|Lost In The Sound Of Separation
|List Price: $9.49
Our Price: $9.49
- Another Overhyped Failure
It makes me sad to see that so many (all?) of Underoath's fans today genuinely think that the band's career began with "The Changing of Times" or "They're Only Chasing Safety". The fact is, my Hot Topic shopping young friends in your super tight girl's blue jeans and youth small vanity tee's, Underoath began as an incredibly talented and promising (and unique!) hardcore band with black metal influences, and hasn't released a single song worth listening to since "Cries of the Past" was released on Takehold Records.
I was incredibly saddened when I heard that T&N had bought out Takehold, but I tried to be as optimistic as I could (despite not liking anything ever released on T&N or Solid State besides Zao's Where Blood and Fire Bring Rest). Sadly my worst fears were realized as previously amazing acts either released subpar, uninspired albums (Few Left Standing), moved on to to other labels and/or quit entirely (Narcissus), or decided to reinvent themselves as sensitive emotional rockers and whine about their girlfriends (Underoath).
For another example of horrible band "growth" (as in cancer) under the watchful eye of T&N, check out the progression of the bands Focal Point who became Training For Utopia who became Demon Hunter. Similar band lineups all on T&N/SS, progressively becoming whatever the heavy music trend of the day happened to be (Focal Point hardcore, TFU more "complex" Norma Jean/DEP noise core, Demon Hunter a blatant and unashamed radio friendly Slipknot ripoff).
Sorry for getting off track, back to this disc. I heard all the hype about Underoath wanting to develop a harder sound and put an edge on their music. When I think of that being the case I have a hard time deciding whether to laugh at the irony or hang my head in sadness at the thought of what could have been. Cries of the Past and Acts of Depression were some of the most intense, technically complex, and progressive releases to come out of the late '90's hardcore scene. I can't think of *any* other band in that scene who tried or was able to integrate so many of the best elements of black metal in hardcore.
My point being this: *Underoath CAN write, play, and record heavy music.* If they were to get their heads out of their rear ends and stop running away from their *REAL GENUINE ROOTS* in the hardcore/metal scene they're capable of writing some of the best metalcore imaginable. They just won't do it, and as long as they continue down the path they're on I'll continue to reminisce over the good old days when Underoath didn't TALK ABOUT writing heavy, intense music... they actually did it.
- Underoath is no longer Underoath.
Just to set some facts here before I start this review: I have been listening to Underoath since they've released Cries of the Past. I have listened to every single album, including TOCS, DTGL, The Changing of Times, and Act of Depression. I have also listened to this album three times, and have given it more than enough time to "set in" so that I can possibly appreciate the music. I like(d) Underoath as a band, although they have begun disappointing with their previous album, Define the Great Line, and now with Lost in the Sound of Separation.
Where do I begin? Underoath wanted to adopt a "heavier" sound since Define the Great Line.
Did they succeed? Far from it.
The only thing they managed to do is pay Adam over from Killswitch Engage to show the band how to change the tone of their guitars. That's it. If you think changing the tone of your guitar will automatically change you from a post-hardcore band into a metalcore band, you're mistaken. Underoath was originally a very sincere band. The lyrics in their songs gave glimpses into personal relationships, experiences, and included heartfelt emotion. This all changed after Define the Great Line was released. Spencer no longer wanted to scream like Dallas Taylor, and so he started singing in what the new Underoath audience considered "hardcore". So he growls and whines and keeps on screaming every two seconds in every song. The screaming turns generic, monotonous, and unnecessary. The lyrics he spews out are incomprehensible (unlike in They're Only Chasing Safety where you could actually understand the lyrics). Spencer's screaming in Define the Great Line and Lost in the Sound of Separation reminds me of someone buying a fake Prada bag from Chinatown in order to show off to her girlfriends that she is just as cool as them.
And then they added Aaron's vocals into almost every single song. Probably one of the worst ideas ever. The inclusion of Aarons' voice in Underoath songs were rare, and actually special. They made that certain song stand out, and added a special touch to it (take for example, "I've Got Ten Friends And A Crowbar That Says You Ain't Gonna Do Jack" from the Special Edition of They're Only Chasing Safety). Now that every song has Aaron's voice in it, we have a blend of Spencer's computerized screaming combined with Aaron's whiny singing. Don't get me wrong, I used to enjoy Aaron's whiny singing in the background of their older songs, but now it is just excessive and unnecessary. And this leads me to one of my main points: every song seems to have a set structure.
