With the heartbreaking news of Underoath's breakup yesterday, I've compiled 10 tracks from the band's catalog for everyone to mourn to. I went with two tracks from their most recent five albums (truthfully, the other two albums just weren't available to stream on Rdio, though I recommend the title track from both Act of Depression and Cries Of The Past). Longtime fans will be familiar with most–if not all–of these, but there are a few goodies thrown in there, too, and if you're just now catching on, this could almost be considered “esstential listening” of their catalog. Throw down your favorite tracks and Underoath memories in the comments, and if you need a kleenex, this is the best I can do from the internet. I've got a few sentences on each song below. RIP Underoath. We miss you.
“When The Sun Sleeps” – The Changing of Times
Underoath's first-ever single opened with squishy electronics and soft guitars before launching into the now well-used sing-scream dynamic between drummer Aaron Gillespie and frontman Dallas Taylor. The band spent its first albums treading on black metal waters, but The Changing Of Times saw them tighten up into a focused metalcore act, which they would go on to be seen as a purveyor of.
“Short Of Daybreak” – The Changing Of Times
Dominated by Taylor with spoken sections interspersed, “Short Of Daybreak” showed the band were keeping things heavy as they continued on, but had vision for where the heavy belonged with well-placed breakdowns that, at the time, were some of the most innovative of their time.
“Reinventing Your Exit” & “It's Dangerous Business Walking out Your Front Door” – They're Only Chasing Safety
I plopped these two together as they may be the band's most well-known singles that pushed them from some underground buzz to alternative household name. Anyone into this scene around the time of Safety's release will immediately be able to chant “I'm drowning in my sleep/I'm drowning in my sleep” and note it as one of their most memorable moments. It was all up from here. These songs were career-changing moments for the band.
“Writing On the Walls” – Define The Great Line
Define The Great Line sold 98,000 copies its first week, making it the highest charting Christian album on the Billboard 200 since 1997. As the lead single, I figured including this was appropriate.
“Moving For The Sake Of Motion” – Define The Great Line
Super aggressive, technical leads, catchy, dissonant, dynamic–this song contains everything that made an Underoath song exactly that.
“Anyone Can Dig A Hole But It Takes A Real Man To Call It Home” – Lost In The Sound Of Separation
Some of the best dissonant work this band put out. Once it's 40-seconds in, there's this huge dissonant/ambient section that always showed the coolest of their experimental side.
“Desperate Times, Desperate Measures” – Lost In The Sound Of Separation
With Adam Dutkiewicz and Matt Goldman producing along with David Bendeth (Paramore) mixing Separation, the record came out huge, but tight and nothing showed how well the songs were put together from the songwriting to engineering than this single. It showed what was still heavy about the band while retaining the hooks they had been developing over the past few records.
“Paper Lung” – Ø (Disambiguation)
When Gillespie left, some naysayers thought the band would never recover, but Disambiguation was a huge middle finger to that with sprawling ambience like never before and Spencer Chamberlin showing he could fill all vocal obligations with ease. “Paper Lung” crawled through reverberated lines, huge chords and soaring melodies showcasing the band were still on top of their game in the face of all doubt.
“Vacant Mouth” – Ø (Disambiguation)
Chamberlin got to show off his growls, shouting and melodic sides on this track, and the band pummeled through intricate riffage. A great end to this playlist as it shows the progression of where they were to where they ended in all respects.