on July 11, 2013
...However, It isn't all bad. But I will say that it's more of an album that I can throw on to just kill the silence. Don't get me wrong, there are a FEW good songs on here, but the album just isn't my style. My friend told me to check out Underøath because they are "a pretty good metal band". Yeah, those were his words. I was recommended the 2nd track, A Boy Brushed Red Living in Black and White. I was actually highly impressed with the song for its very unique sound as well as the catchiness of it combined with the heaviness. That track alone bought me the album. I listened to the rest, and this isn't metal. This is a mix of post-hardcore and some metalcore. The metalcore parts of the album are pretty good, but I'm not a fan of post-hardcore. So naturally, this album isn't the greatest thing in my collection, but honestly, I have heard much worse. *Why don't I like post-hardcore?* Well, I don't mind screaming, however, I really dislike how the screaming is done. They just scream over whatever they feel like. However, I don't think it sounds good to scream over music that has a similar flavor to The All-American Rejects (with heavier drumming). That's just me. If you took apart the song and heard each instrument separately, you'd say they all sound good. Put them all together at once though, and they may not mix right in some areas. As I said, this album has some good moments, but I'm not going to pan it because it just isn't my style of music.
1. Young and Aspiring- The song starts off the album on an intense note. The guitars create a melodic and atmospheric tone and the drums are intense in nature. The dueling vocals wouldn't be out of place in a metal band. This is a good song. I like the drumming in it. It does a lot of shifts and the vocals are done tastefully in this song. This is definitely a metalcore song. It's very catchy, fairly heavy, and epic. I must say that both vocalists deliver good performances. They have talent. Overall, this is a good opener and a good song. I'd give it a good thumbs up!
2. A Boy Brushed Red Living in Black and White- Well, that's a mouthful of a title. However, this is easily the BEST song on the album. End of story. The band really locks in together on this song and they sound like they're enjoying what they're doing. They also put more emotion into this song. The drums are amazing, I highly approve of the drumming on this song (me being a drummer myself). Both vocalists are PERFECT on this song! I LOVE the vocals on here! The guitars create a melodic atmosphere and I really would have to say that these guys possess much talent and showcase it well on here! This song is definitely a metalcore track, however, this one leans more toward metal than any of the other tracks! Aaron's vocals on this song specifically really standout and his drumming, as I said, is absolutely amazing! This is a song I can headbang along to and air-drum to! It's a very epic song. I've easily listened to this song over 100 times in the past month. The guitars, while they aren't technical, definitely have a unique quality that I've never heard. All in all, this is a GREAT song and I highly enjoy this one!
3. The Impact of Reason- This song is meh. I don't care for it. The drumming is unique, but this is that post-hardcore sound that I'm not a big fan. There isn't enough bass to support Spencer's screaming. It just leaves the song sounding empty. When a band screams, they should make the music intense, brooding, and in your face. This song has the screaming in your face, but the music isn't in your face, it's just kinda in the background. Had the whole thing been sung clean, it would've been fairly good. Had the music been heavier, I probably would've enjoyed it. It's an ok song, I guess. It's great if it's your style.
4. Reinventing Your Exit- This song is kinda in the middle of being metalcore or post-hardcore. The guitars a low enough to actually support the screams, yet the music is still happier than it should be to have screaming. I actually kind of like this song though. It's a nice little melodic tune with some good vocals. The vocals are really this song's main focus. The guitars play some good melodies and the drums have some good fills, but it definitely isn't up in your face. It's still just a nice little mellow bit though. Well as mellow as you can get in this genre because the song beautiful, but the screams don't belong in some places. However, that fact doesn't bother me as much on this song. Here it isn't very bad, but there are some tracks that are just downright ridiculous. Good, solid song.
5. The Blue Note- Honestly, this track is pointless. Sure it's an interlude, but really, it doesn't add anything important to the album. I don't use this word a lot, but this is definitely filler.
