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Eight years have passed since we last heard new music from Underøath so when the band went in the studio in the summer of 2017 to record their sixth album with producer Matt Squire (Panic! At The Disco, 3OH!3), they knew exactly what they wanted to do as well as what they needed to do. Having already established themselves both as melodic songwriters (2004's RIAA-Certified Gold record They're Only Chasing Safety) and as ambitious power merchants (2006's stentorian, gold-selling Define The Great Line and its majestic follow-up, 2008's Lost In The Sound Of Separation), the evolution detailed on Erase Me finds them using the sonic dialects they've crafted to reveal where they are now.
Assisted by Squire's sonic psychology and enhanced with a wildly vivid mix from Ken Andrews (co-founder of acclaimed LA outfit Failure), Erase Me never equates getting older with being complacent. Right out of the gate, "It Has To Start Somewhere" burns like a rail dragster achieving top speed before hurling itself straight into the sun. "Wake Me" is almost pop that overshadows whatever manufactured nine-person co-writing session is currently being marketed on streaming-service playlists. "Rapture" feels like prog rock that traverses generations near and far, while Chris Dudley's electronics drive "No Frame" into universes unknown. Even the first single, "On My Teeth," seemingly sends a warning to listeners to protect their necks.
Underøath may have tempered the punishing riffage of their previous releases, but they doubled-down on the urgency, via every scream out of Spencer Chamberlain's face, guitarist Tim McTague's sense of the appropriate and Aaron Gillespie's frenetic thrashing of his kit. Erase Me is the apex where melodic heft, indefatigable power, spatial resonance and arcane electronic textures converge to reveal a band that's positively fearless.