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


Between The Buried And Me

Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

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2 stars To be fair, I will admit that they showed promise with this album. There were hints of slight experimentation and attempting to break the mold of the Metalcore genre. However, there is little, if any "Prog" in this album, or anything progressive about it. There are few accoustic passages, and some softer intro's, but that's really all there is. A sort of heavy wall of sound feel pervades the album, irrevocably complex and loud, it offers some metal interests, but nothing much in the Progressive department.

Probably a fairly good Metalcore album, but not being a particular fan of the genre, not really for me.

Report this review (#141008)
Posted Saturday, September 29, 2007 | Review Permalink
2 stars While the musicians are clearly competant here, the writing hasn't nearly reached its potential. Between the Buried and Me will eventually become one of the most incredible bands of this generation, but they still have significant growth to make at this particular point. The songs are heavy and relatively technical, with occasional soft sections, but it's lacking in experimentation and variety. The band will mature quite rapidly after this album, and so everything after this one is worth checking out. The only reason to check this one out is to be stunned at how far the group has come. This stands as a solid metalcore album, and not much more.
Report this review (#150724)
Posted Wednesday, November 14, 2007 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars "Between the Buried and Me" is the self-titled debut full-length studio album by US metalcore metal act Between the Buried and Me. The album was released through Lifeforce Records/Victory Records in April 2002.

The music on the album is a mix of melodic metalcore, inspired as most metalcore acts are, by the melodic Swedish Gothenburg death metal sound and American hardcore, which means that there are lots of hardcore elements in the sound as well as melodic metal parts. Lots of heavy breakdowns and extreme vocals in all styles. Take a pick. Deep growling, higher pitched screaming raw vocals, and shouting hardcore vocals, strange piggy squeals, and a few sections with clean vocals (I even heard a Rob Halford-like vocal part around the three minute mark in "Aspirations").

The album is often critizised for not being compositionally developed enough but Im sure that critique is best understood if you compare the album to later releases by the band. Even though the album features very few outstanding tracks, the compositional quality is decent if you take the tracks one by one. I dont hear anything below standard on this album. I actually hear more than one riff on the album that kicks quite a bit of ass. In addition to the more powerful and heavy sections on the album there are also some very melodic leads and several acoustic parts featured in the music too. Its in the overall memorability department that the album isnt as successful as it could have been. The tracks simply arent catchy enough and too many of them are hard to remember when the album is over.

The playing is technically challenging and the musicianship are on a high level. Tight interplay between all involved and strong individual performances all around. The sound production is generally powerful and suits the music well, but it lacks a bit during the acoustic parts and the drums also features a bit of a strange sound. Upon conclusion "Between the Buried and Me" is a relatively interesting and adventurous debut album by Between the Buried and Me. Its not brilliant by any means but a 3 star (60%) rating is still warranted.

Report this review (#201959)
Posted Saturday, February 7, 2009 | Review Permalink
Petrovsk Mizinski
3 stars Hailing from North Carolina and after releasing their demo in 2001(entitled "Demo 2001"), Between the Buried and Me were able to release a debut full length studio album in 2002 entitled Between the Buried and Me.

I think this happens to be a fairly diverse and fairly creative album. It's quite clear the band had a very obvious metalcore aesthetic, but musically this isn't just plain jane metalcore. While some metalcore bands are more towards the more hardcore punk driven side of metalcore, Between the Buried and Me show more of a melodic metalcore sound that seems to draw influence and has somewhat of a style you can hear in many of the Swedish Gothenburg bands, like At the Gates, In Flames and Dark Tranquility. But as I said above, this isn't a pure metalcore album, so there is some groove metal sounds, grindcore, death metal, technical death metal, some quieter moments that are perhaps somewhat indie inspired. So in addition to the melodic guitar lines of Swedish melodic death metal, there are some more chromatic and dissonant sounding death metal riffs too, as well, as well as the odd pentatonicism to add a southern metal vibe (think, Pantera groove metal style) to the proceedings. Compositionally, I think this album is pretty solid and definitely very clearly progressive metal, if perhaps not quite as progressive say "Images and Words" or Opeth's "Still Life". What I didn't like so much is that it sounds somewhat confused at times, like the band wasn't completely sure what they were aiming for. Some bands can pull of the switching vocal styles well without sounding too odd or albums by bands did that well, but here, as I said, it just comes across as confused at times. They'll be a metalcore vocal style happening courtesy of Tommy Rogers (admittedly not the best metalcore vocal tone either) then straight into a death growled vocal style (again, not the best vocal tone/not the best growls out there) but it seemed to lack clear focus and direction.