6. It's Dangerous Business Walking Out Your Front Door- This title is interesting and the song isn't exactly terrible, but it's just bland. The only part of the song that I enjoy is the breakdown which sounds like a low choir singing "I'm drowning in my sea". I enjoy that part, but the rest of the song doesn't do too much for me. The drumming does have its moments in this song, though. But the actual music is just bland to me. The screaming is just there on this song. I don't really care if it fits or not here because the music doesn't interest me as it is. Again, this isn't exactly terrible, this just isn't a style I listen to and don't really like. I don't want to pan it cause this isn't my realm. I don't know other bands of this style so I can't really compare it to anything.
7. Down, Set, Go- I really enjoy this song! The opening is just awesome! The guitars and music have some force and emotion behind them and then it goes into a very melodic verse. On this song, I like the guitar parts and the music so much that I really can't complain about the screaming. So what? The music on this is really inspired and has a drive behind it. Aaron's vocals on here are great and his drumming takes a more Pop-punk approach, but it sounds good. The guitars are still more atmospheric than leading. There is a nice acoustic bit in the middle of it that is good! I like the guitars in it and Aaron's got some range! Then it blows up and Spencer gives us some harsh action! The guitars then add a melodic lead that really makes me wonder if they should do more than just post-hardcore. The lead here would've sounded perfect over some heavy music (a.k.a. some metal). Good song none the less!
8. I Don't Feel Very Receptive Today- The guitars provide some good, epic texture in this song, but I'm just not a fan of the style. I like the texture of the guitars, but the drums aren't as impressive and flashy as they were on the opening tracks and Spencer dominates this track. I'm not sure if that's a good or bad thing, but either way I'm not a huge fan of this song. He does some absolutely abrasive shrieking in parts that just really annoys me. The song ends at like 2:50 or so and then Aaron and Chris play the song out to the end. It's ok. Not really good or bad. It's just there...
9. I'm Content With Losing- The guitars and Spencer open up this song in an upbeat way. However, I think the music is a little too upbeat to justify screaming. See, I can't get used to the application of screaming in this music because they just apply screams here like they're medicine to a cut. The screaming I'm used to hearing is used to symbolize pain and aggression and agony and the music behind it usually has some evil in it as well and then the music becomes light and the clean vocals symbolize good. That's what I like in screaming/singing. This song, though just puts more screaming over music that just doesn't sound like it needed it. I've tried to accept the music the way it is and accept that this isn't metal, but either way, I just don't like the way in which it is delivered. The cleans on this song are great though and the drumming is kinda cool. Not a fan of this song, either.
10. Some Will Seek Forgiveness, Others Escape- Well this song isn't in a style I don't like, but it is a ballad-type song. What don't I like about it? Well, honestly, I don't know what it is, but I just don't like it. I don't really have a reason on this song, but it's decent. It isn't the best slow song I've heard, but it just kinda doesn't do much for me. It's another song that's just there. I just don't feel anything with this song.
Verdict: This album, I'll say again, is not my style. If you dislike my review because I don't like the album, then whatever. Yes, I gave it four stars and I wasn't very positive. The album doesn't deserve 3 though, because it doesn't suck. It doesn't deserve 5 because I'm not in love with it. It's just an above average post-hardcore/metalcore album.
If you like Underøath, it's a decent album. If you like post-hardcore, I'd check it out. If you like metalcore, I'd say sample it and then judge since metalcore is pretty diverse. If you like metal, sample it multiple times and then proceed with caution. Some songs on here have a great metalcore sound that will appeal to those who like heavy music. There are really only 2, maybe 3 at most, songs like that. The rest are basically post-hardcore tracks.
This album, however, did get me to look into Underøath's other albums, and I've since purchased the next album, Define the Great Line. It hasn't sunken into my mind yet, however, that album is DEFINITELY much heavier and much more emotional/passionate than this album. I can't even believe it's the same band. But I'll save my thoughts for whenever I review that album.
To close things off, I'm a fan of rock music, metal music, and even some pop music, and this album combines something from all of those genres and borrows from punk too. In short: some things just don't mix.