Even with Underoath‘s 2015 documentary, Tired Violence, there was no feeling of finality within the band even as an alleged swan song. It felt like a pause. A reset. Anthology: 1999–2013 which was released in 2012 chronicled the band’s ascent as metalcore titans. New songs, “Sunburnt” and “Unsound” showed fans the possible routes that the band could take and then there was a decision to end it all. A farewell tour followed and from there, the apprehension and anxiousness of a possible reunion was always a possibility.
Fans only had a short time to catch their breath from the 2015 farewell. In 2016, the band reunited on their Rebirth tour playing their most beloved albums, 2004’s They’re Only Chasing Safety and 2006’s Define the Great Line in full. It’s always funny how revisiting the past could stoke a fire into the future.
“On My Teeth,” the first single for the band’s forthcoming album, Erase Me, their first album in six year and first on new label Fearless Records sounds like a place keeper from the ferocity of the songs that were on 2010’s Ø (Disambiguation). The song begins with electronic programming from Chris Dudley and from there, launches into a chaotic and relentless drum cadence from returning member, drummer/vocalist Aaron Gillespie. Vocalist Spencer Chamberlain introduces his unclean vocals, confrontational and powerful, and suddenly, it feels like an Underoath song. The guitar chords and bass from Timothy McTague, and Grant Brandell, and James Smith come together right before the bridge toward the end of the song leads you into a false sense of security. The fever comes back like an on switch – even though we may have seen a reformation of the band coming, they still throw in a new trick or two. Abet, with a maturity to it. Liken it to an aged lion who learns a new way to show off their aggression.
Gillespie speaks to the motivation of Erase Me:
“We’ve had success and we’ve come through a lot of waters,” explains Gillespie. “There’s been 11,000 things we’ve been through so you would think, almost rhetorically, ‘What do you need now?’ All of us are finally in that place in our lives where the only thing we care about is inclusion for everybody-for the world. For me, exclusion is the scariest thing in the world. And I think Underøath coming back now with a new record-which none of us thought was possible-we want people to know that this is your music and you can feel however the fuck you want about it. I just want to prove that we are doing everything in the most honest way we ever have. This is the healthiest we’ve ever been as a group of people, as musicians, and in our worldview.”
Underoath has come back rebuilt, refocused, and with a touch of their trademark sound.