The eighth studio album from Underoath, Erase me, is the band’s first album since 2010 and boasts a reunited lineup.
This album marks the return of clean vocalist and founding member Aaron Gillespie. From the beginning, it is hard to deny the chemistry between Gillespie and Spencer Chamberlain. Produced by Matt Squire (The Used) and recorded at the Buzzlounge, Erase Me delivers a sound that is, at the same time, signature Underoath as well as showing some different elements. It had been announced that this album was a departure from the band’s Christian roots, but it seems to be a hybrid of both with some of the songs and the lyrical meanings. Overall the album has a nice mix of the lighter with the heavy and you can see how they are following along the same path as other bands in this genre like The Devil Wears Prada or Asking Alexandria.
The album opens with “It Has to Start Somewhere.” The opening notes give way to a heavy screaming vocal then progresses into the two vocal styles melding to deliver a song that has a signature metalcore sound. When you look at the lyrics to this song it is clear this band writes from a personal place which will connect to many listeners. From there the album transitions to “Rapture.” This song brings to mind classic Underoath and really reminds the listener of bands like Asking Alexandria. “On My Teeth” is the next track and this is one of the stand out songs along with “Hold Your Breath.” These high energy songs are sure to excel live and spark a mosh-pit or two. They are aggressive and bold and what the typical fan of metalcore wants to hear, but you could almost wish they were a little heavier at times. They are right there but one little push could add so much to these songs, but the live performance is likely to accomplish that.
The album progresses along blending the old and the new. “In Motion,” is another old-school Underoath sounding song and its placement as the second to last song is sure to remind the listener what they like about this band and what they might have missed during their hiatus. The title Erase Me isn’t a song on its own. It comes from a lyric in “ihateit.” This song clearly shows the new sound of Underoath it is slower and more melodic. The lyrics are meaningful and you can feel where they were coming from as they wrote this song. They scream the lyric “I wouldn’t change a f-in’ thing, God erase me, I don’t deserve the life you give, God I can’t change at all” with such emotion that it seems like this was the clear and only choice for the title of the album.
Overall the album shows where the band has been and where they are going in their reunited form. Some may think they have lost their edge with some songs, but other songs on this album prove that is just not the case. There is enough of the the old blended with the new that leaves the listener wondering where this band will go from here.
Erase Me was released on Fearless records on April 6, 2018. This is the first release not with a Christian label, again signifying some of the changes within the band. It is an interesting album that is showing some nice growth but at the same time it is not alienating to their longtime fans and is likely to earn them some new along the way.