Sound — 10
Define the Great Line is my favorite Underoath album to date. The style takes you back to the roots this band was originally founded on. If you're expecting a sequel to They're Only Chasing Safety, you won't find it here. The new album is characteristically heavier, more dissonant and more passionate than its predecessors. The first track, In Regards to Myself establishes from the first second, the dissonant heaviness that is the backbone to the album. Overall, the sound seems completely new and familiar at the same time. Honestly, it will take two or three listen-throughs for the music to really catch on to your ears.
Lyrics — 10
Spencer's lyrics this time through really impressed me. He mentioned in an interview that with They're Only Chasing Safety, he was sort of put in the spot and his lack of comfort prevented him from exploring as much as he would have. This time around, Spencer has clearly come around with lyrics inspired by events in his own life. Spencer's lyrics describe the struggle within and dark situations, but sheds light on what we need to do as individuals to save ourselves. The band's christian nature shines through as Spencer explores topics including the end of the world and finding meaning in life. Spencer's vocal ability has clearly grown along with his comfort level, as made apparent by his greatly increased range. You will find screeching screams accompanied with gutteral bellows and half-singing-half-screeming vocals laid throughout the CD, much reminiscent of Spencer's performances with his previous band, This Runs Through. And as always, Aaraon delivers on the sing-a-long hooks.
Overall Impression — 10
Define the Great Line reflects Underoath's evolution as a band and the simultaneous return to their roots. The best songs on this album are In Regards to Myself, You're Ever so Inviting, and There Could be Nothing After This. Their first single, Writing on the Walls is the closest song to anything you heard on They're Only Chasing Safety, if that's what you're looking for. When I heard the album for the first time, I thought it was alright and I put it away for about two days. Then I felt the need to listen to it again, and that time I enjoyed it a little more. This process continued and now I can't believe how remarkable and amazing this album really is. I can easily say that it is one of the best and most impressive albums I have bought in the last 10 years. A true keeper, go out and do yourselves a favor and buy it.