Describing their sound as "Metal to the core", HELD UNDER are a Metalcore band, but with some interesting twists thrown in. HELD UNDER certainly stand above most other Metalcore acts now days that seem to fill Roadrunner's ranks nowadays.
The vocals are what I like the most about HELD UNDER. Although the shouted vocals are nothing new, the clean vocals are straight up thrash a la Joey Belladonna. Whereas most Metalcore bands go for the attitude-less singing, here the clean vocals have a gritty tone which I really like. Musically the band aren't to bad either. The generic riffing used by bands like KILLSWITCH ENGAGE and TRIVIUM isn't used here, which is a relief. Instead, there is plenty of melody, infused with some relentless chugging, which may sound like the aforementioned bands, it comes across as truly original. The drums blast away in the expected fashion, lots of double bass pedals mixed with slower breakdown drumming. Nothing special in this department. The production isn't too bad, but the bass just might as well not have been recorded, as I can't hear it at all, and the drums are a bit too loud. But otherwise a solid job in that department.
On the negative side, all the riffing may be original it gets very boring about 4 songs in. The songs just seem to be there in the background, and before I knew it, the album had finished, and this is almost an hour long! It just doesn't hold my attention as well as it could. That said there is some promise here, and HELD UNDER haven't created a bad record, but its nothing special and there are better bands doing this style anyway.
(Online November 25, 2006)