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Between The Buried And Me - The Parallax: Hypersleep Dialogues CD (album) cover

THE PARALLAX: HYPERSLEEP DIALOGUES

Between The Buried And Me

 

Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

3.78 | 63 ratings

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VanVanVan
Prog Reviewer
3 stars I am one of those people who firmly believe that Between the Buried and Me's album Colors is one of the finest metal albums ever made. With that in mind, I've followed the band fairly closely ever since I heard that album. Their follow-up album The Great Misdirect was also very good, but to me it seemed to be lacking a bit of the magic that Colors had.

Thus, I was very excited to hear this release to see if they'd be able to recapture the spark. Unfortunately, I don't think that's the case here. Colors was brilliant because, despite the incredible heaviness and technicality, it never felt cramped and all the compositions felt unique and memorable. While BtBaM has certainly not lost any of their ability here, the compositions feel far more generic and at times even needlessly busy. Of course, that's not to say the album is bad by any means. There's quite a bit to enjoy here, but I have to confess that I don't think The Parallax: Hypersleep Dialogues measures up to its predecessors.

"Specular Reflection" begins with an ominous orchestral section that makes use of piano, horns, strings, and even some gothic-style chanting. At about the one minute mark, however, BtBaM drops the introduction and comes out swinging, with their typical blend of brutal growls, technical riffing and staunch refusal to stick to one time signature fully on display. Shortly before the four minute mark the group pulls out another of their signature moves, introducing clean vocals for a surprisingly melodic section. At around five minutes they switch things up again, introducing a motif that makes use of tribal sounding percussion and long, droning notes to replace the earlier frenetic riffs. This theme is developed for a while, with the heaviness returning and eventually morphing back into the heavily riff-based structure. The track closes with another clean vocal section that slowly fades out in a wash of sound effects and electronic noise.

"Augment of Rebirth" begins with a frenetic shredding section that's highly reminiscent of the opening of Colors' "Ants of the Sky." Once the vocals come in, however, the heavy, technical riffs return and the song begins to sound very (almost disappointingly) similar to "Specular Reflection." In fact, there's not a great deal of variation in the track as a whole until a bizzaro polka section begins around 6 and a half minutes in. It's just the kind of weird, quirky section that has made previous BtBaM work sound so varied and eclectic, but here it feels a bit forced and it's used only very briefly before the track returns to the brutally heavy riffing with which it began. It closes out with another excellent clean vocal section that comes off dreamy and crushingly heavy simultaneously. In fact, the last minute of the song in general is amazing, with heaviness and melody being blended with a sophistication that has been found lacking in much of the rest of the track.

"Lunar Wilderness" begins with a psychedelic section led in turns by acoustic and electric guitar. It's a brilliant opening that transitions perfectly into a growled vocal section. From there the track goes into another series of uptempo riffing sections, but in my opinion they're more smoothly carried out than in either of the previous tracks. Again, the track concludes with a dreamily psychedelic clean-sung section, and overall "Lunar Wilderness" ends up being, in my opinion, the strongest of the three tracks here.

So, all in all, while The Parallax: Hypersleep Dialogues is far from a poor release, I found myself a bit disappointed while listening to it. All of the elements that made Colors and, to a lesser extent, The Great Misdirect so good are there, but to me it seems like some of the soul's been sucked out. The compositions here seems a bit too busy, as if the band took every decent idea they'd ever had and tried to cram it into a mere 30 minutes. When it works, it works spectacularly, but more often than not, it just sounds kind of cluttered. If you're specifically looking for as much heaviness and technicality as possible, this might do more for you than it did for me, but overall I think one would be much better served with either of the band's previous two releases.

3/5

VanVanVan | 3/5 |

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