With a defining album, your opening track needs to be a mission statement. There are some that are just what we consider “intros” or those tracks that are just like a starting gun before a huge race. Define The Great Line, the now ten year old album from Underoath displays fury and urgency right from the start with “In Regards To Myself.” Right from the turn of a movie projector, we were propelled into this body of work that is pushed the musical boundaries of the band itself. Listening to it, it’s like a person having an honest conversation with themselves when everything goes to waste and as you are trying to pick the pieces back up.
Now, this album was lead singer Spencer Chamberlain‘s second album with the band. If you listen to 2004’s They’re Only Chasing Safety, his vocals are little bit more high pitched. Starting with DTGL, he goes back to the vocal style of his previous band, This Runs Through. There’s also different uses of clean and unclean vocals on certain parts of the song that are almost the good cop/bad cop precedent which I feel are really clever. They are a little bit more guttural and deeper than the preceding album. The entire song is really a pep talk to straighten yourself out. I know that Underoath has had a Christian perspective, but what really makes this song and album great is that the message is not bound to that. Anybody could take any personal meaning from this song. Listening to this song, I could imagine Chamberlain screaming at himself in a mirror and drummer/singer Aaron Gillespie being the voice of reason in the reality of what is happening. Chamberlain and Gillespie really work well together bouncing off and being bookends to each other.
The guitars and bass section from Timothy McTague, James Smith and Grant Brandell are relentless here. The key to their parts are that they never stay the same. From the intro with the rift there to the instruments that weave in and out of each other during Chamberlain’s cry of “what are you so afraid of,” they keep you guessing. I’m a fan of when each part plays a different piece or time signature and they can meet to make something great. All in all, this is a very solid opening track that primes you to go through the emotional roller coaster for 11 tracks.