One thing is for sure….Underoath is trying to return to their more aggressive roots. The thing that isn't for sure is whether or not it works, or whether or not it will pay off.
In some regards, this seems like They're Only Chasing Safety Part 2. In other regards, it seems a bit more mature than their previous, slightly more accessible Solid State Records release. Evident here are some of the same Chasing Safety type chord progressions, which seemed a bit worn out the first time around, let alone to hear more of it here. Spencer's vocals are decidedly more aggressive, even incorporating some growling into the mix. That, however, will have to be determined by the listener as to whether or not it works. The jury's still out on that one in my opinion.
Underoath seemed to, if nothing else, make more of the album they wanted to make. It's no surprise that they went in a different direction then their last outing, as they are famous for being a band that changes with each release. The one constant here, unlike any other release in their career, is that they headed into the studio with the same lineup as their previous album.
The problem that I have here is that the cd has no real staying power. I was one of the few (or one of the many, depending on who you ask) who loved They're Only Chasing Safety. It would seem that one of the biggest determinations of how good a cd is lies in whether or not you could listen to said album, day in and day out, for a few weeks before tiring of it. With this release, however, and unlike their previous outing, I found myself disinterested after a few days. At one point, I went a week plus without even listening to it, and we're talking about an album I was anticipating for months. I guess that is an accurate gauge, but maybe not. Some albums take time.
All in all, most fans of Underoath's last album will be nuts about this one. Others will not be nearly as impressed. For the overall feel, I find the album fell short. That's not to say, however, that Define The Great Line didn't have good points, though, because it did. As a whole, it just doesn't measure up. But if you are interested in even occasional glimpses of goodness, this release probably will not disappoint.