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

COLORS

Between The Buried And Me

Tech/Extreme Prog Metal


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5 stars BETWEEN THE BURIED AND ME is one of the young bands who are a promise for the future of progressive music. At least for me. However, if you can't stand the growling, extreme grind-core tempo or metal at all, it's not for you. For what I love these guys is their ability to play everything from jazz to metal, across the genres and of course their instrumentall skills. On this new album they did another step forward and they are even more diverse than on "Alaska". Each song here is just perfect but I have to point out the last song "White Walls" which is in my opinion their best song so far. A great band and great album! 5 stars.

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Send comments to KeyserSoze (BETA) | Report this review (#134652)
Posted Thursday, August 23, 2007 | Review Permalink
1 stars This is a mix of technical death metal, soft rock, and random bits of other genres like blues and country.

Sound like a mess?

It is.

The death metal parts are not melodic. The riffs are atonal, chugging, jagged, and unmemorable. They are played well, but most of it is not very musical. The bass tone is too high for my taste and the drumming, though fast and "metal", is unremarkable and sorely lacking a sense of groove.

The songs usually get all soft and moody with the occasional backing keys. While these parts are melodic, they are usually really lame.

On the whole, the songs are long, filled with notes, and not catchy (except for the moody soft rock parts). The technicality is forced. The music is only progressive because it changes a lot. Only the last song was somewhat decent, but it was too forced.

Once these guys stop trying to impress everybody by making "complex" music and focus on melody and groove, they will take metal by storm.

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Send comments to un4td (BETA) | Report this review (#135861)
Posted Sunday, September 02, 2007 | Review Permalink
5 stars For a number of years now, I've been looking for a band with this kind of talent AND such an incredible songwriting ability. Sure, I appreciate technical music, but I can't listen to music that's only technical. This isn't a compromise between song and musicianship, it's the perfect fusion of the two.

From beginning to end, this album just grabs me. The metal parts are heavy, brutal, and fast, the clean parts are beautiful and exceptionally well-written, and the random other parts...ranging from Gentle Giant-esque madness to amazing climaxes that sit confidently alongside Genesis and other greats...just complete the painting. Of particular note to any bassists out there is Dan Briggs brilliant solo during the track Viridian (although his playing on the rest of the album is nothing short of ground-breaking). I can't pick a favorite track, not for the usual reasons, but because this whole album sounds like one long work to me. This album more than any other I've ever listened to just sounds right. There's nothing missing, and nothing sounds out of place. I never feel like I want to skip a track or lose interest. This album, to me, has expanded my scope of what can be achieved by a band/musician and is in my opinion the definition of essential.

I disagree with the above review giving Colors 4 out of 5 because some people might not like it. Since when was prog about anyone liking it? If somebody doesn't get it, that's their fault and it is not a poor reflection on the album. Also, the guest vocalist for Prequel To The Sequel is NOT the guy from 30 Seconds To Mars, it's the singer from Fear Before The March Of Flames (not 100% sure, but it's definitely not Leto, read it on their myspace somewhere). Slightly against the guidelines, but I think it's a valid point.

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Send comments to Rael72 (BETA) | Report this review (#137818)
Posted Wednesday, September 12, 2007 | Review Permalink
5 stars WOW, its been a long time since I been looking for a band like this, very technical very emotional, they are sick!!! I likee them very much because is like a mixture of Dream Theater, Opeth, Into Eternity, Meshuggah, even Volta...Riversie... I Loved it!!!! its kind of hard to dig!! but with a few spinss it turnss to one of the best releases in 2007! by hearing the name I tought it was like another Nu metal MTV band... but NOO!! it turns to be a very good future of Progressive Metal!!+GO BTBAM

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Send comments to patomtz (BETA) | Report this review (#140413)
Posted Tuesday, September 25, 2007 | Review Permalink
5 stars This is a simply stunning release, and quite possibly the years best release. I had liked their previous music but I really was not ready for what I heard here on Colors. This is a giant leap for BTBAM and boy has it paid off. Its brutal yet beautiful and melodic, with amazing technical musicianship throughout. This isn't an easily digested album, one that has to have a few spins before fully appreciating. And let me tell you its well worth it, this is a very unique spin on Progressive Metal. Favourite songs are 'Ants Of The Sky', 'Prequel To The Sequel' and 'White Walls'.

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Send comments to Hrvat (BETA) | Report this review (#140418)
Posted Tuesday, September 25, 2007 | Review Permalink
5 stars Amazing.

When I picked up this album, I honestly didn't know what to expect. Alaska was an intense and wonderful suprise, but I didn't know how they could improve over the formula so prevelant on Alaska and Silent Circus. But, needless to say, when I finally sat down to digest this monster of an album, I was wonderfully suprised. I though Alaska was incredible, but this outdid it on many levels. Now, longer compositions do not a prog band make, but the fact that there were 3 10 Minute + songs on this album had me excited from the beginning. Not to mention a more prominent inclusion of different styles and genres into the mix, making for something as oddly described as "Brutal and beautiful and Melodically Intense."

From the soft and beautiful piano opener of Foamborn: The Back Track, Between the Buried and Me take you on a musical thrill ride, full of build ups, climaxes, twists and turns. Gone are the entirely hard hitting songs, and are replaced with more diverse, and interesting tracks. More prevelant are the Keys, the accoustic and jazzy passages, the clean vocals and electronic passages. Even a smidgen of humorous and suprisingly fitting Bluegrass is added to the pallette of sounds. The longer songs allow for more experimentation to be used in the song structure, and make for more epic sounding compositions. The musica maturity on this album is amazing, even managing to sound like Dream Theater and Opeth in certain spots. Even moreso than on Alaska, the clean vocals play a prominent role in the music, a drastic change from their first release, and give it a more accessible feeling than their previous releases.

