[Album Review] Underoath ‘Erase Me’
ALBUM NAME: ‘Erase Me’
RELEASE DATE: 6 April 2018
Vocals- Spencer Chamberlain
Bass- Grant Brandell
Lead Guitars- Timothy McTague
Rhythm Guitars- James Smith
Synth/Keyboard- Christopher Dudley
Like the prodigal son, Underoath return! In July 2015, the band began teasing the phrase “Rebirth is coming” and in that year, they announced their first show as headliner act of Self Help Fest 2016. It was also confirmed that drummer Gillespie would be joining the band, after being on hiatus since 2010. Since that appearance on stage, fans have been left wondering if new music would be coming at all…
True to the countdown, Underoath’s eighth album ‘Erase Me’ was subtly announced and The Metalist ZA, got their keen hands on a copy which has been on repeat ever since. ‘Erase Me’ is a 40:10 journey of Underoath’s signature synth-ambient metalcore, that has been perfected – and yet at the same time the band has found progression within their sound. Taking a step away from their darker tones of earlier works like ‘Disambiguation’ – the band has recaptured a more familiar pop-esque stadium-rock dynamic.
Starting with their lead single from the album – ‘On My Teeth’ the track begins with a powerful hair-raising stadium-ready surge of energy from synth-master Dudley, (It’s been 8 years for the band and 10 without Gillespie, okay!), followed by the rapid tapping away by Gillespie. The build-up is almost unbearable and then – as vocalist Chamberlain exclaims “Let’s get this straight! // I’m fine without you // I’m not your fucking prey // So save yourself // And no one else.”
Guitarists McTague, Smith and Brandell pummel into the track that has us headbanging. A cold shiver shoots down the spine – he swore, I mean Chamberlain actually said it! Later, we hear Chamberlain’s influence from post-Underoath project Sleepwave. The energy presented in ‘On My Teeth’ is immediately addictive and it takes us back to the much simpler days of 2006.
The opening track of the album ‘It Has To Start Somewhere’ does exactly as the chosen title states; it introduces the listener to a new Underoath that are not holding back, with a twinkling of keys being pressed, and the rolling of drums, chaos ensues as Underoath make a proclamation of immense proportion and grasps for the podium they once stood upon. Further down the track-listing you will find ‘ihateit’ which is a direct throw back and perhaps homage to 2006’s ‘Define The Great Line’ – it is positively infectious. Chamberlains vocal prowess has improved, and his scream vocals are crisp yet harsh at the same time.
Shazam-discovered track ‘No Frame’ presents a very well imbued backing synth to the album, with a mellower vibe than what is known from Underoath. The guitars encapsulate an electronic distortion that is not unpleasant to the ears, however definitely something new for the gents from Tampa. Underoath latest offering stands out on its own two feet. To compare this piece of work against previous albums would be futile – as each album is equally unique and presents its own qualities. We commend ‘Erase Me’ on its solid yet out-of-the-box approach and give it a delicious nine out of ten.
Here’s our interview with Aaron Gillespie:
Reviewed by: Cayden Nel (click to read more from Cayden)
Shots supplied by: Underoath
Date: March 2018
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