You will be hard-pressed to find a band that brings to mind artists such as The Beatles, Radiohead, King Crimson and Sepultura as you listen to their record.
The transitions, the textures, the almost exhausting task of following the notes in each song makes you wonder what kind of band can bring to life such a recording. Raleigh, N.C.-based Between the Buried and Me (BTBAM) are such a band and they present their latest exploration, Colors (Victory Records).
Produced once again by Jamie King (The Human Abstract, Beloved, Through the Eyes of the Dead) BTBAM bring even more complexity and mood from its last release Alaska.
“Foam Born: (a) The Backtrack” begins with a lovely but somber piano intro and immediately makes the descent into their chaotic juxtaposition of keyboard-laced melodies and off-time guitars. It serves as an appropriate introduction the rest of the 62 minutes of unrelenting yet very in tuned grind/prog-metal.
“(b) The Decade of Statues” properly begins the assault of the senses. The now recognizable wall of thunderous sound that BTBAM is known for is still in tact. The grind/death metal combos still sound as fierce as anything else in their catalog. The technical and broad guitar work by Paul Waggoner and Dusty Waring leave you speechless.
“Informal Gluttony” has drummer Blake Richardson starting out with a tribal-esque tempo ala Sepultura. BTBAM then graces listeners' ears with Middle Eastern-inspired guitar arrangements and vocalist Tommy Rogers transitions from the guttural to the serene with great fluidity. I definitely hear more of the Paul McCartney/Thom Yorke influences in his vocals. That in itself separates him from the now generic sing/scream combos that many metal and hard-core bands are doing nowadays.
Clocking in at 10:58, “Sun of Nothing” continues to extend the savagery with flawless execution. BTBAM add enough atmospheric brushes throughout the song to create much more depth. A quirky piano break reminiscent of Mr. Bungle is added for good measure. The song continues as a beautiful excursion into the land of Pink Floyd and culminates at the end into an almost gritty but frantic climb down of riffs and turmoil.
“Ants of the Sky” can be considered a testament to what BTBAM have become. They are a grandiose collective of honest musicians who show no predictability in where the song will take you. The matching and intense circus-like organ competes with the rest of the music in an almost showdown-like fashion. This reminds me more of the structures on The Silent Circus. There is a haunting quality to Rogers’ croon. It almost sounds as if you cannot trust it fully but you have no other choice on its journey.
As the longest song on the record the record-clocked at 14:13, the epic “White Walls” ends the long passage in fine form. BTBAM have already taken you in and out of every sensation. They end the record as they started with Rogers still keeping enough potency vocally to bring out any lasting emotion with each scream. At the 5:00 mark, the lush prog-like tendencies make another appearance and for the next two minutes, it sounds as if it just prepares you for one last spectacle. The profound and anthemic torrent that BTBAM leaves is nothing short of astounding.
Overall: Between the Buried and Me are challenging listeners to venture into its more complex and textured music. Do not let the mathematical tags scare you. This is a definitely an album that isn’t so out there that you can’t enjoy it. This album is definitely recommended.Powered by Sidelines