 stars[13]
Sputnikmusic4.5/5 stars[14]

Vital garnered generally positive reception from music critics. The review aggregator website Metacritic gives a weighted average rating to an album based upon the selected independent mainstream reviews it utilizes, and the album has a Metascore of a 77 out of 100 based on five reviews.[2]

At Alternative Press, Evan Lucy stating that "Vital [is] the most well-rounded Anberlin album to date."[4] Matt Collar of AllMusic saying that "Ultimately, while Vital is Anberlin's most challenging album to date, as the title implies, it is perhaps the band's most rewarding album."[3] At AbsolutePunk, Jack Appleby writing that "Calling Vital a career-defining record isn't a stretch in the least", which it "is the best record in Anberlin’s 10 year career, bar none."[15] SowingSeason of Sputnikmusic remarking that "Even if it isn’t the best album they’ve ever made, Vital is perhaps the smartest", that contains some "otherworldly vocals."[14] At Melodic, Johan Wippsson commenting that "the band has kept the energy that characterizes their sound and overall it’s an album that shows that the band is in the right direction."[13]

At CCM Magazine, Andy Argyrakis saying that "Not only does the collection boast unbridled energy and spiritually-infused emotion, but it also serves as an official bookend to the group's crown jewel Cities"[5] Stephen Luff of Cross Rhythms writing that "there are some truly outstanding tracks here", and that is why he states Anberlin "have delivered a gem of an album."[7] At HM Magazine, Doug Van Pelt stating that "Vital has progressively shown the band churning out polished, melodic yet aggressive tunes that ever so slightly expand on the band's trademark sound", and that they "avoiding anything stale."[8] Jeremy V. Jones of Christianity Today remarking that "Vital is enhanced by female backing vocals and, more significantly, washed with big, splashy synthesizer."[6]

At Jesus Freak Hideout, Roger Gelwicks saying that "Standing on its own merit, Vital is a particularly durable alternative rock release with eleven tracks of excellence", which is why "Vital forcefully satisfies to the very last drop."[10] John DiBiase of Jesus Freak Hideout writing that "Vital is definitely amid Anberlin's best records yet and [...] this is a truly refreshing album."[11] At New Release Tuesday, Jonathan Francesco saying that "Vital hits all the right notes at just the right times and you're left with the closest thing to a flawless record you'll find this year. Vital is the definition of a band in their element."[12] Carter Fraser of Indie Vision Music remarking that "Vital is as accomplished as anything Anberlin have released to date, simply in another direction."[9]

At Artist Direct, Rick Florino writing that "Vital sees Anberlin's heart beating faster and stronger than ever. There's lots of blood, and that's a good thing…"[16] Tyler Hess of Christian Music Zine stating that "Vital holds up well on it's [sic] own and shouldn’t be missed."[17] At Louder Than The Music, Jono Davies saying that "So close, but not perfect yet."[18] Jonathan Anderson of The New Review commenting that "Anberlin has successfully created an album that will immediately please fans of both their old and new work, and at the same time, Vital will attract brand new fans"; however, Anderson will not "go so far as to say that it blows the esteemed Cities out of the water, but [he] believe[s] Vital has taken a careful step into first place as the pinnacle release of their career."[19]

Track listing[edit]

1."Self-Starter" (featuring Julia Marie)3:17
2."Little Tyrants"3:21
3."Other Side"4:06
4."Someone Anyone"3:29
8."Type Three"3:57
10."Modern Age"4:13
11."God, Drugs & Sex" (featuring Christie DuPree)6:15
Total length:44:12

"Pretend to Be Friends", a 25-minute short film with music composed by the band, comes on a DVD with the Best Buy deluxe edition, but it is actually 18:59 in length.[citation needed]


  • Stephen Christian – lead vocals, keyboards
  • Joseph Milligan – lead guitar, vocals
  • Christian McAlhaney – rhythm guitar, vocals
  • Deon Rexroat – bass guitar
  • Nathan Young – drums, percussion

Additional musicians

  • Julia Marie – vocals on "Self-Starter"
  • Christie DuPree – vocals on "God, Drugs & Sex"