This structure is as follows:
1) Create heavy distortion on the tone of your guitar and try to imitate Killswitch Engages' sound (which they'll never get right, by the way).
2) Allow Spencer to scream all the way through the song, and allow absolutely no breathing room for the listener. And make sure that what Spencer is screaming can't be understood.
3) Give Aaron just as many vocal parts as Spencer, in fact, take Aaron off drums and have two vocalists.
4) Create "dramatic" pauses in the middle of your songs, to add a "unique" feel to every song (which soon becomes nullified because they do this on several songs in this album).
This structure seems to be replicated in every song on Define the Great Line as well as in Lost in the Sound of Separation. Like seriously, why is every song indistinguishable from one another? It also intrigues me that some songs in Lost in the Sound of Separation include riffs from Define the Great Line (just slightly altered). Take for example the song "Desperate Times, Desperate Measures", how this song begins and how "In Regards To Myself" (from Define the Great Line) begins, is nearly identical. It seems that Underoaths' lack of new guitar riffs has led them to recycle some songs from Define the Great Line. This leads me to another point. Why does this album sound exactly the same as Define the Great Line? Has any Underoath fan (who has heard all or most of their albums), noticed that Spencer was a much better vocalist in his screaming style during They're Only Chasing Safety than he was after that album?
Spencer tries too hard to sound "hardcore". His screaming seems very forced and mechanic. Unlike other vocalists (take for example Tim Lambesis from As I Lay Dying), Spencer does not scream in accordance to the music playing. His screaming is all over the place, and seems unorganized. If we look back at They're Only Chasing Safety, Spencer's screaming actually "flows" with the music, and gives a true sense of emotion.
Moving on to Aarons' drumming, I must say this: I am impressed. His drumming has certainly gotten better from a technical perspective. However, it saddens me to see his drumming talent go to waste in this album as well as Define the Great Line. As technically marvelous as Aaron's drumming may be, it too, seems forced. If Spencer's screaming could be authentic, I'm sure that Aaron's drumming and Spencer's screaming would fit well. Sadly however, that hasn't happened in Define the Great Line or Lost in the Sound of Separation.
Continuing onto guitars. I've already said it--changing the tone of your guitar will not make you sound hardcore. It must be a combination of all the instruments in unison, as well as the vocals, which creates a "hard" sound. However, setting that aside, the guitar work seems very monotonous--just as it was in Define the Great Line. The guitaring does not pull you "into" the music, rather, it seems like it's just there for show. Take for example, the song "Wrapped Around Your Finger" (which Underoath covered in the album ?Policia!: A Tribute to the Police), or "Reinventing Your Exit" (from They're Only Chasing Safety) the guitar work pulls you in and envelops you into the music, as the drumming and vocals also help to supplement that feeling. However, I didn't seem to be "reeled in" by the guitar work in this album. It seemed non-progressive and shallow, in my opinion.
After I finished listening to the album, I said to myself: "Okay, maybe it's because I just listened to it for the first time, maybe I need some time to let the music set in." And so I listened to several songs from the album a few times a day for a week. However, even after a week of trying to appreciate Underoaths' new album, I failed to find anything extraordinary within it. If I were to choose the few songs that I did find somewhat appealing, I would say these are: "Breathing In A New Mentality", "Desperate Times, Desperate Measures", and "Coming Down Is Calming Down". And even though these songs seemed to stand out among the other songs, they didn't satisfy my expectations for this album.
If you want to hear good metalcore/metal/hardcore/death metal, give these albums a listen:
Whoracle by In Flames.
The Jester Race by In Flames.
Shadows Are Security by As I Lay Dying.
Frail Words Collapse by As I Lay Dying.
The Shape of Punk to Come by Refused.
Songs to Fan the Flames of Discontent by Refused.
Slaughter of the Soul by At the Gates.
Not comparing bands, just giving out suggestions for those who wish to listen to other bands with good music.
So with all this being said, Lost in the Sound of Separation is a disappointing album. With barely any memorable songs, riffs, or melodies, the album seems to have dissipated from my musical conscience within a few days. Underoath was a great band before Define the Great Line, and I thought that with Lost in the Sound of Separation they would return with some great hits, but I am left with an album composed of generic screaming and uninspired instrumental melodies....more info
This is my favorite record this year, I can't stop listening to it. I've been craving something heavy and interesting for a while and this delivers!...more info
- Great follow up album to Define the Great Line
I'll bluntly admit this wasn't my most anticipated album release of the fall, but if I knew how great this album was going to be it certainly would have been. After my first listen through I knew I liked it, but it wasn't until I listened to it 4-5 times before I came truly love it. The album is in your face and very much hardcore. There has been a lot of improvements from their last ablum and they come off sounding great. There are a lot of very heavy momments, but also some nice slower tracks as well giving this album a great balance.
