Underoath - Erase Me Album Review
After eight years filled with a disbandment and subsequent reunion since their 2010 album Ø, Florida metalcore band Underoath have returned with their eighth studio album, Erase Me. While it doesn’t bring the same metalcore energy as past releases by the band, the newly implemented elements of electronic and industrial rock prove to be interesting ground for the band. Even though the more straightforward songwriting feels like the group is appealing to an alternative rock audience as opposed to their long time metalcore and post-hardcore fans, Erase Me still succeeds at being an entertaining return for a band that has been gone for so long.
Upon first listen, the album will catch longtime listeners of Underoath off guard. With the band having been gone for so long, it can be jarring for longtime fans that many passages focus on toying around with sonic textures and atmosphere over pummeling rock music. “No Frame” demonstrates this the most, with Underoath going as far as to sing with vocal filters while synths slowly pulse underneath. The song uses these techniques to slowly crescendo into a heavier, post-hardcore finish at the end of the song, highlighting the band’s dynamic songwriting that could sometimes get lost beneath the raw emotion of past releases.
That’s not to say Underoath have shifted their sound so far that fans looking for some new material in that classic post-hardcore and metalcore style won’t still find it here. It just happens to be a bit more measured this time around. Tracks like “On My Teeth” and “Sink With You” scratch that itch perfectly. While the energy feels a little less raw, it’s still delivered far better here than by most other mainstream metalcore and post-hardcore acts.
But that lack of raw delivery is a shortcoming of the album, which is mostly a product of the technical and production decisions of the album. While it’s clear that a lot of time and care was put into the mixing and mastering, this extra coat of polish on Erase Me as compared to Underoath’s past albums make the emotional punch of the lyrics and instrumentals fall a little flat. Underoath has never been afraid to get up close and personal with their lyrical themes and Erase Me is no different. The band tackles the very real topics of anxiety and internal conflict in the face of drug dependency and disillusionment with religion. But when these concepts are sung with production that sounds pristine over music that’s cleanly recorded, it deflates the power behind them. It’s a very well-produced album, it just doesn’t support the strengths of the band as well as it could have.
Still, Underoath has come through with a strong return after such a long time between albums. While the band loses some of its punch with the more alternative rock centric songwriting, as well as having its rough edges smoothed out, they’ve come through once again with a post-hardcore album that stands above most other mainstream post-hardcore acts. It’s not in the same league as some of their best albums, but is still an exciting return for the band that lays the groundwork for some more interesting developments on future releases.
Chandler Copenheaver is a senior majoring in public relations. To contact him, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Senior / Public Relations