Album Review: Underoath – Erase Me

Don’t you just hate it when things end? Especially when it seems to be so abrupt and unwarranted. When something you’ve loved and enjoyed for years, seems to come to an untimely demise, one can almost be left with what feels like a part of their entire being has left with it. As if there were a hole in their life, where once lie the now missing piece. It’s not strange to think that one could develop such an immensely strong connection with a band and the music they release. Music is a wondrous and crazy thing in that way. An individual can build such an intensive connection with the sound, lyrics, and art of what’s been created that it becomes a part of their day to day lives. This exact sentiment was sent reeling through the masses the day Underoath announced they’d be disbanding in 2013. Luckily for all, this travesty of an occurrence would only last about two years until in 2015 the group announced their reunion. There would be multiple tours, and the band would elude to the fact that they weren’t against writing new music and would love to release it to the masses. But it wouldn’t be until 2018 Underoath‘s eighth studio album, Erase Me, would finally see the light of day.

[tw-toggle title=”About Underoath”]
Genre: Post Hardcore | Rock
Label: Fearless Records
Release: April 6, 2018
Connect: Facebook | Twitter
Purchase: iTunes | Google Play

It is excruciatingly important to have a strong opening track on any album, and especially when besides the singles, it acts as the (re)introduction for a band who hasn’t released any new music in years and many thought may never again. Underoath did not disappoint with Erase Me‘s opener, “It Has To Start Somewhere”. Besides the fact that this is an almost too perfect title to begin an album, the song is an epic force and more than deserves to have its place. The listener is immediately drawn in by an echoing drumming and a single stricken piano key and guitar, which swiftly leads into vocalist Spencer Chamberlain’s singing soaring over the music being played below (so to speak). ‘If my tongue is the blade, and your hand is the gun, one of us ain’t goin home tonight!’. Lyrics fused with a sense of urgency, commanding the listener’s ear. The song harkens to the Underoath of ‘ol, but with a new sense of direction in how that’s portrayed overall. The song is heavy without even actually using any crazy varied array of distorted guitar effects or the double bass/blast beats that many have come to associate with what heavy music ‘means’ these days. The heavy of this song comes from the culmination of the instrumentals and lyricism, and the emotion they are meant to convey. All of which is a perfect summation of why this song was the only choice to open up Erase Me.

“On My Teeth” served as the albums first single, and for just cause. This was a song in which to appease both the day one fans, and act as an introduction for those whom had never heard of the band before. This song could have found its place on an album or two from the bands past, but acted as an almost (perfect) bridge to what the band has become now. The song is riddled with almost ludicrous drumming, that one could only assume would lead the average drummer to want to stick their wrists and hands in ice for days. Spencer Chamberlain’s speaker splitting scream takes precedence over most clean singing, and as usual leaves the audience with a visceral feeling of the adrenaline pumping it’s meant to ensue. The song has the odd time signatures and complexities that the group had always had, but a rhythm and melodic punch that takes more of the forefront on the album as a whole.

Underoath – On My Teeth (Official Music Video)

UNDEROATH / NEW ALBUM / ERASE ME / OUT NOW DIGITAL: SPOTIFY: BUNDLES: Stay connected: Director: Andrew Joffe DP: Matt Joffe Projection Artist: Dejha Ti LYRICS: Let’s get this straight I’m fine without you I’m not your fucking prey

“Bloodlust” is a slightly misleading song title. When reading the track list, it wouldn’t be an odd notion to assume this could possibly be one of the most blistering and crunching songs on the whole album. Well much like “It Has To Start Somewhere” is heavy in its own right, this song too has its merits which beckons the same concept. While the song musically leans to the softer side of its overall sound and intensity, it is the lyrics and tones the music emits which lends to this tracks heaviness. The verses consist of light drumming from Aaron Gillespie, soft and subtle vocals from Spencer Chamberlain, and keyboardist Christopher Dudley adds an almost dreamy sample that feels as if it’s blowing in the wind like a chime. The choruses are almost what one may refer to as ‘radio friendly rock’, but only serve to what the songs true intent is meant to channel. For old fans of the group this may come as one of the larger surprises on Erase Me, but should be heard with an open mind. Only then will you fully hear the beauty songs like this and others like it on the album truly hold.

A fan favorite on the album is surely to be “In Motion”. This song is yet another indefectible example of bridging the gap between albums from Underoath‘s past and current. The song is heavily melodic, yet technical in its own right. The verse has an almost rock’n’roll of old feel to it with guitars strummed intensely and vocals filling the voids in between, but adds that aggressive edge making it that pure Underoath sound. The singing duties bounce back and forth between Chamberlain and Gillespie creating a harmonious pairing perfectly fit for this song. The bridge’s instrumentals create an almost beautifully haunting sense of awareness of sadness, and when matched with Spencer Chamberlain screaming ‘All Hope Is Lost’, you’re almost inclined to agree. Whether you throw on anything from Act Of Depression, to Disambiguation, to Erase Me, Underoath have always been exactly who they are. This song is just a perfect example of the music the band wishes to create now. And it is a phenomenal presentation of their art as it stands today.

Underoath – Rapture (Official Music Video)

UNDEROATH / NEW ALBUM / ERASE ME / OUT NOW DIGITAL: SPOTIFY: BUNDLES: Stay connected: Director: Andrew Joffe DP: Matt Joffe LYRICS: Old familiar face That bitter taste She’s been hangin’ round too long That crooked tongue So pale so

Equally as crucial as an albums beginning, is its end. A closing track is the final tste you choose to leave in the audiences mouth. The final sounds which a band wishes you to hear. And as any artist would hope, this final expression of themselves will have a long lasting and resounding effect on any who listen. “I Gave Up” produces this sentiment in spades. Christopher Dudley’s astounding piano playing and Spencer Chamberlain’s vocals take the spotlight in this song. The verses are almost eerily despairing as conveyed by the sullen sounds of the piano and breathy vocals. The guitars that act as the initial chorus almost sound as if they’re being played in reverse, further instilling the despair and loneliness the song’s sound painstakingly emotes. Chamberlain’s lyrics are some of the most vulnerable and open he has ever written. It seems as if Underoath took their time in choosing the placement of each and every track, as if to tell the perfect story with the perfect flow. Case in point, the order in which “I Gave Up” was positioned. Well done Underoath.

For almost three long years the public would be left to their hopes and dreams, wondering if the day would in actuality come, and new Underoath tunes would finally grace their ears. The world would ultimately rejoice with news that came on February 22, 2018; Underoath would finally be releasing a new album in April, entitled Erase Me. The band is truly back in full force. Combining the Underoath of old, with some mighty large and multifaceted elements that have only enlarged their already impressive repertoire of skills and talents. The album contains that grit and grunge that made up the heavy they’ve always done so well, but the electronics are more prevalent than ever and the edge of old has been toned done ever-so slightly, if only to make the music more accessible as a whole. If Underoath had chosen to cease and desist their career with Disambiguation, lovers of the heavy music scene would have felt a tragic loss, yet they would have always had a legacy of being one of the greats of that scene for all time. Since the group has thankfully chosen to once again slay the speaker and stage, this will only help to solidify that fact. The fact that Erase Me is their album title is almost funny then when you think that this bands career cannot and never will be stricken from any fans memory for any foreseeable future.

What Are Your Thoughts!

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