On the Brink of It All

by: Ever Stays Red

Years as an indie act and hundreds of live dates paid off on the band's third disc, its first with Vertical Shift Records and with Dustin Carlson on lead vocals. On the Brink of It All symbolized a jumping-off point both for the band and for listeners. The quartet's old-fashioned work ethic and exceptional lyrical quality made this one of 2008's best rock albums note for note. Poetic in form and authentic in delivery, the production captured an anthemic rock sound that was every bit as energetic and raw as Switchfoot's Oh! Gravity. The songs were driven by intriguing messages of realism and discipleship. Besides Carlson's relentlessly emotive vocals, the album benefited from Zach Andresen's exceptional guitar work. The chorus of "Can't Explain" showed that the album captured the duality of redemption and worship like few contemporary rock acts could: "Yesterday I was six feet underground/Now I'm on my knees." Overall, this crisp masterpiece is on par with Mae's The Everglow or Anberlin's Never Take Friendship Personal -- an enlightening journey that leaves listeners wondering how they could get so much personal benefit from a rock album. ~ Jared Johnson

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