Sunday, March 9, 2014

Song Of The Week: 3/9/14

Song: "Returning Empty Handed"

Artist: Underoath

Album: "Survive, Kaleidoscope"

Year: 2008

"Returning Empty Handed" appears to me to be a song about a near death experience. There seems to be the constant in and out of consciousness, the carnage and disaster (possibly visiting hell) and the bright light (seeing or feeling heaven). You get the feeling that the vocalist is going through this experience until ultimately he wakes up at the end. Some have said it's about struggling with drugs and addiction as well and I can see that as well. Either way you feel that the vocalist has an epiphany at the end. "Returning Empty Handed" originally was released on Underoath's album "Define The Great Line". For my Song Of The Week, I chose the live version which appears on the band's "Survive, Kaleidoscope" release. Underoath formed as a band back in 1997, hailing from Florida. Most of the members were in high school as well as being members of each other's church. Underoath was very much a Christian band and their religious beliefs definitely molded them as a band as well. In 1999, the band signed to Takehold Records and released their debut, "Act Of Depression". In 2000, the band would add keyboards to their sound and release "Cries Of The Past". In 2001, Takehold Records was bought out by Tooth & Nail Records, which signed Underoath to their subsidiary label, Solid State Records. 2002 saw the band release "The Changing Of Times" which featured the single "When The Sun Sleeps". In 2003, the band was invited to perform on their very first Warped Tour, but that was short-lived as lead vocalist and founding member Dallas Taylor was asked to leave the band. Underoath eventually replaced Taylor with former This Runs Through vocalist Spencer Chamberlain. With a new singer, the band's style began to change a bit from metalcore to a more post-hardcore or melodic hardcore style. It also brought the band it's greatest successes. In 2004, Underoath released "They're Only Chasing Safety". This album sold over 100,000 copies in it's first week of sales and was certified gold by 2005. The album spawned the singles "Reinventing Your Exit" and "It's Dangerous Business Walking Out Your Front Door". In 2005 Underoath officially became a headlining act. 2006's "Define The Great Line" debuted at #2 on the Billboard 200 charts and was certified gold in less than a year, thanks in part to the singles "In Regards To Myself" and "Writing On The Walls". In 2008, the band released "Survive, Kaleidoscope", a CD/DVD documentary of the band which featured plenty of live footage. That same year Underoath released "Lost In The Sound Of Separation". This album debuted at #8 on the Billboard 200 and featured the singles "Desperate Times, Desperate Measures" and "Too Bright To See, Too Loud To Hear". They conducted their first tour of South America in support of this album. In 2010, drummer Aaron Gillespie left the band, making him the last original member to leave Underoath. The band went on to release 0 (Disambiguation) that year and struck a deal with Roadrunner Records to distribute the album outside the U.S. and Canada. In 2012, the band released "Anthology: 1999-2013", a career spanning compilation album. They also embarked on a farewell tour, the last official show being January 26, 2013. Original drummer Gillespie jumped on stage to perform three songs at this final show. Currently, Underoath officially disbanded in 2013. The book appears to be officially closed on this Christian metalcore/post-hardcore outfit.

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