If you enjoyed Define the Great Line, you won't be let down by this album whatsoever....more info
- EXTREMELY solid album
Since releasing TOCS, underoATH have refused to slow down. Each album gets progressively better. This album is their best work to date.
I feel that even though this album may be considered "heavier", it also feels more accessible. It all feels very cohesive and flows together nicely. This is one of those albums that is extremely easy to listen to from beginning to end without skipping a track.
The musicianship on this album is quite astonishing, these men have come a long way. Aarons drumming on this album is jaw dropping amazing. Chock full of pummeling kick drum and extremely fast, precise drum fills. His vocal parts are also nothing short of incredible. McTague also adds some beautiful ambient guitar work throughout the album. He has without a doubt, found his niche. However, as said in a previous review, this IS Spencers album. His amazing range is displayed here perfectly.
Last but not least, the production on this album is simply put, some of the best out there. Matt Goldman and Adam D have truly outdone themselves on this record. The effects, the tones, the ambience, the HUGE in your face sound, everything is incredible.
Most definitely in my top 3 for 2008, get it!...more info
- Best one yet.
Let me start off with saying that I've been a big fan of Underoath ever since they hit the music industry. Let me also say that if a band I really like doesn't live up to expectations, I'll say so.
This is the most well written (musically) album they have ever done. They just keep getting better and better. When I fist bought Define the Great Line, the album they did before, I was first surprised because, unlike alot of popular heavy metal bands, they got harder musically rather than softer. This is something I like, and also shows that the band is staying true to the beginning, to why they fell in love with playing heavy metal in the first place. Then I bought Lost in the Sound of Separation, and had preconceived notions that it would be mediocre at best. I left it in the case for a few days in my car, and then one the way to work one day I put it in my cd player. Not only was it better than mediocre, they had gotten even harder than the last one! It was refreshing to see a band really mature and develop without losing what I loved about them in the first place.
Lyrically, it's a little muddy and vague, but that's the style of alot of bands in this genre. I enjoyed the message that this album had to bring. It's about pain, hope, doubt, and all of the things that make us human.
I hope that Underoath keeps up with the amazing work....more info
- An unrivaled masterwork.
With their last two records, Underoath have consistently set new standards for melodic hardcore - standards which elevate them so far above their peers, the gap between them and the crop of scene bands occupying MySpace and filling the pages of Alternative Press could hold an ocean. Separation is an unequaled illustration of what can happen when a group of immensely talented and inventive minds transpose their brilliance onto musical instruments and marry ferocity and savagery with artistry and purpose. Behind the dizzying, distortion-heavy riffs, sudden tempo changes, bestial screaming, and moving instrumental refrains lies a heart of darkness. Separation is without a doubt, the blackest, most foreboding work the band have recorded in their current incarnation, exemplified by lyrics exploring drug abuse, waning faith, and self-loathing. Despite the dark themes prevalent on the album, there's something about it that sends a surge of adrenaline through the listener's veins and elicits a palpable sense of tension and release. The verbosely titled Anyone Can Dig A Hole, But It Takes A Real Man To Call It Home, one of the heaviest tracks on the album, precedes A Fault Line, A Fault Of Mine, a dramatic arrangement incorporating heaviness, melody, and shoe-gazing experimentation. It's the balance between brutality and subtlety that makes Underoath unique, the push and pull between frontman Spencer Chamberlain's ferocious roar and drummer/co-vocalist Aaron Gillespie's temperate singing. Separation culminates with the austere math metal barrage of Desperate Times, Desperate Measures, which segues into the grandiose two song closing suite of Too Bright To See, Too Loud To Hear and Desolate Earth: The End Is Near, commanding you to listen not just with your ears and heart, but with your very soul. The album's 11 tracks are alternately - and often simultaneously - cold and warm, poignant and inspiring, foreboding and inviting, creating an enigmatic complexity that makes Separation a brilliant achievement of not just post-hardcore, but heavy rock in general. ...more info
well, what can i say about this album?
i guess ill say it was a dissapointment.
