Archive for the ‘underoath’ Category

It was announced recently that the metal core outfit known as Underoath is no longer a Christian band. This shocked the Hell out of many, myself included, but it only took a trip through the rest of their albums for me to realize they’ve been wrestling with the issue for a long time (especially in the last one “Disambiguation”) – discs riddled with doubt and uncertainty, even from the beginning.

While their new record, “Erase Me” does explore issues of questioning (in ways that outdo both Bring Me the Horizon and Marilyn Manson), it is far from blasphemous. There are enough “God save me” references to satisfy any Christian…or, better put, any hopeful spiritual person…There’s a lot on this disc that Fundamentalists would have a big problem with. But that’s rock and roll. That’s art. And though I believe in Jesus Christ as my savior, I am still happy to call this album the best set of songs I have heard since 2010 (Danger Days….).

There is so much raw authenticity to this disc…whether it’s Spencer’s chaotic vocals digging deep into the subject of depression, Aaron’s beautiful vocals that sound like fucking harmonies even when there’s only one vocal track, Chris’ innovative keyboards that can go from Skrillex to Beetheoven at the drop of a hat, Grant’s chugging bass lines that practically break the windows of my car, or Tim and James’ relentless guitars that go from mellifluous harmony to relentless assault within the span of a second.

This is CLASSIC Underoath. The darkness of Define the Great Line, the rawness of Lost in the Sound of Separation, the experimental tones of Disambiguation, and the heartfelt honesty of They’re Only Chasing Safety (Oath abandoned the black metal of Cries of the Past days long ago…but, surprisingly, this shit has the energy of that disc as well…fast, double bass, metal riffs, and less focused, more cathartic screams in some places). The best description I can think of for this album is that it’s like They’re Only Chasing Safety, but more mature, and way, way heavier. Digitized intros and bridges, industrial drum beats with just enough metal to assault the ears, beautiful clean vocals, and heavy screams that put all other “screamers” to shame –

this is Underoath.

This is the band that created the metal core genre…perhaps not literally, but definitely in that the style they created is what everyone else followed. So many bands reap the benefits from the ingenuity of Underoath (and I love them, and none are by any means ripoffs, but it’s true…Underoath are like the Beatles of metal core) – Memphis Mayfire, Blessthefall, Escape the Fate (some of it), Alesana, A Skylit Drive, Bring Me the Horizon, and so many more.

What’s crazy though is how DIFFERENT this effort manages to be while still remaining true to the style of what came before it. There are BALLADS now, along with punk rock (In Motion). “No Frame” is the most innovative thing I have ever heard from Underoath…it still sounds like them, but they have literally never written a song like this one before – the only thing I can compare it to is some of the spacey stuff from Thirty Seconds to Mars, but BETTER. And it’s not just this song – so much of this record is experimental, and while we’ve heard similar sounds before, it still pulls off the feeling of being fresh and unique.

I literally find no fault whatsoever with this album. It is perfect from start to finish.

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