However, that aside, there are plenty of very cool riffs to be heard, great drumming and bass playing and a high level of technical skill on display too but fortunately doesn't come across as overly technical. For example, in Shevanel Cut a Flip, there is a riff that really screams Pantera influence, but yet despite that it just grabs you and just sounds very very cool.

Again, back to the composition which I didn't cover a lot of ground on earlier, this album is very solid in this regard. At times it's not totally focused but it's generally quite good and fairly coherent sounding. It's clear these guys have been listening to some progressive metal in addition to the straight death, groove, thrash and grindcore stuff, because some of it really does flow quite nicely and keeps you interested enough to want to listen from start to finish.

I'd say Shevanel Cut a Flip manages to be both the highlight and the downpoint of the album. First 2/3rds of the track are great. I love how it's quite heavy and quite progressive and goes into this lovely clean guitar part with clean vocals and nice chord voicings and melodies played on guitar (Paul Waggoner on lead guitar, not only here but throughout the whole album, Nick Fletcher on rhythm), After about 7 minutes it does seem to lose it a bit. Seemed kind of like an attempt at a minimalistic ending, but honestly I just think it wasn't necessary to really extend the track much over 7 minutes, because unlike really good minimalistic stuff that has elements added over time to add interest, it's just really the same thing played over and over again with the melody guitar section eventually dropping out, which doesn't add much more interest anyway I think.

Production wise, sonically anyway, it's nothing to write home about, but it's nothing bad either.

So all in all, Between the Buried and Me is a very solid and more than competent album with great music, although neither is this insanely amazing either and has some occasional weak spots and some slightly dull moments from time to time.

Report this review (#241552)
Posted Saturday, September 26, 2009 | Review Permalink
3 stars Well, as the saying goes, you have to start somewhere. And while Between the Buried and Me are one of the leaders in this day and age in progressive metal, this album is not a good showcasing of that. It does however have its moments from time to time.

There are two things I must point out about Between the Buried and Me. As much as I enjoy them, they are not a band for everyone. They are relentlessly brutal most of the time, the music is ridiculously heavy during these moments, and they drew much of their early influence from metalcore (they still do, but it isn't as apparent in their music anymore) which is quite apparent on this release. The second is that they are a band who I honestly don't think can truly disappoint me with whatever kind of music they decide to make. And while their self-titled debut is my least favorite effort by the band so far, I've heard much worse than this. This album is quite good for the right mood, which is a mood where I just want to hardcore dance and/or break stuff by jumping around and running into it. This album for the most part either takes lots of influences from other bands (Pantera is one that comes to mind) or is relentlessly heavy. While BtBaM would later learn to add variation through more clean parts as well as mixing around the heaviness in different ways, this is for the most part fairly technical metalcore with a few progressive tendencies here and there. The best example of this is of course in the final 9:24 track "Shevanel Cut a Flip". The song is so heavy, but incredibly progressive and much more similar to what Between the Buried and Me would do on The Silent Circus and Alaska, two albums in which they would greatly refine their sound. The ending part does drag on a bit for me, but otherwise it's a very good song. The rest are for the most part slightly above yout average metalcore song.

I could stretch it and say this is a 3.5 star album for me, but the production does suffer a bit here. Like most of the music, it's not bad, but it's nothing to be proud of either. So I can't rate this any higher than 3 stars. Good if you want to check out how far Between the Buried and Me have come in the last decade, but not good for much else.

Report this review (#250415)
Posted Friday, November 13, 2009 | Review Permalink
3 stars This debut album from NC natives BTBAM show that they will soon be a force to be reckoned with. While probably the weakest album they made it has great moments. Most particularly for me 'Fire for a Dry Mouth' (track 5) and Shevanel Cut a Flip' (track 8).

Listening to ffadm shows influence of meshuggah-like use of polymetrics in the intro. Fire like intensity of hardcore and heavy metal in the meaty section of the song. Displays of what to come with the band in the ending.

SCAF on the other hand pays tribute to ole' Dimebag in the beginning. While this riffage is entirely influenced by this man, it doesn't come off as a ripoff. The ending with it's pretty use of tonal harmony encourages and aggravates me. The two part harmony of the vocals is amazing to listen to especially considering where they come from. No band from NC at this time sounded like this. To drop from sludgy, country fried death metal to a saddened blissful almost peaceful outro.

