There's something that occurred to me as soon as I learned about the hidden track (Override [B]) at the beginning of Modern Synthesis: the position of that track—and two others—may not be a coincidence. The entire Override Symphony creates a single song when all three songs are played sequentially, and the band has said specifically about Override [B] that it "flows from its predecessor track on the Underline EP, a nexus point between two universes, setting the scene for what is to come." This leads me to my theory: what if the placement of this hidden track means that the song serves as a bridge between more than Override [A] and Override [C]? Override [A]—the final song on the Underline EP—naturally flows into Override [B] and then Override [C]—the first two songs on Modern Synthesis. This, along with the fact that they were also released sequentially (or at least, in that order with no other releases in between except individual songs off of Modern Synthesis), suggests to me that the two albums are somehow linked. Additionally, there are many parallels between Underline, the Override Symphony, and Modern Synthesis. Here are the connections that I've found so far (if you've found anything else that's not on this list, please comment—I may add it to the post!):
- "Now we take control" (Are You Listening?) may be a parallel to "The day I take control" (Processor).
- Similarly, "We'll keep our faith as illusions break" (In The Blind) could be a connection to "We'll keep our faith alive" (Angel Lust).
- The phrase "struggling, suffering" (near the beginning of Override [A]) always reminds me of "suffering, stuttering" (near the start of Nebula); however, this may simply be coincidence.
- There is a brief musical phrase in Override [B] (at about 2:50) that echoes the guitar solo from Watchmaker.
- "Lay the new foundations, reprise / A wave in stone to slow the sunrise / And bridge the two points of view / The first asymmetries that lead to this life" (Override [C]) bears some similarity, at least insofar as there are several words that appear in both verses, to "Mother, how far did you deviate? / Alone in the dark as you would meditate / Did you conceive of us when in multitude above / Bearing us forth in labor pains of love?" (Angel Lust).
- Near the end of Panacea and the Prelogue, there are several lines from other Area 11 songs that can be heard layered under the "lines fade out" part, including lines from all three songs on Underline. Sparkles* has stated that the songs referenced here have something in common or a connection of some sort; my theory is that each song referenced is in some way a major part of DH. The other songs (that are known so far—see the page on Panacea for more information about this) are:
- "We're not just numbers, we are alive / A digital haunt in an analogue life" (Cassandra, Pt. II): Do I really need to explain the main significance of this line to anyone? In addition to its obvious significance, this may also be another (much more subtle) connection between the beginning of Underline and the end of Modern Synthesis, as the line "This was the night, this was the place / This was the moment, this was the moment" from Are You Listening? also references Cassandra, Pt. II, albeit with some changes to the lyrics.
- "...from my skin so I can grow" (All the Lights in the Sky/Bōsōzoku Symphonic): Bōsōzoku Symphonic (I think those are the proper diacritical marks, but for all I know I could have just typed "your mother is a frog" because the accent wasn't bendy enough or something) is in and of itself a somewhat significant song (it is the 11th and final song on the ATLITS album and the one from which the album's name originates, and it is 11 minutes and 11 seconds long), and "...from my skin so I can grow" comes just a few lines after "all the lights in the sky", a line heard in many Area 11 songs (I've started compiling a list on my user page, and there's another one that already exists here.)
Anyway, that's my theory on why Underline and Modern Synthesis are connected. Bear in mind that I have no idea what the meaning behind this is or if there even is any; this comment is mainly just concerned with the musical connections between the two. If you have any thoughts on this or ideas about the meaning or further connections, please comment—I'd love to hear your opinion on this!