Underøath

The Changing of Times

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Underoath stands at the heavy metal crossroads on Changing of the Times, a hardcore album that parallels classic arena rock. Though vocalist Dallas Taylor spits out dark lyrics of doom and gloom ("The romance has been dead for years/But I've been afraid to dig the grave" from "When the Sun Sleeps") with a screeching, screaming delivery, keyboardist Christopher Dudley's orchestral textures soften the blow with anthemic melodies and intriguing counterpoint. Dueling guitarists Tim McTague and Octavio Fernandez forsake solos for static rhythmic patterns, arpeggios, and linear melodies as drummer Aaron Gillespie affords lush multi-tracked backing vocals that cushion Taylor's histrionic tales of mayhem and distress with fond harmonies. "A Message for Adrienne" unearths a deep-rooted punk affinity via spoken word snippets that sound as if Johnny Rotten wandered into the studio. The title track, like many of the cuts, bemoans the loss of a relationship with manic angst. If Taylor ever opts to sing in full voice, Underoath has the ability to emerge from the underground with modern rock hitmaking potential. This collection is for hardcore genre fans only and is not necessarily a bad choice.

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