If you ask someone in a post-hardcore, metalcore or more or less any other band within that general area what some of their main influences are, you can be sure that 99% of them will list Underoath in there. Simply put, for the past decade the Floridian outfit have been one of the most influencial and important bands in their genre, so it’s no doubt that the news of their disbandment earlier this year came as a shock to many.
‘Anthology: 1999-2013’ is the band’s farewell to their fans, bringing some of their best and most staple songs of their career spliced into one greatest hits-like package.
Indeed, the biggest hits from their 2004 breakthrough album ‘They’re Only Chasing Safety’ will be the most familiar to those not so acquainted with the band. ‘Reinventing Your Exit’ rings the “Up against the wall / Up against the wall” hook as strong and true as the day it was released, and the trade-off between vocalists Aaron Gillespie‘s soaring cleans and Spencer Chamberlain‘s gut-curdling roars through the likes of ‘Writing On The Walls’ and ‘Too Dark To See, Too Loud To Hear’ act as a strong blueprint for any newcomers into the genre.
These mini snapshots to their discography even unearth the days of yore before Spencer Chamberlin even was in the mix, harking back to original screamer Dallas Taylor‘s days with ‘When The Sun Sleeps’. In contrast, the days of Aaron Gillespie out of the picture comes in the form of the stomping ‘In Division’, ‘Catch Myself Catching Myself’ and ‘Paper Lung’, the latter of which finally bringing to light Chamberlain‘s often overlooked singing capabilities.
There’s even some tease into what Underoath‘s future may have held had they continued, with new tracks ‘Sunburnt’ and ‘Unsound’ standing as strong enough evidence that there was more than enough life still within the band.
Though fans are understandably disappointed with the band’s demise on the horizon, it must be highlighted that at least Underoath have gone out on a high. This album is more than enough justification of that, and though as with most greatest hit compilations may not be a worthwhile investment unless you’re a die-hard fan, this is more than a substantial entry point for anyone who unfortunately missed one of the best post-hardcore acts in recent years while they were still active.
Written by Zach Redrup