A review of the Underoath Observatory – Lost in the Sound of Separation

By Ryan G

I’m sitting on a hot patio, waiting for more hotness to come from Underoath. I missed the initial stream last night because of a prior commitment, but am stoked to see what is in my opinion the best U/O album performed start to finish.

A Vimeo video behind a paywall shows the band’s set up in the round, people walking around. It’s been a few minutes. The anticipation is building. I know the whole album is less than an hour long, but I’m waiting with baited breath, drops of sweat on my forehead gathering in this 93 degree heat, because it will be worth it. At least I’m sitting in the shade. But still more comfortable than Warped Tour, amirite? 

A hint of what’s to come can be seen in the chat next to the video. One comment reads, “This is my third time watching this! omg its so amazing!” Another reads, “make this on blu-ray.”

People still watch blu-ray?

Another comment: “The fuck in Breathing in a New Mentality honestly adds a lot lol.” Well, I guess that rules out the legalistic church-goes liking this video.

Come on, it’s been 8 and a half minutes! This really does feel like a concert—like the olden days! Was that by design?

Watching song #2, and I’m genuinely worried about my laptop overheating. I may have to go inside soon. So much for Warped Tour roleplaying!

I do have to agree with the dude’s comment about “Breathing in a New Mentality” above—even if I’m not really about the f word, haha.

I have to say, hearing “A Fault Line, A Fault of Mine” even in this weird environment (talking about both this hot patio and COVID-19) is taking me back to 2008 when I listened to this record a lot. Sophomore year of college was one of the best years for music!

Another new comment—and probably my favorite so far: “Aaron’s hair being back to LITSOS era length really sells it.” I agree, internet friend! “Emergency Broadcast: The End is Near” is up now.

Sidenote: I forgot this was a COVID show until I saw the masked cameraman in the side of a frame. This is how lost I’m getting in this show.

“We are the cancer! We are the virus!” Wow.

“The Only Survivor Was Miraculously Unharmed” is really selling the lighting design and camera-work here. I especially like the bird’s eye view, which feels like a fish-eye lens without really being a fish-eye lens.

“The Created Void!” I’ve been waiting so long to hear this song live. I’ll settle for this virtual version. I would legitimately buy a copy of this show. Everything about this version is on point and nostalgic.

I’m loving the “Woos!” right after “Desperate Times, Desperate Measures” going into “Too Bright to See, Too Loud to Hear.” It tells me they’re really having fun. That sounded organic and not rehearsed.

Twelve years later, “Good God, can you still get us home?” still rings true. Perhaps, now more than ever. That climax is powerful. “We’re forgetting our forgiveness!” Hits deep, man.

It’s really neat to see Spencer really let loose on the last track and get lost in the music. He’s holding the mic stand in the air triumphantly. This also might be the best the mix has sounded during the stream—saying something, because of all the tracks on this album this is the one I skip most often.

Here are a few quick thoughts in conclusion. First, my laptop didn’t overheat! Yay! Second, that stream exceeded my expectations as far as enjoyment levels. Kudos to the team who designed the set and worked this campaign. I will be very curious about statistics for this. Third, I would have liked to maybe hear some banter. There was no talking between songs at all. It was strictly a performance and felt very serious. Last, I’m extremely impressed with the quality of production and the seamless nature of how this flowed. Since we’re all still figuring out the best way to do virtual shows, the fact that Underoath and team pulled this off is no small feat. 

P.S. Lost in the Sound of Separation is Underoath’s best album 😉 – Ryan Getz

P.P.S. The Changing of Times is better than Lost 😉 – Stephen Scheidell

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