The feel of this album jumps around a large amount, and even manages to sound happy and angry at the same time. The growling vocals over the Jazzy Metal guitars makes for an interesting feel and sound, and the longer instrumental passages between make for a something that feels more like "Traditional Prog Metal". However, this is not your typical prog metal band. The contrast between aggressiveness and tenderness are as blatant as ever, yet are part of BtBaM's distinct feel and style, and though blatant, the transitions are smoother and interlace the contrasting styles much more effectively than before. They are drifting farther and farther away from their traditional Metalcore roots, and are opening up to much more diverse influences, and creating a unique sound that manages to be both Brutal and Melodic, something BtBaM do very well interestingly.

An incredible release, by both Metal and Progressive standards. Hard hitting and yet beautiful, this album offers so much more than metal, and is an excellent CD for the adventurous metal listener, a sonic scape of frighteningly unique proportions. Obviously not for the casual metal listener, or probably not for a fan of softer prog, but nonetheless a masterpiece of the genre.

5 Stars

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Send comments to Drakk (BETA) | Report this review (#141035)
Posted Saturday, September 29, 2007 | Review Permalink
5 stars Colors is their fifth album, and the most diverse and mature of the band's career. It is complex and textured with both bludgeoning metal and intricate, subdued soundscapes. Several songs are really long, clocking in at over 10 minutes. But Between The Buried And Me does a great job changing things up with constant twists and turns that you don't even notice 10 minutes have gone by. They insert a lot of progressive elements into the songs, along with jazzy, acoustic, psychedelic and mainstream rock that adds a lot of depth and variety.

Tommy turns in his finest performance to date. His harsh vocals lend a cutting edge to the music, and his melodic vocals are surprisingly good. He sings with a higher pitched laid back style reminiscent of '90s British alternative singers. From top to bottom, there is no doubt that Colors is Between The Buried And Me's finest album to date.

Colors is an essential progressive metal album that you should have!

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Send comments to rebelvolution (BETA) | Report this review (#145057)
Posted Tuesday, October 16, 2007 | Review Permalink
5 stars I have to admit to a serious amount of bias here and probably shouldn't even be reviewing this CD, but I can't resist. See, the bassist (Dan Briggs) is my son. He recently gave an interview to his hometown newspaper in which he cited some of his dad's "nutty, nutty music like King Crimson, Frank Zappa and Gentle Giant" as heavy influences of his. He joined the band in 2005 in time to record Alaska with the band, and it has to have been like a fairy tale come true for him ever since.

Dan told me about the events that led up to the band writing the first song for 'Colors', which was "Ants of the Sky'. He was so excited about it and told me about the bluegrass section, which sent me into a state of total disbelief. I never received an advance copy, so I heard it for the first time about when everybody else did.

I have to tell everyone here that I'm a little too old to relate to - let alone really enjoy - hardcore, but listening to BTBAM has made me more "accustomed" to it. When I listened to 'Colors' for the very first time, I told myself NOT to fast-forward anything just because it was too hardcore. As a result, I gained a greater appreciation for what the band accomplished with the overall product. My son will probably never see this review, so I'm able to be alot more objective about what I write.

I have to add that once I listened to the entire CD I picked up my phone, called Dan, and congratulated him on the spectacular results of 'Colors'. I was - and am - truly awe-inspired and overwhelmed. I myself am a musician (keyboardist), but my band playing days were brief and not very noteworthy. Needless to say, I'm very proud of my son and what he has accomplished with BTBAM. I do the parental thing and encourage him all I can, and I hold judgment if I don't particularly like the kind of music he is making. However, I need not do that with this effort. I honestly, and with all objectivity, truly love this CD.

6 stars.

Bob Briggs

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Send comments to beebs (BETA) | Report this review (#146160)
Posted Sunday, October 21, 2007 | Review Permalink
Moatilliatta
PROG REVIEWER
5 stars And I thought Alaska was brilliant...

Wow! This is one of the greatest albums I have ever heard. Everything that we heard Between the Buried and Me do in seperate songs on Alaska has now been fused into single songs with Colors. It's also been expanded upon. The variety, technicality, and overall power is even greater and more emphasized. More awe-inspiring guitar & bass lines, drum work, and vocals. Tommy doesn't have a showy spot on this album like he did on "Backwards Marathon," but the writen vocals themselves are more varied and demanding than they've ever been. Plus, his keys are utilized much more on this record. You will headbang, say "wow" or various synonyms, laugh, cry, and gape, completely speechless. This album is an accomplishment to be very proud of. This is in the league of the greatest works of all time. Buy it immediately.

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Send comments to Moatilliatta (BETA) | Report this review (#148217)
Posted Tuesday, October 30, 2007 | Review Permalink
4 stars Almost a masterpiece. I rate it as 4 1/2 stars. BTBAM is realy transferring a lot of energy when you listen to their music. They combine the heavy stuff with very eclectic parts. Symphonic, RIO even Country Western (polka ?), they can play it all. But keep in mind they are METAL !! And if you don't like metal .... well than you should try this ! If they ever make a tranfer to less METAL they will get a much larger audience, but they might loose some credits with die hard METAL fans. For me they are the most promissing USA band I know of. Don't care which direction they move to, with such talented musicians they will make it anyhow.

