Fitting that I’d be listening to Lost in the Sound of Separation today, Friday, the 25th of January, on the eve of the end of Underoath. It’s the last record to feature Aaron Gillespie on drums and vocals, and to write about it today is an honor.
Lost was released in 2008 as the follow-up to Define the Great Line from 2006. While I consider Define to be the definitive Underoath record for a variety of reasons (which I will get into when I talk about it later this year), Lost is an impactful and heavy record, and notably darker than previous releases.
Lyrically, it is pretty widely accepted that much of Lost is about lead vocalist Spencer Chamberlain’s history of drug and alcohol abuse. To me, this adds a layer of depth to the album’s depiction as being “dark.” Yeah, the music is heavy and eerie at times. But without the actual words to back it up, it’s just chaos.
Leafing through the lyrics, the album reads as a desperate plea for help from a higher power. They’re pretty jarring. For example, from “The Only Survivor Was Miraculously Unharmed” there’s this:
Nothing to calm the nerve
Write down my thoughts
And read me my rights
Repeat, repeat, repent and repeat
The cycle never really ends
‘Till they admit that it’s real
I can’t say I’ve ever had the experience of cheap heat running through my veins, but if Spee’s anxiety is any indication, I have no real interest in it. Not that I needed him to talk me out of it or anything, but I stand behind my statement nonetheless. Lost is certainly no They’re Only Chasing Safety. That album is like endless summers on the playground tame in comparison.
I will say that with both Lost and Define the Great Line, the band really honed in the electronic, industrial, fuzzy glitching. I’m not sure how much of it’s performed live by the big ole’ teddy bear himself, Chris Dudley, but it’s certainly not gimmicky in the way that some bands have keys. It again adds a layer of depth, so nowhere in their sonic arsenal are Underoath lacking.
This band has meant a lot to me these last… god, almost 10 years. I’m sad to see them go but I’m forever appreciative of what they contributed to music.
Standout tracks: “Breathing in a New Mentality” and “The Only Survivor Was Miraculously Unharmed
Weakest track: “The Created Void” and “Desolate Earth :: The End Is Here” – both tend to err on the side of “whiny”
RIYL: Metal, hardcore, metalcore, noisecore. Norma Jean, The Chariot, The Devil Wears Prada.