ALBUM REVIEW: Underoath’s “Erase Me”

ARTIST: Underoath+ ALBUM: Erase Me + LABEL: Fearless Records + RELEASED: APR 6, 2018

Underoath is back! And they seem dead set on filling the void they left in the post-hardcore and metal-core scene with their last offering, Ø – an album that wasn’t well received by the fanbase upon its release. But, if the first few songs on Erase Me are any indication, they want their comeback to have an impact. While the band is experimenting with a different musical direction, the vocals retain the sound that fans have grown to know and love. As an extension of that, the lyrics relay messages that suggest they aim to connect with their listeners with content that anyone could relate to. The band, who originally identified themselves as a Christian band, have grown immensely since their break-up in 2012. Not disavowing their religious roots, but no longer directly connecting themselves to the label, Erase Me takes on this period of growth lyrically, along with songs about their own internal band struggle and fights with substance abuse.

Though it has been eight years since their last studio release, the band has picked up exactly where they left off. The first two singles, “On My Teeth” and “Rapture,” are hard-hitters that will surely open up the pits on their headlining tour that starts April 20th in Las Vegas. Other tracks, like “ihateyou” and “Wake Me” lean toward a more pop end of the spectrum. Don’t let that throw you, “It Has to Start Somewhere” and “In Motion” are urgent, raging rockers that call back to their past output while stretching forward into new territory. Signs of this new direction are best heard on the prog-y “Rapture” or the industrial tinged “No Frame.” Both songs are well crafted representations of the bands growth as songwriters. Closing track “I Gave Up” begins with a quiet solemnity before emerging as an angry rocker that belies its title.  The band certainly hasn’t given up. What’s more, they sound inspired and reinvigorated.

Over 11 tracks, Erase Me is a welcome return for the band. There are subtleties within the recording that show that the band has evolved naturally, even with an eight year hiatus marking their history. Doubtless, the choice of joining up with Matt Squire (Panic! At the Disco) to produce and Ken Andrews (Failure) to mix helped the band achieve a more layered and sonically ambitious sound. The songs on this album reward the listener with each subsequent listen. As more sounds and noises emerge, the true depth of the album becomes more clear.

While the band could’ve reunited and gone on a money-making tour without new material, they instead chose to create. And while they aimed to make a new record that represents a new era of their existence, it is still unmistakably Underoath. It has a little bit of every era of the band within its textures are crevices. Erase Me is clearly Underoath reborn and it will surely cement itself in the top ranks of their discography.

– J. Kevin Lynch Brently Kirksey

Underoath Tour Dates 2018

April 20 – Las Vegas, Nev. @ Las Rageous

April 27 – Jacksonville, Fla. @ Welcome to Rockville

April 28 – Sunrise, Fla. @ Fort Rock

April 30 – Birmingham, Ala. @ Iron City

May 1 – Athens, Ga. @ Georgia Theater

May 3 – Knoxville, Tenn. @ Mill and Mine

May 4 – Charlotte, N.C. @ Carolina Rebellion

May 5 – Lynchburg, Va. @ Phase 2

May 6 – Bethlehem, Pa. @ The Sands

May 8 – Baltimore, Md. @ Rams Head Live

May 9 – Wallingford, Ct. @ The Dome at Oakdale

May 11 – Providence, R.I. @ Fete Ballroom

May 12 – Niagara Falls, N.Y. @ Rapids

May 14 – Des Moines, Iowa @ Wooly’s

May 15 – Sauget, Ill. @ Pop’s

May 16 – Ft. Wayne, Ind. @ Pierre’s

May 18 – Columbus, Ohio @ Rock on the Range

May 19 – Lexington, Ky. @ Manchester Music Hall

May 20 – Springfield, Mo. @ Gillioz

May 22 – Corpus Christi, Texas @ Concrete Street Amphitheatre

May 23 – Houston, Texas @ White Oak Music Hall

May 24 – Dallas, Texas @ Bomb Factory

May 25 – Little Rock, Ark. @ Metroplex

May 26 – Pryor, Okla. @ Rocklahoma

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