Under the Flood - The Witness
Record Label: Koch Records
Release Date: May 13, 2008
It's sad to see a band limiting themselves within the confines of a single genre. It's even worse when it's a genre that's completely devoid of any new ideas or creativity. Unfortunately, this is exactly what Under the Flood has done with The Witness. They're playing the alternative game and not breaking a single rule, which is rather unfortunate. Ever heard of 10 Years or Breaking Benjamin? Well, this is basically a toned-down fusion of the two.
The similarities between the bands are so similar that it's uncanny. The vocals are dead-on identical to 10 Years throughout most of the album. In some places, however, the vocals are reminiscent (mainly in the areas of inflection and delivery) of Incubus' Brandon Boyd. There is also a definite Tool influence, in both the vocals and instrumentation. Basically, as stated before, Under the Flood is playing into every alternative groove and not changing a thing. No matter how generic it is though, it's undeniable that The Witness is, at the very least, entertaining. "In Vain" and "The Witness" follow the same path as the rest of the album, but end up as two of the most powerful and radio-ready tracks. The generic nature of it, however, really hinders the replay factor, and the songs tend to get old extremely fast.
Pushing through the boundaries of alternative, radio-friendly rock isn't something Under the Flood has prepared themselves to do. If it wasn't extremely generic, The Witness could be a great listen. For now, however, whenever I want my alternative fix, I'll stick to 10 Years instead of 10 Years: Mach II.