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The follwing appears on Hellridemusic.com
The bio for this Boston-trio of like-minded modern heavy prog trio The Under mentions Rush, Black Sabbath, Voivod, Baroness, The Obsessed and High on Fire as being musical kin. At first I think the band is playing it smart by covering all the alternative press bases. This is done by mentioning a key band representing every validated form of heavy music even if the band in question has no resemblance whatsoever except for a distorted guitar. The Under’s RIYL section is pretty accurate, but I swear to God I can’t help think of Bruce Dickinson’s shamefully unknown Skunkworks project on almost every song. The Under has the same sort of genre-free quality that Skunkworks had aside from being a heavy music band with progressive tendencies.These three guys do rock man, I have to say. They have a spatial way of arranging songs, so even the hyper-chug skull-splitter that is Anaximander contains ethereal, hypnotic passages. Dan the guitar player is frighteningly talented, reminds me a lot of Against Nature/Revelation guitarist John Brenner, both equally capable at both rhythm and solo. There is a definite Alex Lifeson-esque quality to Dan’s playing and in fact, if you didn’t know better you’d think that Alex did a guest turn on the solo for Mercurial and the intro on The Only Path (which both are friggin’ phenomenal songs, btw). That being said, Dan’ss own style only becomes apparent after listening to the whole album a couple of times as he borrows styles from here and there and everywhere, but he’ss got the fundamental flow and style of an original. He’s also a very capable vocalist and as all capable vocalists should do, Dan sings clean, even hitting Halford-style highs on Boundless. That is territory where precious few should tread because it often only ends up in heartache, ridicule or, in extreme cases, polyps on your vocal cords. The Jason Walker/Randy Odierno rhythm section is a monster, but not the typical Heavy Metal Butler/Ward monster one would expect. Their style is much more technical and fluid, something you’d expect from those that have delved into the worlds of jazz or listened to shitloads of Rush and Voivod. Both musicians can be in complete sequence then go off and do their own thing, then seamlessly fall back into sequence again. So either they are that good, or thank God for Pro Tools. I’d love to check out these guys live. The songs get so intricate and complicated at points that it must require a tremendous amount of focus let alone a lot of rehearsing to get through a gig. The fact that Guitar Player Dan sings at the same time as he’s playing would provide extra jaw-dropping and beer-raising impact. Next time I’m in Boston, hopefully I can catch these guys out live. I encourage you to check out their songs on their web pages (see links below) to get an idea of what they’re all about, I think it’d be worth your while.(Chris Barnes)________________________________________________________________________
following appears on Progscape.com:
I love music that isn’t tied to a particular genre all the way through. Nowadays the most interesting stuff is definitely happening where different styles cross over. The more diverse they are, the best they work out. The Under certainly doesn’t mess around with electronica, avant-garde or free jazz but they seem to have taken great lessons from bands like Black Sabbath, Rush or even Jeff Buckley. So in their self-titled debut EP, we have an ecletic mix of rock, prog, metal and punk which instantly infects your ears and makes you wish there were more songs. Vanguard opens the proceedings sounding a lot like Rush but as soon as Dan Costa’s voice kicks we know we’re in for a different thing that is all theirs. He can sound melodic and even soothing one minute and punk-like angry the other. There’ss a sense of dynamics and lack of convention in The Under’s music that gives it a rebellious edge and, to be honest, makes it ROCK.What makes this EP so damn cool though is how they can keep it up for the entire duration of it. Antiquation, the longest track in this record, takes the angst down a notch, slows down the proceedings a bit but doesnâ€™t forget about feeling. Soundwise, these guys are great. And then comes Lifedial which sounds like a heavier version of Jeff Buckley and is to my ears the highlight of the record. Tempest rounds things off again in a heavier and more upset tone.The sense of dynamics and cohesiveness The Under oozes shouldn’t be taken lightly and is yet another reminder of how many great bands never get out of the shadows for whatever reason. I sure hope to see and listen to more from these guys. They seem to be smart, they have a great online image, their EP sounds and feels just great and they have this uncanny ability to melt every influence and come up with something decidedly their own. What more can you ask for? (Paulo Andre)
The following appears on AdrenalineFanzine.com:
This e.p. from The Under offers an edgy rock infused listen full of melodic vocal hooks and a strong musical accompaniment. An obvious display of many hours spent creating and perfecting songs to bring their name effectively to the masses.
As stated in their bio, “Combine the finest elements of progressive rock, metal, and punk with a strong songwriting emphasis and a style that often strays from convention” they know their sound and understand what defines them. All these genres are The Under, and they combine them in such a way to create a personality all their own. A good listen from a good band. (Taylor)
The following appears in the October issue of The Noise:.
Most Boston bands that cite Rush and prog rock as influences usually send music lovers like me running for the nearest exit, for most of these bands think that Dream Theatre is good and try to employ all the chops they have mastered into one sweet, boring solo after another.The Under doesn’t seem to be that egregious. They are here to remind us of the Rock that is in Prog Rock. People who like their Sabbath dark and rocking, but still air-drum to “YYZ” will enjoy this. (Joel Simches)
The following appeared in Metronome Magazine in April 2008:
Singer-guitarist Daniel Costa, bassist Jason Walker and drummer Randy Odierno, a.k.a. The Under, have resurrected the blazing glory days of Van Halen, Rush and Ozzy Osborne in one fell swoop with the release of their astounding 4-song sampler. Costaâ€™s fiery spot on arpeggios and soaring single note fret board lines fuel the melodies as Walker and Odierno tether Costa to the ship to keep him from floating wildly into the abyss. Costa’s vocals are urgent and manic as he conjures passionate tales of mythology and otherworldly images. There’s no band in Boston playing inspired hard rock music like this these days and I highly recommend you check these guys out. Douglas Sloan
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