They have managed to produce one of the best Prog Metal albums that I know of. If they come to Europe I will be booking their concert. SUPERB.

Kees

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Send comments to Aleph0 (BETA) | Report this review (#149514)
Posted Thursday, November 08, 2007 | Review Permalink
5 stars Formerly metalcore with a touch of a prog, Between the Buried and Me have released their magnum opus, Colors, an album which makes it doubtless that they are now a prog band with a touch of metalcore.

Over eight tracks, sixty-four minutes, and a trillion time and style changes, they paint an abstract concept album for the listener about the world, told in furious vignettes. From opening piano ballad "Foam Born: The Backtrack" to seizure-inducing fourteen minute closer "White Walls", the record passes through every imaginable movement and genre and does so without ever seeming forced a la THE HUMAN ABSTRACT or, God forbid I say it, OPETH. The playing is incredibly technical, without going off the deep end into self- indulgence. Hell, there's only a couple true guitar solos in the whole affair.

The harsh vocals still run that RED CHORD-BLACK DAHLIA MURDER spectrum of screamy death growls, but Tommy Rogers' clean vocals are reminiscent of pretty-throated singers like Jon Anderson and James LaBrie, but unlike those two, with a healthy dosage of balls.

This album has done for some old curmudgeony progsters what OPETH did for them around the time Still Life came out. It has showed them that not all "extreme metal" is just violence-condoning, Satan-hailing guttural nonsense (although I do enjoy a good bit of this as well). Probably the first truly "crossover" metalcore band to reach a non-scenester audience, BTBAM have made use of their skills and made a prog album that will stand the test of time.

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Send comments to DethMaiden (BETA) | Report this review (#150983)
Posted Thursday, November 15, 2007 | Review Permalink
5 stars I don't know quite where to begin but firstly, I have to say between the buried and me has completely changed my view on the death growl. I love the dulcet tones of Greg Lake and John Wetton and have always had a difficult time withstanding any sort of screaming in music, it's just not what I enjoy hearing in music. When I heard Ants of the Sky everything stopped. It might be one of the greatest pieces of music I have ever heard. I know that may be going over the edge but I mean "Close to the edge", "Tarkus", "All of the Above"(transatlantic) are still above this song, but the song is just perfect, it has absolutely everything that makes prog, well, prog. An absolutely brilliant album and the hype is well deserved. Maybe a little less screaming. :-P

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Send comments to ringofhonor (BETA) | Report this review (#153144)
Posted Thursday, November 29, 2007 | Review Permalink
4 stars I've been a big fan for the last few years, so I've waited a while to review this one. It's a very impressive, progressive album. But as far as extreme metal goes, something seems missing. The album abounds with a variety of techniques and styles. A lot of the melodies and themes are more memorable and mature than Alaska or the Silent Circus. As to be expected, musical complexity abounds as well.

Somehow, I still reach for Alaska or the Silent Circus when I need my BtBAM fix. So what do I think is missing? It's hard to pick out, but I think I miss the brutality. Sure, I feel like I got my a$$ handed to me due to their musicianship, but, unlike their previous 2, I don't feel like cowering in a corner and crying for momma due to the extreme nature of the music. Sure there are extreme moments in Colors, but maybe they're too few and far between for my tastes. Maybe the everything INCLUDING the kitchen sink approach with regard to the various musical styles used on this album is also a little too much for me to take.

I think my opinion has everything to do with my previous impression of the band. And that's sad, because I also hate it when bands are put into a strict category and harshly critiqued when they venture out too far. Branching out is not uncommon for this band to do--maybe I just expected more sections of extreme music, for a longer period of time. Most progressive rock fans who don't get into metal will like this album the most. If you like extreme metal, however, you may prefer Alaska or the Silent Circus. My hopes are that they take the new ground they broke with this album and re-incorporate some more brutality. They are one of the most impressive metal bands around (probably my favorite), and definitely a force to be reckoned with regarding progressive music in general. This album isn't bad at all (and did I mention it's SUPER-IMPRESSIVE), but I don't care for it as much as their previous 2. This is still an excellent addition to any prog music collection, especially if you want to know what high-quality, emerging progressive music is nowadays. I gave their previous two 4 stars each. I would guess this would be around a 3.75.

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Send comments to jmcdaniel_ee (BETA) | Report this review (#162334)
Posted Thursday, February 21, 2008 | Review Permalink
5 stars Being a long time fan of progarchives.com, I decided to finally join the team effort and thought it only fitting to review the album that I have been spinning in heavy rotation for the past two weeks. I had not heard of Between the Buried and Me until their inclusion by Mike Portnoy on the Progressive Nation 2008 tour. So I decided to grab the cd from a local store and give them a try. Almost immediately, I was hooked by their sound and I was able to sit through the entire album in one listen. These guys can really play, and with Colors, they have crafted an excellent modern sounding progressive metal album. The album runs smoothly and each track flows into the next. The musicianship is top notch and production is crisp. It is one of my favorite progressive releases of last year.

Generally, I am wary of metal albums (especially of the extreme variety) that run over 40 minutes, but, this album is diverse enough that it doesn't suffer from its 60+ minute length. The band has a rather eclectic sound and they jump around from blast beats to beautiful melodic sections to even a bluegrass section. It blends very well and makes for quite an adventurous and bold musical statement. I highly recommend this album for fans of progressive metal, especially if you are open minded about extreme metal. This album gets a 5 star from me for being an excellent modern progressive metal album.

