When it comes to hardcore (whether Christian or mainstream), one name that is sure to come up is Underoath. The powerhouse band has come a long way since their days as a no-name metal act, now making waves on huge tours like the Vans Warped Tour and Mayhem Fest, with the likes of Slipknot and Angels & Airwaves. And it's easy to see why, as their sound is explosive and their live show is energetic and engaging. Their fanbase has grown tremendously since their 2006 release, Define The Great Line, which has spawned much anticipation for their brand-spanking new album, Lost In The Sound of Separation.
Since the days of Dallas Taylor as vocalist, all the way up to Define The Great Line, Underoath's sound has evolved a lot - from metal to emocore to straight-up hardcore. Those expecting something very different than their last outing should put those expectations away before listening. Though I can't say that the sound is exactly the same as before, it's not much different. It's still the borderline chaotic, screamy, crunchy, and sometimes brutal Underoath, just with a tiny hint of some industrial thrown in. Spencer Chamberlain's screams sound as delicious as before, but Aaron Gillespie's singing just keeps getting more irritating with each new release (oddly enough, he does 95% of the vocal work on the album highlight "Too Bright To See, Too Loud To Hear").
Speaking of "Too Bright To See...," it's an example of the new lyrical approach the guys seem to be going for. Underoath lyrics are always filled with desperation, but Lost In The Sound of Separation is filled with more of a redemption theme as well. As in that song, when they break into a chanting of "Good God, can You still get us home?" Other examples are in the too-abruptly-ended album closer "Desolate Earth: The End Is Here" ("I found hope/I found God/I found the dreams of the believers/Oh God, save us all") and in the fast-paced punch-you-in-the-face opener, "Breathing In A New Mentality" ("I'm the desperate and You're the Savior"). As lots of Underoath fans aren't already believers, knowing that their lyrics this time around are showing more spirituality is a pretty exciting thing, and it doesn't come off as cheesy or poorly-written. It's still honesty about the human race's desperation for God, just more focused on God this time around.
Solid State has a knack for having some of the best talent in the hardcore genre of today, and Underoath is no exception. If you happen to be a fan of hard and screamy music, and you haven't listened to the band, you truly are missing out. It's so worth your while to at least head over to their MySpace and give the album a listen. You shouldn't be disappointed.- Review date: 9/3/08, written by Scott Fryberger of Jesusfreakhideout.com
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