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Between The Buried And Me - The Great Misdirect CD (album) cover

THE GREAT MISDIRECT

Between The Buried And Me

 

Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

4.04 | 260 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

OriginsOfRuin
5 stars So, I got this package in the mail today. I didn't think it was anything important, but then I saw that it was from Victory Records and immediately, my heart started racing: It was the new Between the Buried and Me album THE GREAT MISDIRECT!

I immediately dropped everything and raced upstairs to my computer to pop it in. I already downloaded their pre-released "single" (I doubt it could seriously be called a single when it's 9+ minutes long) "Obfuscation" and had already listened to it 50+ times in the period of 1-2 weeks. Needless to say, I could dig it.

Before I go any further, let me first say that Between the Buried and Me's previous release, COLORS, is for me, probably the single greatest album I've ever heard. Dream Theater's SCENES FROM A MEMORY, plus Redemption's new SNOWFALL ON JUDGMENT DAY are up there, but when it comes to pure progressive and just flat out DIFFERENT metal (or flat out different music in general), BTBAM is leading the charge. Never before had I heard hardcore metal mixed with a little country and some groovy clean guitar solos IN A SINGLE SONG ("Ants of the Sky"), not to mention all of the other crazy sections from that album (crying babies and cat-like sounds from "Sun of Nothing"?). But I gotta admit, I love it. It's this unique kind of musical comedy where you gotta chuckle at how crazy and/or ballsy these guys are for doing whatever they want within their music (and not caring about what you think), yet still keeping it complex, brutal, and beautiful, all within the amazing period 60 minutes.

To qualify as one of my favorite bands, you gotta have the right personnel, first and foremost. BTBAM, The Dear Hunter, Redemption, Opeth, and Dream Theater are examples that all fit that bill. You also have to have your own sound that you either progress with or improve upon as more and more albums are released. I feel that all of the bands I listed do that exceptionally well.

As far as skill goes within the band, everyone is at the top of their game. The rhythm section, for me, especially stands out. Dan Briggs and Blake Richardson are absolute beasts with their respective instruments and each of them turn in a monster performance on this album. Paul Waggoner and Dustie Waring are always good as well, with Paul quickly become one of the greatest guitarists of this generation. And finally, Tommy Rogers is turning into a premiere musician himself, in both clean and scream vocals (a la Mikael Akerfeldt of Opeth), plus keyboards. On this album, Tommy really expands and perfects his keyboard skills, creating some of the more memorable sequences on the album, like the beginning of "Fossil Genera" and the classic hard rock section from "Disease, Injury, Madness".

Continuing on with the actual album review, BTBAM makes great strides in their march into musical greatness (my opinion of course) with their latest album THE GREAT MISDIRECT. The album zig-zags and winds its way into seemingly every corner of musical history, from country, western, classic rock, alternative rock, jazz, fusion, metal, and of course, experimental. This is PROGRESSIVE metal at its finest and I can pretty much guarantee you won't hear a more unique album this year.

As far as stand out songs... I can't really pick any. And not just because there are only six, but because each seems to go in a different direction. Mirrors is the more clean, appeal-to-the-masses type of song, Obfuscation is more traditional metal with some cool sections and breakdowns, Disease, Injury, Madness leans more towards the thrash, blast beat metal, Fossil Genera is more experimental, Desert of Song is the chill song (a la Viridian from COLORS), and Swim to the Moon is the epic combining all of the different elements from the previous songs and mashing them together in an 18-minute masterpiece! (Wow, was that a mouthful!)

That's not to say all songs stick to their respective description above. As usual, four of the six songs transition at least once from a softer, clean section to their more traditional brutal, face-melting sound (or vice versa) in a way that only BTBAM (and maybe Opeth) can pull off. As Mike Portnoy once described Opeth's WATERSHED, this album is BRUTIFUL, containing many beautiful moments and many bone-crushingly brutal moments.

Consider this album another huge step forward into musical territory not yet explored by the band becoming more and more known for their progressive nature, especially with their latest two albums, COLORS and now THE GREAT MISDIRECT.

In conclusion...

THE GREAT MISDIRECT is a masterpiece of epic proportions, with every member of the band contributing and improving in both skill and songwriting ability, creating a uniquely beautiful, angry, confusing, and most of all, entertaining, piece of musical art. This is a must-have album for any progressive listener.

OriginsOfRuin | 5/5 |

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