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Send comments to progdoctor (BETA) | Report this review (#164109)
Posted Sunday, March 16, 2008 | Review Permalink
Dim
PROG REVIEWER
2 stars More disappointment than I know what to do with. Colors was practically the album of 2007, and many people were recommending this group to me in and outside the Prog Archives, so my best friend burnt it for me telling me that this was one of the most progressive bands he's heard, and that I will love it. Go home crank it up, like the first thirty seconds or so, then go to the restroom to puke up my disappointment.

Pure Metalcore, nothing besides longer song lengths, and funky times really makes this album progressive. Well, I guess that's all they really need nowadays, but seriously the same grunty voice over and over again yelling some crappy stuff that I could have grunted better, throw in some crazy guitar lead lines, and some otherwise cool clean vocals, and you have between the buried and Me's colors. Even the guitar solo's disappointed me, I would have liked some shred to keep me interested and distract me a little from the stupid lead singer, but no it's some random thirty second BLUES solo, BLUES! You're regarded as one of the greatest metal bands in prog and you play a lame blues solo? Gimme a break.

Well, I decided to pump this album up many months later to work out to, not a very good idea considering the times change up constantly, but I will admit, the album grew on me a bit, especially the clean vocal parts, resurrecting the the album from a one star to a two star. Still I probably wont be getting any of their other albums very soon, and still want to punch the singer in the face.

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Send comments to Dim (BETA) | Report this review (#168801)
Posted Sunday, April 27, 2008 | Review Permalink
russellk
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars A total riot.

BETWEEN THE BURIED AND ME throw everything they have into their music. No restraint, no rules, just fiery young imaginations and the courage to try this with that, and to add a sprinkling of the other. The result is an adjectiviser's dream: just about any word will describe some part of this startling and energetic album.

First, the musicians clearly have superior ability with their instruments, and the vocalist handles singing, shouting and growling with equal ease. Second, and more importantly in my opinion, they write music worth listening to, their compositions characterised by sudden radical shifts in meter, tempo, volume and even style: one minute they're churning out grindcore, the next they accompany a bar room brawl with wild west music. Plenty of bands attempt this, but few have the ability to encompass all this within compositions that retain their shape and overall personality. This album is sixty-four minutes with barely a misstep.

Much of it is, however, a little too fast for this old man, who struggles these days to stand upright in this sort of hurricane. My feelings tend toward admiration more than love, but I can certainly appreciate the passion and skill the band brings to bear on this material. I can forgive a great deal if a band earnestly attacks their task, and while tracks like 'The Decade of Statues' don't do a great deal for me, the very next track ('Informal Gluttony') is absolutely staggering with its monster percussion, Eastern opening and searing middle section. The band demonstrates inventiveness and courage in spades. The heart of the album is two long tracks that run together into an almost impenetrable wall of noise, culminating in the wild riffage of 'Ants of the Sky'.

In terms of feel, the pure energy and freedom here is the nearest thing in progressive metal to what THE MARS VOLTA conjure up in psych/post-punk prog. There's no doubt that this album and this band will appeal to fans of the genre, and to most metal fans of any description.

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Send comments to russellk (BETA) | Report this review (#170439)
Posted Saturday, May 10, 2008 | Review Permalink
3 stars Between the Buried and Me - Colors

First off, let's have a brief history: they released their self-titled, which--though chock-full of would-be progressive elements, it is also full of it's emocore influences and, of course, the metalcore still is in heavy rotation on this album. Still, there was much to enjoy whether it was bone-crushing metal licks or emotive clean breaks--they were present, but had yet to develop.

Then came The Silent Circus, their sophomore album--which explored more of what they began to uncover with their debut. Cleaner, more progressive, and, for the most part, better written--this album featured some instant classics (such as the "Lost Perfection Couplet" and "Mordecai") but was primarily an album of development--and with their ever-changing line-up still plaguing them, that can hardly be blamed.

Alaska was their first album with a steady line-up, and is, by contrast, much more focused and, in all honesty, much better than its predecessors. Every song on this album has it's moments and the album itself works well and holds attention in a good fashion (despite the fact that it does have some flaws, but what albums don't?)--there's enough metal to keep the die-hards interested; there's enough of the other stuff keep the proggers happy...but still there was something missing.

And then (now)...Colors. The development from Alaska to Colors is not exactly major--I saw it coming, as did many, but still: it pays off tremendously. Between the Buried and Me are no longer primarily a metalcore band with progressive elements, but a progressive metal band with metalcore elements, which I, at least, see as a compliment to the band.

Now the music:

The album opens up strongly and peculiarly--especially considering all of their other album openers, which just blasted you instantly. This one is more subtle, and comes in with a slow, and truthfully rather silly piano riff--but it works.. Then some power chords and an arpeggio-heavy keyboard solo (it may be an effected guitar as well I can't be entirely sure) carry us into the first sight of metal. Part 2 of this track is pure BTBAM metaliciousness--just better. The clean spot at 1:30 or so is very Opeth-ian in nature, showing off some more proggers-influence. It just all clicks. The metal is brutal, desperate, even ridiculous at times--it is the murder...and the clean parts are the resurrection. They love to kill, so every time they do, they bring their fallen foe back to life and find an even more creative way to kill him again...or at least that's how this album feels.although I'll have to apologize for that silly extended metaphor.

