UnderOATH

Define The Great Line

Written by: PP on 13/07/2006 00:06:12

UnderOATH masters the art of alienating their fans as well as Sun Tzu mastered The Art Of The War. "The Changing Of Times" was nearly death-metal, where the follow up "They're Only Chasing Safety" became a benchmark for the screamo culture, and now with their fifth album "Define The Great Line" the band takes yet another radically different direction, and it sounds better than ever before.

"In Regards To Myself" starts the album with strong screams "Wake up wake up wake up this is not a test" as if to prepare the listener to the massive leap forward that the band has taken in songwriting. The songs now have much more depth in them and they have much more space to breathe as opposed to the small-scale intensity and tightness that "They're Only Chasing Safety" represented. The arrangements have adopted a much more meaningful structure from TOCS's 'repeat the same chord 10 times' structure, and Spencer uses his vocal range to the fullest by screaming, growling, singing and combining the three together to create a powerful, almost dominating sound on top of the already monumental instruments.

The religious Christian elements haven't been ignored either, as the band proves on "Salmanir", a spookily silent track where Psalm 50 is spoken out in Russian while massive cheers can be heard in the background, as if Stalin himself was holding a speech in the early 20th century Russia - a stunt that could only be pulled off by one band today: UnderOATH. The finishing track "To Whom It May Concern" is a 7-minute epic showcasing the massive evolution the band has undertaken from "They're Only Chasing Safety". This track has it all: the unmelodic breakdowns with brutal growling, the semi-melodic screamo supported by oddly melodic repetitions of a single chord, colossal soundscapes and the radically more complex sound that the band has grown into.

Nobody saw this one coming, and it is likely to set yet another mile stone for the stale screamo scene. And whilst we are awaiting the scene's response that usually comes nine months delayed, let us enjoy this masterpiece of a screamo (if you can even call it that anymore) album, as it is one of those that becomes better and better the more you listen to it. This will be considered the culmination of UnderOATH's career in the future.

Download: To Whom It May Concern, In Regards To Myself
For the fans of: Zao, Killswitch Engage, Saosin, The Bled
Listen: Myspace, Purevolume

Release date 20.06.2006
Solid State

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