UNDEROATH

"Survive Kaleidoscope" (Solid State; 2008)

Reviewed by Jeff Rogers

This is a double disc set. Disc 1 is the live CD version of a whole bunch of songs recorded throughout Underoath's tour and they pick songs from "They're Only Chasing Safety" (2004) and "Define The Great Line" (2006) and rip them apart live.

Disc 2 is a DVD and features a concert that took place at The Electric Factory in Philly, PA. It, too, features songs from the previously mentioned discs, basically in order, except for one additional track, "There Could Be Nothing After This" taken from "Define The Great Line."

I don't like live CDs because I don't feel any connection with the band but when they include a DVD of a live show, they've got my attention. The DVD is a great bonus because you get music and a movie.

Their tour included cities such as Dallas, Buffalo, Boise and Chicago -- they were all over the map and their liner booklet is basically a "where they were" recap orchestrated by a huge United States map with push pins pinpointing cities with strings connecting their travels. It looks like a spider with one eye weaved it.

If you don't have any DVD material from Underoath this would be a great place to start.

For more information, check out http://www.underoath777.com.

"Define the Great Line" (Solid State; 2006)

Reviewed by Jeff Rogers

Underoath are labeled under “Christian Metalcore,” but good luck trying to pin that on them -- you just might get stomped in the mosh pit that will surely form when they hit the stage. 

My first experience with the band was less than palatable because I couldn’t get into the vocals. Although they’ve now changed lead screamers they still stay with the unbridled fury that gives hardcore its edge. Right from the start, Spencer Chamberlain is in your face and he doesn’t let up. Spencer has a good singing voice and he uses it every now and then throughout the disc, but most of the time he is ranting with a grindcore growl and screaming while the music behind him carves out deep craters. Their music also ventures into progressive territory; after a few listens you can hear a hint as to what direction the band may take in the future.

Metalcore isn’t my first choice in music (my alarm clock already has that annoying buzz sound to wake me), but when I need to raise my heart rate, I can always count on Underoath to do just that. These guys stay with their Christian beliefs and the song “Salmarnir” has one of the band member’s cousins reading scripture to music. Even though there’s a religious intermission, that doesn’t take away any of the fierce and unsettling passion they have for creating music that moves you, in more ways than one.

What makes these guys so appealing is not their skipping down the narrow road approach to their faith. They deal with issues that affect all of us. I know that sometimes it’s hard to understand the lyrics and having them in front of you for the initial listen through gives you an understanding of their mission. Their style of music reaches more and more each year and Underoath has the talent to keep Christian metalcore alive.

Songs that will burn at least 200 calories are “In Regards To Myself,” “There Could Be Nothing After This,” “Casting Such A Thin Shadow,” “Moving For The Sake Of Motion,” and “To Whom It May Concern.”

Underoath: Christopher Dudley – electronic keyboard and drum machine, Timothy McTague - guitar, James Smith - guitar, Aaron Gillespie – drums and vocals; Spencer Chamberlain – lead vocals; and Grant Brandell – bass.

For more information, check out http://www.underoath777.com or http://www.myspace.com/underoath.

"They're Only Chasing Safety" (Tooth & Nail; 2004)

Reviewed by Jeff Rogers

This is true metalcore! Spencer Chamberlain has taken over screaming duties from Dallas Taylor. His voice has two ranges: he can sing and has great velocity. When he screams, he gets your attention. I reviewed their release, “The Changing Of Times,” that was issued in 2002. It sounded horrible; this release has the metal sound and post-hardcore evenly distributed. Too much Screamo annoys me like a pebble in my shoe but these guys have a new front man who is poised to give them a new sound.

The guitar is melodic in some parts and although none of the riffs will cause you to run out and buy the tablature they will cause you to build up your vertical leap so you can jump into the mosh pit. The drums are a blast beat and you better have good speakers or you’re going to blow them.  

Underoath keeps with their metal stomping and brings an anvil to the show. They are a Christian band but, since Spencer is screaming half the time, you wouldn’t even know what he was saying.

Underoath: Timothy McTague – guitar; Christopher Dudley – keys; Aaron Gillespie – drums, vocals; Spencer Chamberlain – vocals; Grant Brandell – bass; James Smith – guitar.

For more information, check out http://www.underoath777.com.

"The Changing of Times" (Solid State; 2002)

Reviewed by Jeff Rogers

I’ve been challenged again to review an album where the lead singer screeches and screams all over the track. I really find this guy's voice unsettling. The music is heavy; there are no solos but you really don’t notice because the drums and guitar battle for first place. But the singer, Dallas Taliaferro Taylor ... well, he just ruins the songs. If he ever developed a real singing voice this band would soar above all others because the music is excellent in many parts of this disc.

So, I’ll focus on the instruments here instead. The guitar is crunchy and blasts powerful riffs and every now and then it gets melodic and acoustic. The keyboards are really keys; there is a piano sound that couples with the acoustic guitar sometimes to create an interesting sound. Each track starts out kind of weird and you never really know where it’s going to go. “The Changing Of Times” track almost fooled me because a harmony can be heard for the first 34 seconds ... and then Dallas starts his caterwauling.

The rest of the disc starts to sound the same and hitting the stop button becomes a real option. This band is labeled under Christian metal and even though they are angst ridden they do have some spiritual lyrics.

Dallas was asked to leave the band after the recording of this CD and has since been replaced by Spencer Chamberlin. I can only assume this is good news.

Underoath: Dallas Taliaferro Taylor – vocals; Octavio Lafayette Fernandez – guitar; Timothy Francis McTague – guitar; Christopher Allen Dudley – keyboards; William Edwin Nottke – bass; Aaron Roderick Gillspie – drums, bgv’s.

For more information, check out http://www.underoath777.com

Rating Guide:

A classic. This record will kick your ass.

Killer. Not a classic but it will rock your world.

So-so. You've heard better.

Pretty bad. Might make a nice coaster.

Self explanatory. Just the sight of the cover makes you wanna hurl.

Back to CD Reviews Home

Back to RoughEdge.com Home

Copyright © 2010 by R. Scott Bolton. All rights reserved.
Revised: 13 Mar 2016 12:03:43 -0500.