"Informal Gluttony", the third track begins with some tribal drums and percussion and then some eastern riffs on guitar...it all leads into an awesome and instantly memorable chorus...the song just works well. It fades into "Sun of Nothing"--which blisters immediately in your face with a assaulting drum solo and continues at such pace for a good while...and then, after a bit of foreplay, comes the first instance of huh? one may experience, as it may seem at this moment that BTBAM have just said F*** it! to the naysayers and have gone all-out prog...and we hear a neat little Sleepytime Gorilla Museum reminiscent bit...and while you're recovering from this mild shock, the guitars serenade you with scales and arpeggios of all sorts .

"Ants of the Sky" would be ridiculous to describe--firstly because it's the pinnacle of the band's career (in my opinion at least), and secondly because of its length and its many changes. You'll hear Opeth-ian riffs, the delightful clean vocals of Tommy Rogers--hell, they even brought a bluegrass bit into the fray...and if it sounds disjointed on paper, I promise it's not in practice; it just needs to be heard.

"Prequel to the Sequel" is an interesting track--though not quite as interesting as the last two...it is the heaviest in the competition thus far, but features two distinctive parts besides: a polka section (of sorts...hehe...) that leads into...a guest vocal spot, which is very effective and climatic. It's a nice change, though hardly needed, as I think Tommy Rogers is fairly versatile--at least in his studio work.

"Viridian" is an instrumental interlude, serving to lead in the album closer.

"White Walls" is just is the longest track on the album, and manages to take everything that was great about it in the first place and make it even better. This track blisters, burns, recuperates, rinses, repeats, twists, turns, yields (briefly), yells, screams, whispers, smiles, laughs, scorns, and well...it does just about everything people can do.... The closing guitar solos, while formulaic for the band, are very nice, and the album closes with the piano motif that began the album and there it is...we have, mostly, a winner.

So, in conclusion...if you are one of those doubters...one of the ones wondering why such band associated with petty (and bad) metalcore was ever added to the archives...you'll be hard pressed to wonder any longer after you give Colors a listen--and if you choose not to, I suppose it's your loss. The album, while certainly not perfect (the flaws present on Alaska and really any of the band's works are still present, just not as evident). This one's more balanced, more progressive, and, overall, just better, than anything else the band has done thus far.

Some weaknesses: the writing isn't always solid, and the transitions and not handled as well as bands such as Opeth handle them (also BTBAM still seems to rely very heavily upon shredding and scales, which kind of tones down the initial feeling of awesome guitar! this albums seems to try and boast). The production, once again, is also rather rough.

So, I settled for a 7, though maybe a tad less (6.6, something like that), as I've found the album doesn't age all that well--the metal sections quickly become tedious to listen to in the light of the more interesting and inventive sections spread in-between (hell, they've done metal for three albums now, and it's never sounded exactly.different, and this is certainly a flaw the band needs to iron out as a whole). So, I'll settle for a solid 3 stars. The band certainly is developing though, and Colors is a good album to boast and begin their true development in the progressive domain with.

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Send comments to Figglesnout (BETA) | Report this review (#170909)
Posted Tuesday, May 13, 2008 | Review Permalink
Zitro
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars 2.7 stars

a blend of Hardcore and progressive elements. Very wild, technically brilliant and full of screaming/growling.

After a short piano intro, you get brutal and tightly written metal music that goes all over the place with complex guitar riffs, complex time signatures with no hints of what might come next. It is so unpredictable that you hear metal and then you get a bluegrass section: the non-metal sections are very varied in ways you cannot expect. It is so unpredictable that you feel you got a hint that the growling will stop and the music will turn soft, but it goes straight to the metal instead.

Instrumentally, this band is highly talented. The drums and bass follow ridiculously complex rhythms and the guitars are all over the place and feature tons of excellent chaotic riffs. The vocalist is a bit of a mixed bag, or maybe I just don't like that type of growling. His clean vocals sometimes are good and sometimes are nothing special.

I cannot say much about individual tracks. Most of them follow a specific formula. If I have to say a song I do not like, it is Foam Born pt.B which sounds totally unpleasant. For the epics, I think the closer White Walls is the one I enjoy the most, with nice acoustic parts, memorable finale and not as many growls as other songs. I also like the melodic guitar interlude Viridian

Informal Gluttony is my favorite song in here due to the brilliance of the parts where there are not any fast-paced growling sections. The intro has a very powerful African-like drumming rhythm, wonderfully clear bass lines, and a highly memorable guitar line on an eastern scale. On the other hand, the choruses have a very floating and comforting feel with clean vocals. The choice to fade out the second chorus while fading in the percussion from the intro was a great idea.

4 stars for people who like this sort of metalcore, but I give it 3 because sometimes I cannot stand it.

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Send comments to Zitro (BETA) | Report this review (#173042)
Posted Wednesday, June 04, 2008 | Review Permalink
5 stars Between the Buried and Me's 2007 release Colors is the band's most diverse, and best work yet. Mike Portnoy (drummer of Progressive Metal band Dream Theater) named this his favorite album of 2007, and for very good reasons, I do as well. On first listen, I was a bit skeptical, and did not love it, but it grew on me like no album has before. The album flows amazingly, the technicality of the band is superb, you never feel bored for split second while listening, the album is always progressing, changing, and staying fresh. Not one riff is played too long, or gets to repetitive a bit.

This album starts off beautifaly with a piano intro and clean vocal section from frontman Tommy Rogers. About one minute into the song, the entire band comes in, and so begins this epic album. I'll Just Keep Waiting, You'll Just Keep Waiting starts off both parts A and B of Foam Born the opening track, seperated into two. Not extremely technical, but it doesn't have to be. A perfect beginning to the masterpiece that is Colors.