Chart (2012) Peak position
US Billboard 200[20] 16
US Christian Albums (Billboard)[21] 1
US Top Rock Albums (Billboard)[22] 6
US Top Alternative Albums (Billboard)[23] 3
US Digital Albums (Billboard)[24] 9
US Top Tastemaker Albums (Billboard)[25] 22


  1. ^ "Anberlin's 'Self-Starter': Exclusive First Listen". Billboard. September 25, 2012. Retrieved September 25, 2012.
  2. ^ a b Metacritic (October 19, 2012). "Critic Reviews for Vital". CBS Interactive. Retrieved December 17, 2012.
  3. ^ a b Collar, Matt (October 16, 2012). "Vital – Anberlin". AllMusic. Retrieved December 17, 2012.
  4. ^ a b Lucy, Evan (2012). "Anberlin – Vital". Alternative Press. Alternative Press Magazine, Inc. November 2012 (292): 86. ISSN 1065-1667. Retrieved May 29, 2014.
  5. ^ a b Argyrakis, Andy (December 1, 2012). "Anberlin: Vital (Universal Republic)". CCM Magazine. p. 60. Archived from the original on January 18, 2013. Retrieved December 17, 2012.
  6. ^ a b Jones, Jeremy V. (October 16, 2012). "Anberlin: Vital". Christianity Today. Retrieved December 17, 2012.
  7. ^ a b Luff, Stephen (January 8, 2013). "Review: Vital – Anberlin". Cross Rhythms. Retrieved January 16, 2013.
  8. ^ a b Van Pelt, Doug (November 1, 2012). "Anberlin – Vital". HM. p. 49. Retrieved May 29, 2014.
  9. ^ a b Fraser, Carter (October 15, 2012). "Anberlin – Vital". Indie Vision Music. Retrieved December 17, 2012.
  10. ^ a b Gelwicks, Roger (October 14, 2012). "Anberlin, "Vital" Review". Jesus Freak Hideout. Retrieved December 17, 2012.
  11. ^ a b DiBiase, John (October 14, 2012). "Anberlin, "Vital" Review". Jesus Freak Hideout. Retrieved December 17, 2012.
  12. ^ a b Francesco, Jonathan (October 22, 2012). "The Most Vital an Album You'll Hear This Year". New Release Tuesday. Retrieved December 17, 2012.
  13. ^ a b Wippsson, Johan (October 16, 2012). "Anberlin – Vital". Melodic. Retrieved May 29, 2014.
  14. ^ a b SowingSeason (October 16, 2012). "Anberlin – Vital – Album Review". Sputnikmusic. Retrieved December 17, 2012.
  15. ^ Appleby, Jack (October 10, 2012). "Anberlin – Vital – Album Review". AbsolutePunk. Retrieved December 17, 2012. 95%
  16. ^ Florino, Rick (October 19, 2012). "Anberlin 'Vital' album review". Artist Direct. Retrieved December 17, 2012. 5/5 stars
  17. ^ Hess, Tyler (October 15, 2012). "Anberlin – "Vital (Review)". Christian Music Zine. Retrieved December 17, 2012. 4.25/5
  18. ^ Davies, Jono (November 7, 2012). "Anberlin – Vital". Louder Than The Music. Retrieved December 17, 2012. 3.5/5 stars
  19. ^ Anderson, Jonathan (October 16, 2012). "Anberlin – Vital". The New Review. Archived from the original on November 19, 2012. Retrieved December 17, 2012. 5/5 stars
  20. ^ "Anberlin Chart History (Billboard 200)". Billboard.
  21. ^ "Anberlin Chart History (Christian Albums)". Billboard.
  22. ^ "Anberlin Chart History (Top Rock Albums)". Billboard.
  23. ^ "Anberlin Chart History (Top Alternative Albums)". Billboard.
  24. ^ "Anberlin Chart History (Digital Albums)". Billboard.
  25. ^ "Anberlin Chart History (Top Tastemaker Albums)". Billboard.