15 of 17 people found the following review helpful
on September 8, 2008
LITSOS is, in my opinion, the album that has been hiding in the deepest chambers of Underoath's hearts since their formation as a band. Furious, tender, hideous, beautiful, Underoath explores the addictive, aggressive and sinful nature of man and how it relates to the beauty of our redemption. I'm not going to lie, sometimes (as is the case with "Emergency Broadcast") this album gets flat ugly. It pounds and yells and bashes right through every one of your comfort zones, but at the end of the album, as the final song drifts away, you see the true scope of this album. "I swear I found something good... I found God and the dreams of the believers."
And so, LITSOS, while not even half as poppy as "TOCS" or hard rock as "DGL" transcends each of them in it's own deeply soulful way. (Although, DGL may still be the best bet for the hard rock/metalcore fans.)
17 of 20 people found the following review helpful
on September 2, 2008
A long time ago, far before the release of LITSOS, the band promised a heavier, more focused, and far more epic effort than Define the Great Line. Did they deliver? Oh, yes. But the album is not quite as tense or epic as I had hoped it to be.
Which isn't to say it isn't utterly amazing. UO's technical proficiency has taken a step forward in every department, from Spencer's vocals to Aaron's drumming. Spencer is top notch here, and truly proves his worth as the best metalcore vocalist around. Gone are the high-pitched shrieks that permeated They're Only Chasing Safety and snuck their way onto DTGL. Spencer is almost always in the lower register, which is where he sounds best, and this octave change is where LITSOS gets most of its intense sound from. In fact, this is Spencer's album. For some time now, people have talked of Aaron's singing time being cut nearly in half, which it is. This is clearly an effort to make themselves even less pop and more brutality, and it succeeds. However, it was often Aaron's vocals that made each Underoath song so poignant, and now, these tunes are even harder to comprehend with Spencer doing the majority of the vocal duties.
The most impressive change between 2006 UO and 2008 UO is the guitars from James and Tim, and how they add relevancy to the claim of the album being epic. While James still churns out crunchy, jagged rhythms, Tim has truly perfected the art of epicore guitar, with solos that weave in and out of the music and truly provide a psychological challenge to the listener. Anyone who pays close attention to the virtuosity of the guitar this time around will be greatly rewarded.
Now, Aaron may not sing quite as much as before, but when he does, he is spot on. For once, his whiny emo octaves are working in his favor, as they are no longer whiny or emo, but staples to hold together UO's newfound epic sound. In addition, he is still the best drummer in rock music, and by no means is his presence in the band diminished by this album. He is still the leader of the band.
For months now, we have heard about the electronic schemes added to the band's repertoire, and they were no lie. NIN-esque synth lines courtesy of Chris Dudley sprout up abruptly, and really pump some life into the album. With The End is Near, the beginning notes are pounding synth bass lines etched over Spencer's painful howls. BTW, this track is far superior to any other on the album, and it shows how UO's experimental ambition really soared this time. However many of the tracks on the album are highly experimental, and none are predictable.
Some, however, while good, are generic for Underoath. The album opens with a few simple snare hits and cymbals, and then before long Spencer's screams hit the listener like a sledgehammer. Unfortunately, although a powerful opening statement, Breathing in a New Mentality is fairly simple, and cannot be redeemed, even by the epic bass and guitar lines thrown in the middle. It feels as if the song is trying to achieve an apex that it cannot grasp. Anyone Can Dig a Hole but it Takes a Real Man to Call it Home is impressive, with abrupt starting and stopping accompanied by Spencer's amazing vocals, but for some reason it ends up in the hardcore recycle bin. These tracks, along with the punishing The Only Survivor was Miraculously Unharmed, are very good, but for UO they are easy and do not resonate well, especially compared with the other work on the album.
The Created Void and We are the Involuntary are superb tracks, if not rightfully confusing. These follow no clear pattern and must be heard carefully. Putting this album together really is like Algebra. It takes some time to see how it all fits, but my, is it rewarding once the listener grasps the concept.
Two slow tracks find their way to the end of the album, but that is hardly to say that they aren't essential. Too Bright to See, too Loud to Hear, is a rousing call to arms that has Underoath's signature chanting, and truly haunting lyrics that must be heard. In the final 30 seconds, Spencer comes roaring in, giving the song the perfect touch of abrasiveness.
As for the first single, Desperate Times, Desperate Measures, it is a good first pick, as it is the most accessible song on the album. Which it hardly is accessible. It is my opinion that Underoath will not win over any listeners with this album, and in fact the might even alienate some emo listeners who jump the gun. This is a hard album to process. I have listened many times, and only now am I even beginning to grasp its sheer power. LITSOS is tricky, no doubt. When compared to the last effort, its clear predecessor in every sense, it is difficult to digest. TOCS was unabashedly popcore, whilst DTGL had clear melody and hooks. No such luck here, which is a good thing. Lost in the Sound of Separation is hard to like, and hard to grasp ahold of. But it is completely worth it in the end. The album must be given time, because at one point the listener will finally understand. And it is that complex understanding that makes this record the best of the summer and the best in Underoath's catalogue.
