Underoath’s triumphant return is one that should not be underestimated. The band has come a long way from who they were a decade ago. We are reintroduced with an album that shows maturity and refinement in their established sound. The lyrics are honest and revealing.

We start off “Erase Me” with a hard-hitting track named “It Has to Start Somewhere”, which is a very interesting but fitting way to start off an album. It kinda gives you the sense that the song is gonna be emotional in some form, and it certainly is. The track gives a light intro before throwing you into a great energetic track. You have lyrics in the chorus such as “I’ve lost myself” and “you’ve got me wrong” which are blunt, but show a sense of doubt within Spencer.

The next two songs are “Rapture” and “On My Teeth”. The former was released as a second single to the album. It displays a more rock side to Underoath while retaining their signature edge. The latter is their comeback lead single. It’s much heavier and displays Post-hardcore in a new light, with different and newer elements, such as the bridge. The song was a sign of what was to come, and it conveyed it well. The song itself is an instant modern metalcore classic and if that isn’t a thing yet, this band just created it.

“Wake Me” starts off with a softer start, overall displaying a more Alternative Rock/Metal side to the band. It shows a great versatility in Underoath, while keeping themselves honest and sincere. It’s a softer track, but certainly ear candy. The overall dark rock feeling is spine shivering. The ending is haunting albeit short. It wants you begging for more.

Electronic drums appear on “Bloodlust”, producing a soft introduction and verse into one hell of a loud chorus. The mastering is impressive and really helps make the song beautiful. The dual vocals on the chorus is used at a great advantage that would make the song feel empty without. It’s once more near the Alternative Metal side and is a must listen.

“Sink with You” is an up-beat, heavy track. The verse was a great build up to the pre-chorus, which consisted of a little switch up, and the lyrics repeated “You can’t make it okay”. The second verse’s lyrics “The Fear of Death is sinking in/I’d rather die than sink with you” is one of the best lyrics I’ve heard end a verse, and to hear it with that distorted pre-chorus sounds amazing. The song stops suddenly half way through making you feel like it ended, only to burst back with a horrifying scape of distortion and yelling. It creates a scary atmosphere. Overall, it’s one of the heaviest songs on the album.

We sink right back into the mellow tracks with “ihateit”. The track seems to be about Spencer’s fall from faith, especially with the emotional breakdown “God, erase me/I don’t deserve the life you give.” It’s mellow but it transforms into an emotionally heavier track. After that, we transition into “Hold Your Breath”. This one gets faster and is more akin to their post-hardcore nature. While I’m not entirely fond of the chorus, the song makes that up with it’s verses and mellowed out bridge. It almost feels like the tip of the iceberg here, the climax of a story.
We get a vocal sample repeated in the beginning as part of an electronic element as more electronic drums kick in. Some reverse guitar samples are played while the bass and later drums kick in. “No Frame” is more of an experimental and darker track on this album. It’s trying to build up to what becomes the breakdown, which hit in full distortion but with what sounds like synths rather than guitars. It’s a beautiful experimental track.

With two songs left, we have “In Motion”. This one is more post-hardcore orientated. While the chorus is another one that didn’t quite hit right at first in a similar motion that “Hold Your Breath” did. But the heaviness and emotion in the instruments and vocals, it just grows quickly on you. It transforms more into an alternative metal track that doesn’t really disappoint, despite the chorus needing some getting used to. The ending tears you apart with one of the heaviest moments of the album with Spencer screaming “There is no fix!”

And now we are at the ending. A soft piano intro begins what is “I Gave Up”. A truly haunting closer. This entire album, Spencer has been battling multiple things such as his faith and its effect that it has had on his life, ultimately leading to him leaving the religion he used to follow closely. The breakdown halfway through hits the listener just right in the most perfect moment for it to come, especially when the listener is expecting the chorus instead of something heavier. Of course, we get a chorus shortly after which transcends into a drum, electronic, and light guitar outro. The guitar fades and we are left with an electronic loop that ends the album.

Though, it doesn’t full end it as we get two bonus tracks! “Loneliness” is another heavy track that has a bit of a more pop-rock chorus, but two great heavy verses with their metal sound. The background piano that is played at two and a half minutes in is the finishing touch on this song that makes it more than just a bonus track. It makes it a part of a great album and it’s disheartening to know that it’s only on certain releases. “Another Life” Is the final song on the album, and the band surely didn’t waste any feeling. The song I can only guess is about Spencer dealing with the fact that Christianity has ruined his life and moving on from the religion. The Chorus takes some getting used to once again but the raw emotion is worth the listen.

This album is an experience. This isn’t the same “It’s Dangerous Business Walking Out Your Front Door” Underoath from 2005. This is a new era for the band, a new sound. And while they aren’t as heavy as they used to be, they have shown how capable they are at still making music that is honest to who they are, revealing with what they have struggled with, and versatility with the emotions they want to convey. It’s a unique album, and while many are discontent with the lack of heaviness, that needs to be overlooked because this album has so much more than just the sound change.

Reviewed by Leo Adkins

#Underoath #EraseMe