[vimeo 16447775 557 313]
I indulge in hardcore and metal more than my posting here would imply. Although I don’t encounter as much of it that I like compared to the good ol’ days, there are still some heavier bands out there who get me giddy in anticipation of their every release. Underoath is no exception. Once considered the forerunners of the oft-lampooned screamo genre following the release of their breakout album, They’re Only Chasing Safety, the Florida six-piece have since found their natural place as a darker melodic metalcore outfit via later albums like the gold-certified Define the Great Line and its follow-up, Lost in the Sound of Separation. The latter album, however, left many underwhelmed, which makes today’s release of their latest record, Ø (Disambiguation), all the more important. Suffice it to say, the album does not disappoint.
Disambiguation finds the band more in tune with their aforementioned niche, finding a balance between melody and chaos that they couldn’t quite achieve the last time around. Part of this comes from growth. I can’t help but think that the rest comes from the departure of long-time drummer/vocalist Aaron Gillespie and his replacement with former Norma Jean drummer Daniel Davison. Davison’s work on the album is top-notch and off-the-wall as you would expect of anybody coming from the Norma Jean camp. Gillespie’s absence has also provided front-man Spencer Chamberlain with the opportunity to work on those pipes of his and mix some cleaner vocals into the bellowing screams that have come to define the band’s sound. As a result, you get a dirty blend of vocals which, forgive the continued reference, is very reminiscent of current Norma Jean vocalist Cory Putnam’s work, a style that’s much more at home with the band’s current direction.
The album’s opener and first single, “In Division,” sums up everything I’ve said pretty nicely. Check out the video above, filmed in traditional Underoath fashion, and if you like what you hear make sure to go out and buy a copy of Ø (Disambiguation), out everywhere today.