UNDEROATH. ERASE ME.
A review by Anthony Talanca
Underoath has just released their new album Erase Me on April 6th 2018, via Fearless Records. This is the band’s first album in eight years after going on hiatus and having a “revival” of tour dates last year. Erase Me is the band’s sixth record and was recorded with the original band members.
Underoath broke the internet when word came out that a new record was coming out with their first single, On My Teeth. The song starts off with drumming and some electric synth elements right into lead singer Spencer Chamberlain’s screaming vocals. From there, it goes right into an extremely catchy chorus that have had fans hooked for years. The song balances from screaming vocals and cleans very well throughout the song. In terms of song complexity, it is a pretty simple song to follow along with and learn the lyrics to. The guitar and drum work of the song really complement the vocal performance of the song. Although some fans have complained that the song is simple and too straight forward, it does a great job of being the lead single to the album. With it being only a little over three minutes long, it is short and right to the point.
Watch the official video release for Underoath – On My Teeth:
The next single released, Rapture, showed off a different side to Underoath that caught a lot of fans off guard. The song starts off once again with some electric synth elements, displaying the effect that Chris had on this album. Rapture is one of the most radio friendly songs on the album, as it does not have any screaming vocals in it. Many Underoath fans are familiar with Sleepwave, Spencer’s side project band he was the lead singer of when Underoath went on hiatus. Rapture draws a lot of comparisons to the work of Sleepwave where it does not have the same aggressive as Underoath songs. Between the two released singles, most fans enjoyed On My Teeth more due to the aggression and sounding more like a classic Underoath song.
Watch the official video release for Underoath – Rapture:
Other feature songs of this album for me where It Has To Start Somewhere, ihateit, and Hold Your Breath. It Has To Start Somewhere is the opening track of Erase Me and immediately brings the energy fans are looking for in this album. Both Spencer and Aaron have prominent vocals and are shown off during this song and album. Once again in this song, Chris really shows off his synth abilities with the electric like vibes to the song, although Spencer really steals the spotlight with his screaming. The choosing of this song into a softer song of Rapture was an interesting development as the dynamic really changes but does still flow well.
Ihateit is another song that has a Rapture like flow to it with no screaming vocals. However, it is undoubtedly one of the most catchy songs on the album. The main bridge chorus really hits home and you can absolutely feel the emotion of Spencer portrayed by the vocals. The dynamic between Aaron and Spencer in this song also creates a nice flow that fans have fallen in love with over the years. Ihateit has a pretty simple song structure to it, but it works well. The guitar and drum work once again is not anything too complex, but is centered on the vocals. However, the most interesting part of the song is during the breakdown when Spencer curses. Most fans of the band know Underoath was a devoted Christian band during their early prominent run and did not curse in any songs. However, it has been eight years since the last album and Spencer has been on record stating that “Christianity ruined his life,” and he is feeling different emotions now. This alienated some of their fan base, but people need to realize that people change over time. What Spencer and the band felt eight years ago might not be what they believe anymore. It is okay to change; there is nothing wrong with it.
The final impact song for me on this record is Hold Your Breath. A common theme of this record is Chris’s synth influence, which is once again showed off throughout the song. This song is dominated early by the devastating screaming vocals from Spencer right into what I think is the catchiest chorus of the entire album. The song follows a pretty standard structure of screaming vocals into a chorus and repeat. The formula once again works here and they really deliver it perfectly in this song. This is another song where the dynamic of Aaron and Spencer really complement each other and you can once again feel the power and dynamic of the vocals from Spencer.
Fans wanting an album exactly like They’re Only Chasing Safety and Define The Great Line have to realize that both albums are over ten years old and the band has progressed from those days. Yes, those have the most recognizable hits, but there is an obvious sound change from then to the release of Erase Me. This album is definitely less heavy than previous work, but does have some heavy moments in songs such as “On My Teeth, Hold Your Breath” and “In Motion.”
If you came into this record expecting the song of the older records, you may be disappointed. However, Erase Me has some definite jams on it that will have some serious replay value. The basic sounding song structure of some of the softer songs has been a complaint of a lot of fans listening to the album. At times, it does seem like the structure is a little too simple, but it is what it is. It is not the most complex album you will listen to all year, but it is an album that fans have been waiting for.
Erase Me gets a 7/10 for me. It has elements that are very reminiscent of older Underoath, but still features the new sound they are going for. What keeps this from being an eight or higher is that I wish some songs were a little heavier and that Aaron was used more. This album is one where I will probably add select songs to a playlist, but not give the album from top to bottom a ton more listens.
Full tracklist for Underoath – Erase Me:
1. It Has To Start Somewhere
3. On My Teeth
4. Wake Me
6. Sink With You
8. Hold Your Breath
9. No Frame
10. In Motion
11. I Gave Up
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