Members of Anberlin originally formed a band under the name SaGoh 24/7 in 1998, releasing two studio albums before disbanding, with the members having a change in musical direction and name. Anberlin was formed in 2002; within a year of forming, they had signed with semi-independent record label Tooth & Nail Records and released their debut album, Blueprints for the Black Market. In 2005, the band released their second album, Never Take Friendship Personal, selling in excess of 150,000 copies. The band continued its rise to prominence while enjoying a loyal MySpace following and averaging well over 200 live shows per year. The band's third album, Cities, was released in 2007, and became their first album to reach the top 20 of the Billboard 200, selling 34,000 copies in its debut week.
After three studio albums and five years with Tooth & Nail Records, Anberlin announced their signing with major label Universal Republic in August 2007. The band's first album on the major label was released in 2008, titled New Surrender. The album peaked at No. 13 on the Billboard 200, with the first single, "Feel Good Drag", claiming No. 1 on the Alternative Songs chart, after 29 weeks in the chart. Prior to the release of their fifth studio album, Dark Is the Way, Light Is a Place, Anberlin has sold over 700,000 albums. Their sixth studio album Vital was released October 16, 2012.
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