The next track Informal Gluttony for me is the weakest on the album, and it is still a great track. The beginning of the track is perfect evidence for the diversity of this album: what seems like an african tribal sort of influence as the vocals chant WHO HA, WHO HA repetidly. It doesn't stay that way though, going right back to the signature Between the Buried and Me metal sound. It's still not amazingly technical, but it has a great flow to it.

A drum intro begins the next track, Sun of Nothing. About 3 and half minutes into the song there is some sort of a break from the music, with what sounds like children in the background singing la, la, la repeditly over Tommy's keyboard, a bit silly, but at the same time: brilliant. I am floating, I am floating the vocals say about 6 minutes in, over a very nice clean guitar passage. Talking to various people and reading various reviews I found that even those who do not like the band, or album loved the clean guitar parts and vocal parts. The clean vocals continue until about a minute to go in the track, the rest is the signature sound of colors: Tommy's growl over the brutal, yet extremely technical music the band is producing.

This track flows right into the next, once again, beautifly, where Paul Waggoner shows off his playing capability a bit. About one minute into the track, the music is stopped by piano chords, to go right into a classical influence many wouldn't recognize considered it is played through a high gain guitar. Paul Waggoner plays a David Gilmour influenced blues solo about 3:50 into the track, once again showing the diversity this record contains. This is once again followed by the signature BTBAM riffage until about 9:45 into the track, where comes in the soothing sound of Paul Waggoner's clean guitar, under Tommy's clean vocals. This goes directly into another guitar solo, very soothing to the ears, and then all of a sudden the track takes a shocking turn into a country influence, which goes into Tommy's growl over a classic influence (once again disguised because of the electric guitar it is played on).

Not as smooth a transition as the first few, but still good nonetheless, this track goes into Prequel to the Sequel, one of my personal favorite parts of the record. This is really where the band shows off its playing capability and skill. After about 5 minutes of the band's most technical work thusfar, the track takes a rather weird turn, I cannot quite identify the genre of music you would describe it as, but it's still another piece of evidence for the album's diversity. This goes on for about one minute before going right back into the entire band.

The end makes the perfect transition into the next track, one of the shortest Viridian. The entire track is a beautiful bass solo over clean guitars, played by Dan Briggs.

As the bass stops, the music gets continuosly louder and a bit more intense, going directly into the final track on this album White Walls. This is probably my favorite track on the album. It contains the most inspiring lyrics of all the tracks, also the music is once again very technical, and it flows great. About 5:15 into it, this intense music is substitued with Tommy's clean vocals: Step back, step back, step back over a clean guitar. My heart starts to beat extremely fast as Tommy's whisper Step out of this closed off circle gradually turns more angry, until the point where he is once again growling. The music grows even more intense until it hits it's climax as Tommy growls WHITE WALLS! repeditly over the band. The vocals end here but the music continues for about another 4 minutes, eventually going into a piano by itself, very similar to the beginning of the album, where (if you start the album over) it flows right back into the first track. A never ending epic.

Once again, at first listen I was skeptical, but this album grew on me each listen, until the point it is at now, one of my favorites of all time. A prog masterpiece, very diverse, always changing, never repetitive at all. The 5 star rating is only right. You'll find yourself listening over and over again.

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Send comments to Statutory-Mike (BETA) | Report this review (#175532)
Posted Friday, June 27, 2008 | Review Permalink
5 stars The first BTBAM I heard was Alaska. Colors absolutely blew it out of the water. Before I heard Colors, I thought BTBAM was just a good Metalcore band. After hearing Colors, you cannot categorize them as Metalcore anymore. They incorporate various different types of music into this masterpiece. Ranging from Death Metal to Jazz.

1. Foam Born (A) The Backtrack - Starts out soft, then builds up to the typical BTBAM Metalcore sound. This intrigues me to keep listening.

2. (B) The Decade of Statues - Starts out heavy, with a breakdown. Progresses into slower melodic things, and then goes right back into the heavy stuff. Towards the end of the song there are some great guitar lines. Foam Born as a whole is a great song.

3. Informal Gluttony - My least favorite song on the album. Starts out with that Middle Eastern sound and then gradually gets heavier. This song for the most part is straight Metalcore with the exception of the one repeating soft section.

4. Sun of Nothing - Absolutely awesome song. This song has many different musical contrasts that all move swiftly into the next.

5. Ants of the Sky - Arguably the most technical song the band has ever written. This song contains many catchy guitar lines as well as a beautiful jazz solo. After that, it goes into a bluegrass section (which I was not expecting at all). The song ends with one of the catchy guitar lines from earlier in the song.

6. Prequel to the Sequel - This song starts out with one of the best intro riffs I have ever heard. It has a couple of catchy guitar lines and one awesome section in which it sounds like an accordion (but Tommy is probably just doing it with an effect on his keyboard), this section features Adam Fisher doing dual vocals with Tommy.

7. Viridian - Bass solo, pretty much just a transition.

8. White Walls - A great conclusion to the album. White Walls is a very exciting song with many different sections. There are great guitar solos towards the end. The album ends on a soft note with some piano.

Another interesting thing about Colors is that all of the tracks go smoothly into each other, it is like one giant song. Even White Walls goes back into Foam Born smoothly.

Bottom Line: Colors is an outstanding album, the best of 2007 in my opinion.