it sortof feels like they were going for something but missed the mark. Arron whose voice i've always loved hardly sings at all in this album. his voice gave the songs feeling. this cd in short is just like mind-less screaming. now dont get me wrong. this wasn't a terrible release and some songs were good. but this is not the underoath i loved in chasing safety or let alone define the great line.
whoever says that arron's voice was whiney and emo is wrong.
because as you can see their hit song he was singing most of the time.
their screamer sounds better with a high pitch.
i'm just hoping that they learn from their mistakes in their next album which i still do plan on buying.
so, sadly, their you go....more info
- Breathing In a New Sound
Tampa's finest Underoath continues to release album after album with a consistency like no other. Yet again they hit home with Lost in The Sound of Separation; a concoction of mathy metalcore with robust riffs, repentant vocals and lyrical composition. I still wonder if they have the capability to disappoint, but the eyes have it. They will continue to write good music, or at least until they disband which wouldn't surprise me if it were soon.
The theme seems to be apocolalyptic; signifying the end of days. I can hear Spencer's urgency as he screams "Repent! Repent!" into the microphone appropriately titled "The Only Survivor Was Miraculously Unharmed". The tracks seem to have some kind of pattern in which most of the songs will open very heavily, then shift into an extreme tempo-change to make things interesting. Many of the songs remind me of Isis in their length and rapid changes of tempo and time signature. The band actually lists them as one of their inspirations in songwriting; whoop, big surprise.
Lost in the Sound is extremely similar to "Define The Great Line"; their most previous release that was certified Gold in 2007 selling over 500,000 copies. This is their newer sound. Lost in the Sound tends to get a bit more complex in its method of disappearance from staying with one particular sound on each track, but actually stears clear of any real consistency to make things just a bit more interesting. Hey, I've got no problem with that personally....more info
- Will Melt Your Face off.
This albums is high-voltage. It WILL melt your face off, but it's not the best Underoath that I've herad. I'd say amongst Their Only Chasing Safety and Define the Great Line, this one comes in 3rd place with a bronze....more info
- Greatest Underoath CD Ever!
I have all of Underoath's CDs, even from the old days. First, this is the best! It has a harder edge but is true to their unique sound. Some of their other CDs have a more Emo sound, but this doesn't but has true "hard rock feel". This is a must buy!...more info
- Progressing Slowly :)
I have been an Underoath fan for years. I actually prefer (Dallas Taylor) Cries of the Past and The Changing of Times more so then the new underoath, But i have stayed with them through the years. I liked They Are Only Chasing Safety, but when i heard Define The Great Line i was very disappointed in what i heard. Most of the songs on the album sounded the same track after track. Scream,chorus, scream, chorus, and End. Now on this album they mix it up and the guitars are not the same sounding in every song. Spencer sings a lot more and Aaron still keeps the melody going. This is truly a good album not as epic as Cries of The Past but this is my favorite album from them since. I know Dallas left and that was a very bad point for Underoath in my opinion, but in this album they have showed me that they still have the energy to make a very good album even without Dallas. ...more info
This is a big let down for me. When DTGL came out i was pretty disappointed about what i heard. Some of the songs had almost no structure to them and Spencer's screaming was just random and at times annoying. I hoped that would change with this album but i was wrong. LITSOS is everything bad from DTGL but more. None of the songs have any structure at all. You can't see an intro, chorus, bridge or end to any of their songs. It just sounds like they recorded the band jamming together randomly and then broke up the noise into 11 different tracks. Also Spencer's screaming is constant and doesn't flow with any of the songs. Underoath was good before DTGL but they really went downhill ever since. In my opinion if your a die-hard fan, go ahead and buy this I know you'll be disappointed anyway. For everyone else stick to their older stuff like Your Only Chasing Safety....more info
- very disappointing
This CD was very disappointing for me. Its not terrible, but it needs a lot of improvement. It sounds like they just did not take their time in really getting this right. Most of the songs seem too similar, and their are only 11 songs on the album, i would like to see at least 12-14. I am not giving it 1 star because the closing few tracks were very good, as Underoath always manages to do, leaving the album with a good final impression. I really hope they improve with their organization and take their time on the next album. The only other complaint i have is that they could use a little bit more singing. personally i think theyre only chasing safety is the best album to date....more info
absolutely sick! if you like underoath and the like ofcoarse. someone who listens to kid rock won't understand, but if previous underoath albums do it for you, then you know what i mean. theres no epics here, unlike define the great line, which had some epic songs, however all the songs are solid. if you love define the great line then you should give this an honest go. theyre best album is still ahead of them i know........and hope!...more info