For some reason, this evening found me browsing through some of my old favorites from the “Christian metal” genre. It’s ironic that pearl-clutching religious conservatives are often the people who try to blame the ills of modern society (at least partially) on music from artists like Slipknot and Marilyn Manson, when devout bands like Underoath use harsh screams and punishing riffs to express the intense passion that they have for their faith. Despite a personal lack of religious affiliation or belief, I’ve always appreciated the cathartic, deceptively wholesome anthems produced by Christian metal artists. “Too Bright To See, Too Loud To Hear,” from Underoath’s 2008 release Lost in the Sound of Separation, is more of a slow-burner than a lot of songs I’ve heard from the notable Florida group. Swirls of brooding, atmospheric guitar provide an instrumental backdrop for dual vocalists Spencer Chamberlain and Aaron Gillespie to tunefully mourn the sad state of humanity. The song is eventually stripped down to the repeated, tentative query, “Good god, can you still get us home?”. Finally, Gillespie belts out a high register, “Still get us hooooooome!” and then all hell breaks loose, as the whole band explodes into a raging musical tempest and Chamberlain screams, “How can we still get home?!” over and over. The two eventually conclude that “We’re forgetting our forgiveness”; I’m not sure that I’d chalk up the problems of the world to a lack of collective religious faith, but you can’t help but be moved by the song’s intensity. Maybe Mike Pence could listen to this one and become the cool kind of neighbor-loving Christian as opposed to whatever he is now.
This one comes with a haunting animated video that enhances the song’s air of desolate gloom; check it out below.