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Underrated band of the week

Between The Buried And Me

Definitely one of my favourite bands and my favourite prog metal band, they’re like the bastard child of Opeth and Dillinger Escape Plan. Throughout their earlier material they created music with not much emphasis on the progressive as they have now. But by 2nd release The Silent Circus BTBAM began, only began to realise their potential as songwriters and musicians. But earlier tracks like “Aspirations” did hint at their ability.

However on the Silent Circus there was a tad more diversity and it was the beginning of their nickname “jack of all trades metal”. Openers “Lost Perfection a) Coulrophobia” and “b) Anablephobia” showed the band’s penchant for melding brutality with some groove. Their most recognisable song, the soaring “Mordecai” is pummelling until the mellow breakdown and the heart stopping guitar solo. Then, following is the sombre and elegantly crafted “Reaction” and “(Shevanel Take 2)”, but this is merely calm before another thunderous storm. “Ad a Dglgmut” hits you like a locomotive.

BTBAM expanded on their sound on third album Alaska and made a daring move with The Anatomy Of; a covers album. On it they covered a truly mixed bag of tunes from Motley Crue’s “Kickstart My Heart” to Metallica’s “Blackened” to Pink Floyd’s “Us And Them”.

However it was in 2007 that Between The Buried And Me rather marvellously hit their stride on Colors. Opener “Foam Born a) The Back Track” is quite serene until the metal of BTBAM hits on “b) Decade Of Statues” with a towering chorus to boot. Next “Informal Gluttony” brings the didgeridoo into play, another track with a hooky but soft chorus. Follower “Sun Of Nothing” continues to portray what can only be described as extraordinary versatility on the band’s part.

A Metal Maniacs review for the album said “1 hour, 4 minutes and 9 seconds of jaw dropping musicianship”. By fuck it couldn’t be truer. The colossal 13 minute long “Ants Of The Sky” shows this and then some with guitarists Paul Waggoner and Dustie Waring earning their chops amongst the best of them. Meanwhile vocalist Tommy Rogers gives a stunning performance. The virtuosity continues on the punchy “Prequel To The Sequel”. The ferocity drops on “Viridian” but the intensity manages to be maintained, this short instrumental is just beautiful and is refreshing to hear a track of this nature be so bass driven, Dan Briggs is incredible. As for closer “White Walls”, if epic should ever be used to describe a song it’s this. It’s a 14 minute long journey into dazzling musicianship, Rogers hits notes he’s never hit before, the solos, the drums (here’s some praise for Blake Richardson) and bass soar above nearly any other attempt bands have made at something so grandiose. By the end of Colors you’re exhausted.

Colors – a relentless, at times punishing but yet gorgeously arranged masterpiece of progressive metal.

Not enough though, the band proved their talent on stage with Colors_Live, a CD/DVD release where they played the album in its entirety. Another bold, daring move.

Now a new album is scheduled for a release this year, needless to say expectations are high.

Recommended album: Colors

Originally posted: 9th February 09

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