Underoath Awakens With A Bang
By Cameron Martinez
After going on hiatus in 2013, the future of post-hardcore outfit, Underoath, was uncertain. Five years later, and eight years since releasing a new album, the band have come back together with their lineup they maintained at their strongest to bring us ‘Erase Me’.
Known as legends in the scene, Underoath had huge shoes to fill: their own. Not worried about living up to their own expectations but creating an album that would be great by today’s standards, the band have concocted a standout collection of 11 superb tracks. Any traditional fan of the band will love the opening vibes from the album in “It Has To Start Somewhere” as they leap at us with relentless yelling from front man, Spencer Chamberlain, and that chaotic drumming that can only be produced by founding member, Aaron Gillespie.
Though the guitar riffs aren’t as crazy as albums past, Tim McTague utilizes simple melodies beautifully to keep you humming these tunes all day long. That simplicity is a contributing factor to the overall aesthetic of the record, as the band follows some more traditional song structure and songwriting in general than before while keeping those Underoath characteristics that everyone has come to love, those being the aggressive screams, haunting synths, and arena filling ambience.
‘Erase Me’ is filled with captivating hooks, most notably in most of the intros, grabbing the listener from the get go and never letting go. At the pinnacle of the record, Spencer Chamberlain screams the words, “Erase Me”, in a call out to God during “Ihateit”, admitting to his sins and failures and stating he’s not worthy of the life God can provide to him, making for a truly monumental moment that no one will forget soon.
Although the band has kept a lot of their own traits in these tracks, there are some sections that remind us of some other bands, like the Silversun Pickups/Between the Buried and Me-like mashup that is “No Frame”. To paraphrase something Chamberlain said in an interview, “The only rule we had on this record was to reject the phrase we said about our previous records … That’s not Underoath enough. To say something’s ‘not Underoath enough’ robs us of growing. We didn’t say we were going to make an artsy record, a melodic record or a record our fans will like. We made a record that stokes us out that we love …”
This is a double edged sword for the guys, as the new, catchier take on their music will roll the eyes of some traditional fans while bringing in a whole new ear of Underoath fans. From the brutality that is “On My Teeth” to the eerie, calming atmosphere created in the verses of “I Gave Up”, there is something on this record for all current ‘core’ fans even if a few older fans may be disappointed. One thing is clear, though, Underoath is back, and they are still at the top of their game.
Listen to: “On My Teeth”, “Ihateit”, “It Has To Start Somewhere”