Admittedly screamo songs almost always come off this way. The pitch of Tommy's vocals is within the realm of screamo which can be annoying to me at times. The two part vocal harmony although ending too quickly makes up for this.

The sound of this album is raw which for me is a plus. Sometimes over production kills an albums replay value for me. I've had this album for a while now and haven't even listened to it in a year or so. A lot of it is forgotten to me now as is always the case until I put the CD in and listen.

While not an essential album to own for a tech enthusiast it is a good start for what is to come with the band. Most songs have a high point but nothing overly memorable. Exceptions being track 5 and 8 for me. The band does nothing but get better after this.

They have almost infinite influences that can be heard in their discography. Most notable for me in this album was hardcore, nu metal, tech metal, screamo, southern death metal, and black metal. That's a lot for a first album. However, the transitions on this album can be rough. Structuring is a major problem on this album at times. Perhaps this is why I listen to it the least of the rest of their albums.

Three stars even in my opinion. Good raw retrospective look on a great band.

Report this review (#252407)
Posted Monday, November 23, 2009 | Review Permalink
siLLy puPPy
PSIKE, JR/F/Canterbury & Eclectic Teams
4 stars BETWEEN THE BURIED ME formed in the year 2000 from the ashes of the metalcore band Prayer For Cleansing which focused on combining punk and melodic death metal. Three of the members: lead guitarist Paul Waggoner, drummer Will Goodyear and vocalist / keyboardist Tommy Rogers decided to carry on that band's hardcore sound and introduce progressive elements to the mix. In case you're wondering where they got their new strange name, it actually comes from the lyrics of the Counting Crows track "Ghost Train," a folk band from whom they would borrow some influence in the slower subdued parts between their hardcore bombast. After real easing a 3-track demo in 2001 (which were all re-recorded and released here), BETWEEN THE BURIED AND ME was showing promise early and scored the interest of Lifeforce Records and released their debut eponymous album in 2002.

This band meant business from the very start and delivers a more than competent album of progressive extreme metal that emphasizes metalcore as it root base but adds healthy doses of deathcore, folky subdued interludes all decorated with layers of progressive metal in the mix. The technical wizardry comes not only in the form of numerous innovative time signature plays between the musicians but also in the long drawn out sometimes overlong song structures. True to extreme metal Rogers' vocals range from death metal growls to punk shouting and extreme core vocal abuses. While the moshpit inducing music mainly remains on full flame, the band has the uncanny ability to suddenly transport the listener into serene space rock with a thick atmospheric fog, arpeggiated hypnotic effects and soothing soft clean vocals with a tinge of contemporary folk.

The result of this hybridism yields an impressive debut that displays some sophisticated technical wizardry and a nice parade of ideas that come and go creating a bona fide progressive metal experience that doesn't sound even a tiny bit like Dream Theater! While the core aspects dominate with the mosh inducing breakdowns and gut wrenching guitar distortion played as loud and ugly as humanly possible, the progressive metal aspects develop the music by constantly changing gears by letting riffs unfold naturally and then moving on to another musical development. Between the ever changing riffs that offer various amounts of melodic and dissonant ingredients trading off or blending at any given moment, the music has an overall catchy yet complex feel to it. These guys knew how to play right away but they were also very political in nature with better lyrical content than their contemporaries.

While this debut is exquisitely performed, it is rightfully overshadowed by the releases that follow because the sheer amount of innovative features and genre blending that occurs later hasn't quite reached its fruition. While every track on album number one is quite impressive in its own right, i find the tracks begin to repeat the same formula a bit too much and by the end of the album it feels a little samey although there is more than enough variation in the tracks themselves to keep them interesting. Personally i find this to be a decent slice of progressive metalcore which hardly will ever dethrone its successors as their cream of the crop but while the future releases are much like a bento box of musical genre tidbits blended with their version of progressive metalcore, this one is more like a tasty single entre if that is what's on the menu tonight. BETWEEN THE BURIED AND ME were one of the true innovators of making one of metal's most extreme and uncompromising sub genres grow up a little without losing any of that teenage angst and their debut displays all their potential and then some. 3.5 but rounded up because this is really progressive

Report this review (#1587082)
Posted Tuesday, July 12, 2016 | Review Permalink

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