Review Summary: Underoath manages to find their sound and settle in.
Living up to expectations can be a challenging thing. Whether it’s dealing with your parents berating you about grades in school, your boss insisting you work more than is humanly possible, or in the case of Florida based Metal band Underoath, making a record that is “heavier and more epic” then your last. Underoath set out to do this with their latest album, Lost In The Sound of Separation
The task for Underoath was not an easy one though. Their previous album, Define the Great Line
“debuted at #2 on the Billboard Top 200 charts selling over 98 000 copies in its first week and becoming the highest charting Christian album on the Billboard 200 since 1997. By the end of 2006 the album had been certified gold by the RIAA.” (Wikipedia) They were going to have to work even harder in order to put something out that matched or possibly surpassed what Define The Great Line
had done, and in all honestly, with Lost In The Sound of Separation
, they achieved that task.
On LITSOS, Underoath takes the ferocity that was present on DTGL and ups it a notch, as well as further incorporating some post rock style into their sound. Album opener Breathing In A New Mentality is a straight up metalcore track, no clean vocals, just a crushing start to the album, that shows Underoath setting the bar high for themselves. As the album progresses, the listener hears the band staying true to their metalcore roots, but tracks become immersed with Aaron Gillespie’s melodic clean vocals, and some post rock melodic sections that provide a sense of atmosphere and mood to the album such as in Emergency Broadcast: The End Is Near and Coming Down Is Calming Down.
Musically the band is at their best on LITSOS. Tim McTague and James Smith lay down the guitar lines, which are mostly rhythm based, but they are capable of pulling off a catchy riff or two such as during the chorus of Desperate Times, Desperate Measures. The bass is handled by Grant Brandell and while being buried in the mix like most metal records, appears now and then to remind you that there is actually a bassist in the band. Keyboardist Chris Dudley plays an important role on LITSOS, as his pads and synth lines give the album its sense of atmosphere and mood from start to finish. Aaron Gillespie’s drumming is easily the musical highlight of the album, as he creates many interesting rhythms and fills that give a good sense of variety and originality to the songs. The vocals are the main focus of the album, as the contrast between Aaron’s melodic singing and Spencer Chanberlain’s harsh vocals gives Underoath a unique sound. Spencer has settled into a vocal style that showcases his low growls and high shrieks quite well, much like his work on DTGL, or further back when he was with This Runs Through. Aaron’s singing is just as good as it was on DTGL, if not better.
The production is top notch on Lost In The Sound of Separation
. The drums sound crisp and sharp, the guitars sound thick, and the vocals are clear. LITSOS utilizes quite a few more production techniques and tricks then there were on the much rawer DTGL, but this only manages to make this album even better then it’s predecessor.
With Lost In The Sound of Seperation
, Underoath manages to exceed the expectations and create an album that is heavier and denser then Define The Great Line
. This is one of the best metalcore albums that I have heard, and although I personally prefer Define The Great Line
, this is still a album that you should pick up and check out.