Don't really get the Underoath thing, don't see how it relates to this album at all.
Score is higher than I would give it too, but I know what you mean about that "barrier".
There's a lot of bands that rip off Underoath.
I'm sure you can name a band or two.
Underoath has nothing to do with this band.
I did some research, and As I Lay Dying didn't exactly rip off Zao, but they were criticized for sounding a little too familiar to them (this was like, in 2001)