Sunday, October 01, 2006

Underoath - Define the Great Line

This album is probably the hardest sounding album in my music collection. I don’t listen to much scremo or hardcore so I’m probably out of my depth writing this review.

This is an awesome record. I have been listening to this album on high volume since I got it. It has got me dancing and my head banging constantly for the last few days. There is something that is highly addictive in Underoaths latest project that I can’t pin down. This album is definitely a lot harder than their last release They’re Only Chasing Safety, but it is a brilliant record, and I think that this is probably one of the best screamo releases and one of the best Christian releases to come out in the last year. The thing is my brother was listening to the songs off it, and he isn’t a big scremo fan. He’s more into the Britpop music and bands such as oasis, coldplay and U2, but he found it really catchy and was nearly dancing to the music as well. You know the music is good when my Brother starts enjoying the music as well.

The album is classic Underoath, but with a more intensity and energy. You can hear a lot of really punky sounding. The vocals are a lot more intense on this album than on They’re Only Chasing Safety. There is a lot more screaming on this album from the main vocalist, and less of the melodic harmonies that come from the drummer. The album continues with hard-hitting rifts and fast drumming. What you find is that in this album the intensity is nearly overwhelming at times but is brilliantly cohesive and channelled well in the music. I find throughout underoaths music that they have quite strong punk roots, so it makes it quite easy to dance to, while also quite and intense listening experience.

My favourite track on this album isn’t really a track at all. Its an instrumental, and in the middle of it there is a Russian who starts praying. Then it mixes with a American evangelical conference where this hyped up preacher is speaking. I found it cool because to me it seemed to have a really cool mission focus. That there is a bigger plan outside of our own country, there is something going on throughout the world which is changing lives and we can play a part of it. I thought this was a really cool message! I found it even cooler because it had someone speaking in Russian!

I won’t recommend this album to everyone, because it is a very hard album. Its not like P.O.D or Pillar. It is a lot harder, even though scremo has become quite popularised with the Emo kid crowd. Like I say, this is not really the type of music that I usually listen to myself, but it is certainly really really good.

Underoath have made an album which is highly relevant to the Non-christian emo scene. It is highly positive in a music scene that I to be find to be both very dark and also very selfish as well (if you’ve heard much of the emo music around its all about look at me, look at how bad everything is, look at how crappy my life is – people don’t understand me in my comfortable middle class life). They shine out hope to this scene. Asking people to look and find the and true, but challenging people to realise that God wants us to change. They put God at God who is loving the centre, and tell the emo generation that God can take you out of your pain, hurt and suffering and wants to focus your life on a different purpose around giving hope, acting out in love and kindness. It is hard and challenging, and a bit daunting, put alot more fulfilling than navel gazing about life. and how bad life is.

For many Emos they see a superficial world that doesn’t care. Underoath tells these misunderstood youth that there is a new way to be human, that there is hope and good in a world which seems contradictory .Underoath aim to show that there is someone different, loving caring, kind, will never lie, and offers hope in the hopeless world of the emo generation. That that person is Jesus Christ, and he understands the pain and suffering they feel, but we can’t be selfish and prideful as well. Jesus offers a new way to be human, but we need to drop out selfish actions and lifestyle. Its not all about us. Its about a greater plan. Instead of been angry and focused on ourselves and our needs, it is about showing love to our friends, family, and the most radical of all, showing love to our enemies.

Underoath have a hope that they want to share with the world in a relevant way to a hurting group of young adults, and they do this by offering a totally different lifestyle and a totally different set of beliefs than those fostered in the world. Jesus is offered as the solution to the hole found in peoples lives, and it is Jesus who offers the model of the New way to live and guides people in a relationship with him. It is positive and aims to share the gospel in a way that is relevent to this group of youth.

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