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

COLORS LIVE

Between The Buried And Me

 

Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

4.29 | 30 ratings

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Moatilliatta
Prog Reviewer
4 stars A little over a year after throwing down one of the greatest musical works of all time, Between the Buried and Me have released a CD/DVD featuring Colors in full and uninterrupted and a second set containing some gems from their prior works. The aptly titled Colors_LIVE is quite a dazzling audio/video documentation of these young wizards on stage.

The main attraction here is clearly the DVD, so let's focus on that. Set 1 is Colors played as it was written, seamlessly tied together. With the exception of the piano intro, there is no free-time, no jamming, no breaks, just rock. And when I say rock, I mean ROCK and/or musical bliss. Of course, those familiar with the album know that it was meticulously written and performd and the piece doesn't really have much room for jamming. Arguably it has no room for jamming. And that's perfectly fine, because anybody who heard Colors certainly would just love to see it be played. While there are some small differences in this performance, they are limited basically to tones, tiny drum fills and vocal placements & accents. The differences are enough to make it distinguishable and still maintain the quality and integrity of the original compositions The boiz perform the album with precision, and despite the complexity, they still manage to maintain, even augment the feeling and passion behind it all. Vocalist Tommy Rogers is a maniac; viewers everywhere will be confounded at how a small, skinny vegan guy can belt such deep growls, such sinister screams, and also such a nice clean voice and insane falsetto! He commands the set and the crowd start to finish. If you listen closely, after one of his long growls, there is a short silence where you can hear some of the crowd just saying "whoa." And that's really the reaction you'll have during most of this. Everyone just tears it up and leaves the audience spellbound.

However, it is most unfortunate that the band didn't have a bigger budget for this. The DVD was shot in a small venue without too many options for camera angles. Of course we shouldn't expect a Dream Theater-level production, but some shots that most would consider mandatory just weren't captured, or weren't held when/where they should have been. It's just not a visual spectacle production-wise. Still, many shots are captured and there good footage outweighs the bad. The audio is excellent too. The only other unfortunate part is that the band had to resort to samples for some sections to maintain the proper sound, continuity and such, like the tribal intro to "Informal Gluttony." Also, the bar fight sample in "Ants of the Sky" drowns out the music a bit and it's unfortunate because it's clearly more important. When you're watching it, though, those petty things don't really matter. Even when Dustie plays the jazz riff in "The Decade of Statues" with light distortion I can forgive him because the performance is just so darn good.

Set 2 is BTBAM "giving back to their fans" by performing a set selected by said fans online. Giving equal time to each album, they [sadly] play [only] two songs from each of their first three studio albums. The real highlights in the second set are the tracks from their first album. These songs really come alive to me here. With refined players across the board (three of which weren't in the band at the time of that album's conception) and better production, these songs turn out to be fantastic. "Aspirations" especially has it all, great instrumentation, a set of powerful melodies, some on guitar, some sung, and a stunning upper-register segment by Tommy who simply wasn't capable of this caliber performance back in 2002 it seems. I really wish the band would record their whole first album live like this so I can enjoy it. After seeing this, I went back to try their self-titled debut out again and I simply couldn't get into it; it sounded too raw all around. This DVD proves that the songs were inherently good, but were unfortunately given a shoddy production and performed by a band that was still honing their talents. The other tracks performed were "Shevanel Cut a Flip" from the self-title, "Mordecai" & "Ad a dglgmut" from The Silent Circus and "Backwards Marathon" & "Selkies: The Endless Obsession" from Alaska. During this set the band had time to talk between the songs and fool around a bit more. Tommy mentions how after the show they were going upstairs to hang out with the crowd and watch Home Alone together. I wish I had sucked it up and flown out there to be a part of that! The end of "Selkies" (the closer for the set/night) would have been a great spot to jam, and for as good of a show as this was, we could only wish that the band would play on. Alas! It ends so soon and with no legit jam. Only complaints here are the fanboy-ish "the set wasn't long enough" and the more legit "it would have been nice to get set 2 on a CD as well," because I'm more likely to listen to that one than the Colors set.

Anyone at all into this band should grab this CD/DVD set. It's a great value and there is a lot of wonderment in store for those who take advantage of it. I try to be fair and balanced when I review music, but Colors changed my life, so I can be biased when I review this performance! Those few who puzzle me by not seeing the greatness of this band (Colors especially) may still want to give them benefit of the doubt and watch them lay it down live. I understand that some people get turned onto music they didn't like at first by seeing it live. I don't entirely get it, but it's worth a shot! It's a great performance, and for those who fell in love with the album like I did need not think twice about owning this.

Moatilliatta | 4/5 |

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