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on October 3, 2008
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.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on July 2, 2010
First let me say that I was partially biased before I even bought this album by metacritic and friends that made me listen to this album over and over. I will admit that it took me about 8-10 tries to actually feel and recognize what this was and what underoath had accomplished. I can still remember the moment in my car driving home from work when I was about halfway through "Emergency Broadcast::The End is near" when it hit me. They had done what a very limited few had ever achieved; creating a deep, meaningful, broad, intelligent and brilliant hardcore record that actually gets better and better every time you listen to it. From start to finish it is truly and utterly complete. The message throughout the album weaves the songs together so seamlessly, it's insane. They incredibly changed their audience from 13-16 emo/christian kids to well respected musicians and sealed their foundation in this ever-changing genre. The last albums that I could truly say this about was OK Computer. The album's are both eerily similar from cover art, to complexity, to darkness, to flow and overall feel; almost like a thick fog that engulfs you from the inside. I will stop at this point to say that I did not actually like the album at first (just like OK Computer), but the genre that this band falls into has a very hard to please audience, with limited attention span. The last two albums were very different. More "single" based, they were more or less choppy, and fluffy at points, but much more easy to digest than this masterpiece. My advice to anyone considering this album (especially used for $2.93 used) buy it as fast as you can and get 10 loops of it as soon as possible...you will not be disappointed, it will change your life.
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on September 18, 2008
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.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on September 19, 2014
My first experience with Underoath was back in 2004 when I was in the 6th or 7th grade. The first song I heard from them was Reinventing your exit which immediately drew me to the band. Since I was a kid back then I didn't have cash to buy my own CD's so i relied on my friends to burn music for me and I always made sure they included some Underoath on the disc. Now years later I decided to download some of their later albums that I had missed.
Lost in the Sound of Separation is an impressive collection of music. Its rare that I like an album from start to finish but this is some of the bands best work in my opinion. As far as the subject matter of the album, it ranges from struggles with addiction and regret, to the end of the world and even their christian faith. In fact some of the most notably lyrically deep tracks on the album "Breathing in a New Mentality," and "Too Bright to See, Too Loud to Hear" are presented as a conversation between the song writer and God. There are instances where the conversation consists of them asking God for forgiveness of their sins and at other times they are searching for guidance.
The sound of this album is noticeably heavy. However, there is great use of dynamics throughout, for instance some tracks may start off with hard hitting drums and Spencer's screaming only to end with Aaron softly singing with just an acoustic guitar playing in the background.
Aaron's drums are recorded in such a way that they are present at the forefront of the music, which isn't a bad thing. The guitars give every song a more grand and epic scope in a way that is kind of hard to describe in words. Underoath was never heavy on guitar solos and the same goes here but their use of the instrument just give every track a sound that I would say stays true to the sound signature of the band. Spencer tackles most of the vocal duties on the album and does a great job with his screams and his singing. Aaron of course is the drummer on this album but he was also the one who would do most of the singing in their older releases. While he doesn't sing as much as Spencer this time around, it is definitely a treat when you hear his unmistakable and always impressive voice.
I know I didn't go into too much detail but this is music and the only way you'll know if you like it is if you listen to it for yourself. I myself had stopped following the band for a while and I know they aren't a band at the moment but I am glad I picked this album up. If you are a fan of Underoath or this genre in general and you happened to miss this album I highly recommend you download it. I think you'll be impressed with the production, music, and lyrics of this record.
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on September 5, 2008
As a point of interest, I am usually not a very big fan of hardcore music, or metal music, or screamo music, or emo music, or whatever you want to call the type of music that Underoath play. But for some reason, I find myself drawn to this point, probably because of the more interesting song crafts and their interest and execution of dynamics.
Whatever the reason, Underoath's latest album, "Lost in the Sound of Separation" is one of the years best records, a well written, produced and put together album that at a brisk pace of 42 minutes and change is as close to perfect as anything I have heard this year.
"LITSOS" is the logical progression from the bands last record, 2006's "Define the Great Line", a terrific record itself, as it is heavier and more melodic in equal turns. What's most interesting about "LITSOS" is that it fixes any of the slight problems that there were with "Great Line", while maintaining the edge consistancy that were so readily found on that record.
In fact, everything is tighter this time around. The songs are all well written and change on a dime, but never feeling forced or too progressive. The sequencing of the record is a major plus, as it pushes the heavier, more brutal songs towards the beginning, and as the record continues it becomes darker and more claustrophobic, ending with the beautiful and harrowing "Desolate Earth", the near antithesis of the first track, the pounding "Breathing In A New Mentality". "LITSOS" has the feel of a good concept record, where it has a single-less feel to it, where every song fits into place and sounds bare without the one proceding it.
The biggest surprise of this record is lead singer Spencer Chamberlin, who continues to get stronger and stronger with each record. His lyrics here are interesting and conflicting, dark yet never depressing, and his delivery is getting better and better with each record, which makes sense as the band gets stronger and stronger musically with each record. But it's on this record where Chamberlin really becomes the star, with drummer/ second vocalist Aaron Gillespe still chiming in occasionally onn hooks, but even he sounds more energized than he has one previous studio albums.
Overall, I really have nothing to negative to say about this record at all. There are a few songs where the arrangement is similar to some of the others, and the production is occasionally a little flat, but these really are minor problems, and something the majority of listeners will have zero problems with.
"Lost in the Sound of Separation" is one of the years best records, and is proof that this is one of the rare bands that is actually getting better each time out.
Can't wait for their next record.
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on September 8, 2008
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!
5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on September 4, 2008
Underoath delivers a knockout punch with this album. this is their 5th release, and I really enjoy this band. they always have great production on their albums. if you enjoy Christian music, this is the album to have. I also enjoyed the DVD that came with the package. other Christian bands to consider are As I Lay Dying, Zao, Flee The Seen, War Of Ages, Norma Jean, Kutless, the Showdown, Haste The Day, Demon Hunter, Narnia, Tourniquet, Becoming The Archetype, Hangnail, and countless others.
5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on September 4, 2008
i think underoath mastered their sund with dtgl. and with litsos they have continued in that vein. overall it isn't that much heavier, but the lyrics are more personal and the bandreally pushed themselves musically and made some new and devastating sounds. underoath do not set atop the screamo genere; it lays crushed beneath their heavy feet.