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Send comments to preqT0THEseq7 (BETA) | Report this review (#175714)
Posted Sunday, June 29, 2008 | Review Permalink
5 stars This album is a huge step forward in almost every way for Between the Buried and Me. Songwriting, structure, vocals, production, drums....

The album starts off with Foam Born, a slow piano piece that could almost be a final track instead of an opener. It's quite beautiful by itself, but this album is just getting started.

As soon as The Decade of Statues starts, you're immediately aware you're listening to one of the most brutal metal bands out there. The riffing and growling are relentless. As the album progresses, it goes from aggressive metalcore to soft, beautiful melodies and harmonies with such amazing transitioning. This is where you can really see the maturity of BTBAM. The transitions from section to section are practically flawless.

By the midpoint of the album, starting with the last few minutes of Sun of Nothing, the brutal metalcore becomes more of a supporting role to the soaring prog melodies. This eventually continues into Ants of the sky, the longest and possibly best track on the album. This track feels as if the entire album was built around it. This track flies from genre to genre so much it's difficult to describe, you just have to experience it. There's even a country banjo ho-down that amazingly doesn't seem even slightly out of place.

The rest of the album continues this barrage of genres through prequel to the sequel and Viridian, a wonderful bass centric song where Dan Briggs really showcases some spectacular bass playing.

The album ends with a track entitled White Walls. This is another major highlight of this album. From the beautiful guitar solos to the slow building (get..out...of...this...closed...off...circle) into a powerful climax and outro solo that truly captures the skill and musicianship of these men. Paul Waggoner's sweeps at the end of this track are a treat to behold. The track ends with a very simple piano solo that feels like an ending as much as any ending ever has.

Overall this album is spectacular. The second half moreso than the first, but staggeringly good in it's entirety as well. My only complaint with this album is more a complaint against the band. The metalcore, although used in a great way for the most part, is slightly overused. These guys have a hardcore background, so I understand where the influence comes from, but the only non-perfect parts of this album are metalcore parts. For a lot of people, I think the first few listens, especially of the first half of the album, would turn them off this album completely. It really takes a bunch of listens to figure out the trillion and a half time signature changes. Stick with it, believe me it's worth it. This album is a masterpiece and belongs in any prog metal collection.

Album highlights: Second half of Sun of Nothing Ants of the Sky White Walls

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Send comments to jeffster (BETA) | Report this review (#181006)
Posted Thursday, August 28, 2008 | Review Permalink
LiquidEternity
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars Honestly, I don't like most of this album. That doesn't mean, though, that I can't try to appreciate the creative spirit behind it.

This is not really my scene, musically speaking. But someone showed me the hoedown at the end of Ants of the Sky, and I suddenly became very interested. Creativity and an adventurous spirit make or break an album for me, and both are highly present here. Little odd sections here and there, like the aforementioned hoedown, break up the monotony of spastic guitars and repetitive growls. A few clean choruses add in some actual melody, and Viridian adds some gentle beauty.

The band is very talented, do not doubt that. The guitarists fly and flail on those strings in a way that doesn't sound safe to stand near. The drummer proves some incredible abilities in a very consistent manner. I've also been led to believe that there are a bassist and a keyboardist in the mix somewhere, too, but I wouldn't know that just by listening to it. Compositionally, the songs are complicated and deep, with tricky shifts from syncopation and riffs. The transitions between the song really do make this flow pretty cleverly into one hour-long suite of music.

The problem with Colors is maybe one of taste, in a way. To me, much of the album is very repetitive and monotonous. From the growls that are all in the same pitch and manner and often in the same rhythm, to the breakdowns and heavy-as-possible riffs, this album ends up to me to be a good example of the idea of too much of a good thing. What's cool for the first few songs gets terribly old by thirty minutes in. The clever (and admirably progressive) breaks in the flow of pure metalcore menace help, though.

All told, apparently this music appeals to a lot of people. People must like that kind of repetition of style, that kind of comfortable mess of heavy. To those who are looking for melody with their heaviness, it would be wiser to stick with Opeth or a band more along those lines. If melody is secondary to brutality, go ahead.

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Send comments to LiquidEternity (BETA) | Report this review (#184024)
Posted Sunday, September 28, 2008 | Review Permalink
5 stars Last year this album captured the world's attention. The only way I can describe it is as an epic beauty of excess.

Technicality has been slowly dirtying prog rock- fast fingers trying to emulate the prog of olde. We have groups like Dream Theater, a group that hasn't put out a properly progressive effort in more than half a decade, yet still considers themselves the kings of progressive rock. Their technicality, their pointless solos with no rise, no fall, no suspense, their (pretty much) pop songs with five minutes of instrumental fluff stuffed inside; all of these have far overshadowed the creativity that made albums like Metropolis and Six Degrees a real treat to listen to.

Between the Buried and Me- Oh. My. God. Finally, a group that knows how to properly make technical progressive rock. It's so beautifully controlled. The technicality is there, but unlike with bands calling themselves prog, it actually has a place in the music, it's not just dressed up with some pointless lyrics and called music.

I'll give an example. Dream Theater's In the Name of God versus Between the Buried and Me's White Walls.

Lies Tools of the devil inside Written in Holy disguise Meant to deceive and divide Us all

These lyrics just constantly drone on and on in James LaBrie's tired screech. They never actually say anything, they just bring a tiny amount of attention to crimes committed in the past. And then John Petrucci steps in with his bland, stupid solo. The Petrucci freaks who just come to the concerts to see his solos eat it up. He just panders to the crowd and then lets the rest of the band try and pick up the pieces of the song he just completely smashed and ruined (which they can't, given that Jordan is on almost the exact same wavelength and always comes along to pound what's left of the music into the ground).

