After an eight year self-searching and self-actualization intermission Underoath has released ‘Erase Me’, a new album, showcasing their ability to both grow and remain true to themselves. The band from Florida has been creating music for two decades, and have proven with this new record they show no sign of slowing down.
The album brings both the heaviness from previous albums but offers a new sense of understanding. ‘Erase Me’ was made in secrecy after years of the band being on hiatus, facing addiction, going on reunion tours and feeling refreshed to make new music. Underoath was originally labeled as a Christian band, but are now moving away from their religious influence. The band members each live and celebrate their religions of choice, but have decided to leave the religious reputation behind. ‘Erase Me’ is their first album post religion and it may be their most honest and vulnerable release to date.
The eleven track album has themes of regret, loss, distance, and change. Much of the album is self-loathing and facing the dark truths of the past head on, as well as challenging feelings towards others and the Christian faith. Spencer Chamberlain, the lead vocals of the band, is very honest in all of the lyrics about his past and understanding of life. ‘Erase Me’ hears less from the very talented clean vocalist and drummer, Aaron Gillespie, and many fans of the band are upset about this.
This album also features no moment of audience sing back, like in previous Underoath records (think of the moment in ‘It’s Dangerous Business Walking Out Your Front Door’ where the crowd sings “drowning in my sleep, I’m drowning in my sleep.”) The record is built on both heavy, scream intense songs and melodic, rhythmic, and poetic songs. In total, the album is very diverse, meaningful, and therapeutic.
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The first two singles of the album ‘Rapture’ and ‘On My Teeth’ are both heavy-hitting songs. ‘Rapture’ is haunting, consuming and dangerous. It sounds like a horror story with a giant spider eating their loved ones with lyrics like “tangled in your legs, in the webs of your lies.” ‘On My Teeth’ is energetic and musically escalating. It is a song to pump the listener up. As the first single, this song sent the internet into a tailspin when the band released their first song dropping the f-bomb. This song was the band turning their back on their religious reputation, mimicking the feeling Chamberlain experienced when he relapsed and instead of helping, his fellow Christians turned their back to him. The track is defensive and angry, but clearly provides Chamberlain with a chance to heal.
‘ihateit’ is another very powerful song on the record. It is the most similar to their past releases. The song was probably very therapeutic to write based on self hatred and past regrets. The song is honest and open about addictions, and the feelings of disgust later in life. ‘In Motion’ is arguably the heaviest and hardest song on the album, with a lot of screaming and discussions of “saving my life.” These poetic lyrics require at least three listens, as the song gets better with repetition. A personal favorite, this song is about “chasing a high.”
‘Erase Me’ has a few slower songs, songs that seek approval and a quiet understanding. ‘Wake Me’ is eerie and starts slower, unlike any other track on the record. It sounds out of place and odd during the first listen, as the background music sounds like an old The Killers’ song, but after hearing it a few times it is completely necessary. ‘No Frame’ is another peculiar song with a killer bass introduction. The song is repetitive and cult like, chanting “Way out of this, way out of this.” The sound is metallic and industrial. The song finishes with inaudible screaming.
‘Erase Me’ is an impressive way to clean the cobwebs off of a musical career, and Underoath is back with a vengeance. This album grows with each listen, and is sure to become a classic in their discography. Their desire for musical success and personal freedom is ever so clear.
‘Erase Me’ is out now via Fearless Records. The albums full track listing is…
01 It Has To Start Somewhere
03 On My Teeth
04 Wake Me
06 Sink With You
08 Hold Your Breath
09 No Frame
10 In Motion
11 I Gave Up