‘Erase Me’ is Underoath’s first album to be released in eight years since ‘Disambiguation’ in 2010. Earlier this year, various rumors were circulating about the band’s return. True to their countdown, the band released their lead single “On My Teeth” alongside an energized music video. The album was produced by Matt Squire and mixed by Ken Andrews. The cohesive blend of elements, electronic textures, and inexhaustible power does not depart Underoath from the well-established sound fans have come to love, but certainly provides for a new and improved progression of sound. Underoath conquers substance abuse and their disillusionment with religion; coalescing to produce their sixth studio album ‘Erase Me’ via Fearless Records on April 6th, 2018.
The first track on the album “It Has To Start Somewhere” is the perfect opening track for the album, as well as a certainly attention grabbing introduction for Underoath’s comeback. The song gradually builds with slight piano keys into Chamberlain’s immense screams. Underoath does not hold back with the lyrical content as well; it’s daring and profound in depicting the numbing fears and disaffiliation from religion. The electronic start to “Rapture” makes way for a fusion of both raspy and melodic clean vocals. The song is slightly more structured than others with its steady percussion. The guitar riffs are complemented by the vocals, coinciding well with each other. The invigorating electronic samples of Chris Dudley start off “On My Teeth” in the most powerful way. Despite very few clean vocals from Aaron Gillespie, he makes up for it with his energetic drums and percussion-soaked choruses, reminiscent of older records.
Songs like “Wake Me” and “Bloodlust” keep with the dark themes of salvation and never ending cycles. Despite the dark lyrical content, “Wake Me” tones things down a notch with its softer vocals, slight pop-sounding influences and almost spooky-like “oo oo ooh” ending. The chorus is heavy on the screams in “Bloodlust” which both opens and closes with vivid and dreamy synths accompanied by a slight percussion taps. Songs like “Sink With You” and “Hold Your Breathe” feature some of Chris Dudley’s finest synth work. The rhythmic beginning of “Sink With You” will certainly have fans bobbing their heads with its crafty samples and shimmering cymbals. “Hold Your Breathe” similarly has a faster tempo with its copious amounts of glitchy samples. The screams in the first few seconds and eventual clean vocals are so dynamic they will make fans have waves of pleasure running all over their skin. “Ihateit” is slightly reminiscent to Underoath’s ‘Define the Great Line’ record from 2006 with Chamberlain’s dexterity in vocals and full-bodies drums.
“No Frame” presents a new and more mellow vibe from Underoath. The band certainly substantiates that change with the saturation of electronic synths in the song, ending off with a muttered “no frame” chant. Chamberlain successfully executes his performance in the song “In motion” with his fluttering yet powerful voice. The song features meaningful yet dark lyrics such as “in my head i’m more dead than alive” or “there is no fix”, which are emotionally poignant and speak loud to listeners. Listeners should not be fooled by the softened beginning to “I Gave Up”. Despite the lighter sounds and fewer layers, the band remains true to themselves and fan with the brutally honest content, the extremely impactful lyrical content, and the catchy hooks. The chorus is explosive and repetitive, addressing the defeat the lead singer felt within himself.
Although some very slight influences can be heard from previous albums, Underoath proves they are back and better than ever with their “rebuilt” selves. The rebellious attitudes are certainly evident throughout the songs and the beaming passion of each band member is seen without a doubt. ‘Erase Me’ tells a story of Underoath’s struggles and how they got to where they’re at now even with the track title names alone. The sound is mature, energetic, addictive and certainly hard hitting.
Music Mayhem Rating: 5 out of 5.
‘Erase Me’ Track List:
- It Has To Start Somewhere
- On My Teeth
- Wake Me
- Sink With You
- Hold Your Breath
- No Frame
- In Motion
- I Gave Up