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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 | 291 ratings

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AtomicCrimsonRush
Special Collaborator
Symphonic Team
4 stars Acoustics, brutal distorted riffs, incredible lead breaks, diversity, beautiful singing and death growls, all on one album! Between the Buried and Me drew me in due to the technically excellent and precise musicianship along with a diversity of styles. The Death metal vocals are prevalent at times and dominate over the music, and there are moments of inspired genius in the instrumental sections that are mindblowing. It begins with a piece of beauty on acoustic and delightfully clean vocals, reminding me of the quieter Opeth.

The peace does not last for long as Obfuscation hammers out with growls throughout and noisy guitar distortion, with the occasional lead break thrown in. This is a noisy infernal clutter and I hoped the rest of the album would not sound like this. It just sounded like any other death metal band, caustic vocals, sparse lead work and a bombardment of distortion. Unpleasant for my ears but I am sure many death metal addicts would revel in this.

Disease Injury Madness continues brutal riffing and death vocals for a short time and then breaks into a wonderful quieter section that simply mesmirises. The musicianship is incredible and very complex time sigs clock in and out of sync with the bass and drum, and yet are enmeshed together with striking lead sweeps. The lead break is amazing technical precision and perhaps showcases the band at their best.

Fossil Genera begins with a quirky piano motif that some may mistake for an old Nintendo game. Love the vocals too as they sound aggressive without screaming the wallpaper off. Death vocals do return for the next section but I am okay with that due to the amazing innovative music, and the structures with sporadic time sig changes are awesome. Polyrhythmic sweeping guitar riffs blast over the growls, and the drumming is well executed. There is a strange little instrumental break that stops and starts and is way off kilter. At 5:30 the song is a blitzkrieg of brutal speed riffing, sounding like Death or Sepultura. Some inventive instrumental work follows, and a droning voice over. The quiet acoustic chimes in eventually and it is a delightful break from the intensity, and I like that beautiful lead guitar tone. Cleaner Akerfeldt style vocals take over, and some very sweet violin sounds. The ending reminds me of Dream Theater, namely Octavarium.

Desert of Song is a wonderful country flavoured ballad with slide guitar and some great vocals. The diversity of the band may be maddening for some death heads out there, but I really love the way the band launch into dangerous territories and provide risky little pieces like this. The song sounds great and shows how diverse these guys can be.

The epic at the end is a masterful piece of music with some unusual shouting vocals along with the death vocal style. This sounds weird after the country song previously. The vocals are not all that bad even for those who may not be into this brutal stuff. The music is as usual very complex and replete with lead breaks and odd percussion and bass patterns. The death vocals cease after about 10 minutes of intense metal blastbeats. The band are so tight it is criminal, the drum fills and lead breaks are awesome. This sounds like Petrucci and Myung in places, the lead break sweeping and hammer ons are incredible. My favourite part of the album begins here and continues for 8 precious minutes. The trade offs between musicians and time sig shifts are inspirational. I wished the band were more like this on other parts of the album. The organ solo is astonishing too and very Dream Theaterish. I know why Portnoy chose these guys for the Progressive Nation Tour now. They are almost a death metal version of Dream Theater.

So at the end of the album I am left with a problem and that is personally I have outgrown death metal growls, though once loved it, and yet the music is absolutely brilliant so I believe the music alone is worth a 5. The vocals are great when the screaming stops but there is a hell of a lot of growling on this, similar to Opeth. I can definitely recommend this to fans of death metal and technical prog, and it certainly deserves its high rating, 4 stars for the sheer inventive experimentation of metal.

AtomicCrimsonRush | 4/5 |

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