It's pretty commendable that a band like Underoath, who easily could be on a major label right now after their extremely successful breakout album They're Only Chasing Safety, chose to stay with their original label Tooth and Nail. Even more impressive however is that their latest outing, Define the Great Line, is significantly more mature in their songwriting style and contrary to an expected watered down poppy follow up. Define the Great Line is sincere, heavy, and damn good.
The album begins with "In Regards to Self" which easily could be a track from a Norma Jean release if it had been without the brief singing moments. The next track "A Moment Suspended in Time" follows suit with heavy, technical guitars, soaring vocals, and it also features one of the sickest breakdowns I've heard in a long time. The next couple tracks are also equally great, and the Norma Jean/Botch influences are very apparent. After listening to the first four tracks, I would say that they are reason enough to buy this album.
Artistically, Underoath has grown a lot as shown by the back-to-back epics "Returning Empty Handed" and "Casting Such a Thin Shadow." Both tracks exude great melodies and show a major focus on composition and density not far off from those of Neurosis. The following tracks continue to show Underoath's unrelenting intensity as well as some softer moments to appease the They're Only Chasing Safety fans as well. Also worth noting is Underoath's complete neglect of verse-chorus song structures; rather each song feels like a stream of consciousness. Upon hearing Ã¢â¬ËWriting on the Walls", which features incredible musicianship and intensity, its undoubtedly certain that Underoath made this CD for their own growth and artistic urges rather than any sort of commercial success or scenester acclaim.
Once again, I commend Underoath for breathing life into a genre, or sub-genre, that I would have bet was headed for the shitter. However, Underoath has done just that with Define the Great Line, and they did it with artistic vision, technical stride, and originality unheard of in most "emo-core" bands today. As I'm sure there will be a spate of other bands releasing albums attempting to recreate this one, Underoath has set the bar, or line for that matter (pun intended), of quality music in a wallowing genre. This CD will most likely not give them the sort of sales success they achieved with They're Only Chasing Safety, but it definitely has earned them the credibility as artists that they were aiming for.
8.6 / 10
Posted Jan. 20, 2016, 9:32 a.m.
On their upcoming Rebirth Tour, the reformed Underoath will be joined by Caspian as an opener during the 6-week tour Underoath’s reunited line-up is Aaron Gillespie, Grant Brandell, Spencer ...
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