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Between The Buried And Me - Colors CD (album) cover

COLORS

Between The Buried And Me

 

Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

3.99 | 279 ratings

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Figglesnout
3 stars Between the Buried and Me - Colors

First off, let's have a brief history: they released their self-titled, which--though chock-full of would-be progressive elements, it is also full of it's emocore influences and, of course, the metalcore still is in heavy rotation on this album. Still, there was much to enjoy whether it was bone-crushing metal licks or emotive clean breaks--they were present, but had yet to develop.

Then came The Silent Circus, their sophomore album--which explored more of what they began to uncover with their debut. Cleaner, more progressive, and, for the most part, better written--this album featured some instant classics (such as the "Lost Perfection Couplet" and "Mordecai") but was primarily an album of development--and with their ever-changing line-up still plaguing them, that can hardly be blamed.

Alaska was their first album with a steady line-up, and is, by contrast, much more focused and, in all honesty, much better than its predecessors. Every song on this album has it's moments and the album itself works well and holds attention in a good fashion (despite the fact that it does have some flaws, but what albums don't?)--there's enough metal to keep the die-hards interested; there's enough of the other stuff keep the proggers happy...but still there was something missing.

And then (now)...Colors. The development from Alaska to Colors is not exactly major--I saw it coming, as did many, but still: it pays off tremendously. Between the Buried and Me are no longer primarily a metalcore band with progressive elements, but a progressive metal band with metalcore elements, which I, at least, see as a compliment to the band.

Now the music:

The album opens up strongly and peculiarly--especially considering all of their other album openers, which just blasted you instantly. This one is more subtle, and comes in with a slow, and truthfully rather silly piano riff--but it works.. Then some power chords and an arpeggio-heavy keyboard solo (it may be an effected guitar as well I can't be entirely sure) carry us into the first sight of metal. Part 2 of this track is pure BTBAM metaliciousness--just better. The clean spot at 1:30 or so is very Opeth-ian in nature, showing off some more proggers-influence. It just all clicks. The metal is brutal, desperate, even ridiculous at times--it is the murder...and the clean parts are the resurrection. They love to kill, so every time they do, they bring their fallen foe back to life and find an even more creative way to kill him again...or at least that's how this album feels.although I'll have to apologize for that silly extended metaphor.

"Informal Gluttony", the third track begins with some tribal drums and percussion and then some eastern riffs on guitar...it all leads into an awesome and instantly memorable chorus...the song just works well. It fades into "Sun of Nothing"--which blisters immediately in your face with a assaulting drum solo and continues at such pace for a good while...and then, after a bit of foreplay, comes the first instance of huh? one may experience, as it may seem at this moment that BTBAM have just said F*** it! to the naysayers and have gone all-out prog...and we hear a neat little Sleepytime Gorilla Museum reminiscent bit...and while you're recovering from this mild shock, the guitars serenade you with scales and arpeggios of all sorts .

"Ants of the Sky" would be ridiculous to describe--firstly because it's the pinnacle of the band's career (in my opinion at least), and secondly because of its length and its many changes. You'll hear Opeth-ian riffs, the delightful clean vocals of Tommy Rogers--hell, they even brought a bluegrass bit into the fray...and if it sounds disjointed on paper, I promise it's not in practice; it just needs to be heard.

"Prequel to the Sequel" is an interesting track--though not quite as interesting as the last two...it is the heaviest in the competition thus far, but features two distinctive parts besides: a polka section (of sorts...hehe...) that leads into...a guest vocal spot, which is very effective and climatic. It's a nice change, though hardly needed, as I think Tommy Rogers is fairly versatile--at least in his studio work.

"Viridian" is an instrumental interlude, serving to lead in the album closer.

"White Walls" is just is the longest track on the album, and manages to take everything that was great about it in the first place and make it even better. This track blisters, burns, recuperates, rinses, repeats, twists, turns, yields (briefly), yells, screams, whispers, smiles, laughs, scorns, and well...it does just about everything people can do.... The closing guitar solos, while formulaic for the band, are very nice, and the album closes with the piano motif that began the album and there it is...we have, mostly, a winner.

So, in conclusion...if you are one of those doubters...one of the ones wondering why such band associated with petty (and bad) metalcore was ever added to the archives...you'll be hard pressed to wonder any longer after you give Colors a listen--and if you choose not to, I suppose it's your loss. The album, while certainly not perfect (the flaws present on Alaska and really any of the band's works are still present, just not as evident). This one's more balanced, more progressive, and, overall, just better, than anything else the band has done thus far.

Some weaknesses: the writing isn't always solid, and the transitions and not handled as well as bands such as Opeth handle them (also BTBAM still seems to rely very heavily upon shredding and scales, which kind of tones down the initial feeling of awesome guitar! this albums seems to try and boast). The production, once again, is also rather rough.

So, I settled for a 7, though maybe a tad less (6.6, something like that), as I've found the album doesn't age all that well--the metal sections quickly become tedious to listen to in the light of the more interesting and inventive sections spread in-between (hell, they've done metal for three albums now, and it's never sounded exactly.different, and this is certainly a flaw the band needs to iron out as a whole). So, I'll settle for a solid 3 stars. The band certainly is developing though, and Colors is a good album to boast and begin their true development in the progressive domain with.

Figglesnout | 3/5 |

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