Review Summary: They were made for this
For anyone following Underoath, 2010 started with a surprise when the band's sole remaining founding father Aaron Gillespie announced that he would be leaving to pursue his solo project The Almost. With his clean vocals being the most easily palatable and recognizable part of Underoath's music, the online rumor mill soon began to speculate on the future of the long running metalcore act. This wasn't the first time they had lost an integral member, lest we forget that for the first few years of their existence they were a rotating door of musicians – some of which would find fame in other projects like former vocalist Dallas Taylor. If Disambiguation
is proof of anything, it is that Gillespie's departure further solidified their resolve and was inconsequential in affecting the soul of Underoath, as the substance of the album lies not in the all too familiar war of opposing egos that one would expect but in the struggle that now sole vocalist Spencer Chamberlain has been waging against his own demons: addiction.
Brooding and immediate, Disambiguation
is the most focused Underoath album to date. Where prior releases juxtaposed light and dark in a make shift cosmic power play of the forces of good and evil that made certain that the listener left with their mind fixed on the positive, Disambiguation
removes this dichotomy from the fold and dives face first into the abyss. As Spencer descends further down the rabbit hole that is himself, the rest of the band are more than willing to follow his lead. This leads to a refined fury that permeates every facet of Disambiguation
, making it easily the most visceral release in their discography. The prior restraint that albums like Define the Great Line
and Lost in the Sound of Separation
thrived off of is no more. Disambiguation
is dark, maddening, and one step away from throwing itself over the edge, and this is the very thing that makes it such powerful catharsis.
clearly shows that Underoath are still very much the same well oiled machine that brought us Define the Great Line
back in 2006 when they firmly established themselves as the kings of the scene, even if that title is somewhat constricting and misleading as their music transcends its given tags and connects with their fanbase at a deeper level, regardless of belief structure. Yes, Underoath as a band have done more than their fair share to add to their notoriety as a Christian band, but it's not in a christ or creed that their message is rooted, it is in the triumphs and defeats that come with just being alive and the collective togetherness that comes with seeing your self as part of something more.