Underoath The Changing of Times

With numerous metal/hardcore bands that once found solace in aggression and hostility turning to melodic emo and indie rock to cut their sound into something more palatable for the masses, it's gratifying to find a band that not only incorporates the melodic tricks well into their sound, but retains their formative aggression while reaching beyond. Originally a more metallic hardcore act with shades of black and death metal for extremity's sake, Underoath's aggressive roots still show considerably throughout The Changing of Times, throwing around black metal runs, heavy breakdowns, grindcore spasms, double-kick and death/black metal vocal abuse. However, inter-cut with the hostility are melodic choruses and leads (reminiscent of At The Drive-In or Grade), epic keyboard sweeps and melodies filling out the sound, acoustic guitars, piano and the odd '80s electro-pop moment all done seamlessly. Underoath's The Changing of Times is an eclectic and engaging mix of metal, hardcore, noise, emo and indie-rock, excellently constructed, produced and presented. However, its flawless synthesis of disparate elements may be its weakness, as well as its strength - it may be too heavy for some and could throw Underoath's core fans with its new elements. Still, as the melding of contrasting influences continues to gain popularity in the underground, so to shall Underoath. (Solid State)