On the other side...

The monsters are made, and we have proven that we will be one of them. The whores take the stage...flash our skills... gotta draw 'em in...gotta keep 'em on their toes...

Poetry that rivals the bible. It's like the final burst of rising action before the climax of the entire album. The solos are discreet, intelligent, understated, understood. The drastic changes in dynamic make sense as it follows the mental transitions of the narrator. There's no excess, there's nothing to hold back the creation process of the music, it's just exquisite.

The rest is all magic of a similar style, and honestly, there's no way words can do it justice. Put this way- prog fans can pick up this album with confidence that it isn't just overly technical poser prog.

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Send comments to kickflipthecat (BETA) | Report this review (#184813)
Posted Sunday, October 05, 2008 | Review Permalink
Prog Leviathan
PROG REVIEWER
1 stars Completely mediocre, Colors is a bland mish-mash of wasted musicianship and phoney metal bombast. Very over-rated to say the least.

Here's my biggest problem with Colors-- the songwriting. It is cookie-cutter metal (hardly extreme or tech), following the same pattern throughout each track and apparently caring little for innovation. I found it neither brutal, wild or unrestrained, as some others have proclaimed it-- rather repetative, and thoroughly laborious to get through. The few moments of variety are as contrived as it gets.

The instrumentalists may be talented, but you'd never know it listening to these songs; their timbre, tempo, and vibe are all the same... and with so many better metal offerings out there, this is a huge problem for this record.

Secondly, is the terrible vocals by Rogers, whose foppish growl is about as flavorful as a rice-waffer. There is no emotion in his bland, gravely moans, which sound so similar that it is impossible to distinguish one verse/song from the next. His clean voice is passable, but they appear so infrequently that the listener will simply be upset that he doesn't sing that way all the time-- because his growl is, well... lame. And it is enough to put off many potential buyers.

Those looking for some extreme metal are advised to look elsewhere! There are much better options out there!

Songwriting: 1 Instrumental Performances: 3 Lyrics/Vocals: 1 Style/Emotion/Replay: 1

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Send comments to Prog Leviathan (BETA) | Report this review (#192560)
Posted Wednesday, December 10, 2008 | Review Permalink
The Pessimist
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars 1. Foam Born:The Backtrack (2:13) 2. The Decade Of Statues (5:20) 3. Informal Gluttony (6:47) 4. Sun Of Nothing (10:59) 5. Ants Of The Sky (13:10) 6. Prequel To The Sequel (8:36) 7. Viridian (2:51) 8. White Walls (14:13)

Now this came to me gently. Between The Buried And Me have never really been a band to catch my interest over the past few years, but after this album I had to reconsider. Before this album, I never really saw what fans saw, but now they have sophisticated their previous sound, I can finally see the dubbed down version fans of this great band see. Their previous release Alaska was a pretty good effort now actually after I've heard Colors. It's a bit like Colors Light. Not as technical, not as brutal and not as... well good. I truly believe this is album of 2007, if not, prog-metal album of 2007 to say the least. There is almost everything here that a prog-metalhead looks for in a band: brutality, technicality, excellent musicianship peppered with beautiful sections of melody.

The song Foam Born introduces us to a contrasting factor to the album: a delicate piano intro with beautiful clean vocals, something you will hardly ever hear again in Colors. We are then bombarded with what has to be some of the most brutal, technical and progressive metalcore material around. This first song may well be my favourite. I don't know. It's so hard to pick a favourite from such a consistant album as Colors. I have to say though, watch out for the technical jazz section at the closing of this: your brain may explode.

Informal Gluttony opens gently once again, revealing the progressive nature of this band. Tribal drumming in a triple rhythm provides excellent backing for one of metal's more awesome basslines and a Bangra-esque guitar line to much. We are once again, blinded by terrific technical metalcore. This is no improvement on its prequel, but no degradation either.

Sun Of Nothing may well be my least favourite track here. But is a ruby amongst diamonds, and once again I'll say it: with such a consistant album no song really sticks out. This song also happens to have a stunning outro. Need a say more? Have a listen for yourself. This is the first epic track off the album, clocking in at 11 minutes, and it is a voyage that competes worthily against any standard prog epic.

Now we are talking people! Ants Of The Sky is a masterpiece. I use it in the tightest sense of the word. I have listened to much prog metal in my time (nowhere near enough however) and this is fantastic compared to the entirety of the sub-genre. We are treated to a Dream Theatre-esque organ riff, only BTBAM pull it off much better. We are also treated to the bands highlight riff, which is so good it hurts. We are treated to a face melting guitar solo. We are also treated to technicallity like no other, an extremely catchy melody and a metal-style hoedown to end it all. If you are a prog metal fan, and you do not like this song, then there is no hope.

Prequel To The Sequel introduces a major key to the prog metal world, which as most of you will know, is a seldom phenomenan. It is also very 70s for the first minute or so of the song. Kusos to the band for retracing their roots. Then, once again, a progressive onslaught. Features of this song include a very short, mellow jazz section that is augmented by a repeat in the heavy vein, some kind of... thing i can't describe with an accordion and a marvellous vocal duel. Great stuff.

Veridian. A nice interlude between two epics, unlike most fillers in prog metal, this is extremely pleasant to listen to. Classical meet Progressive Grindcore meets Camel? Who knows. Worth spending 3 minutes on though, definitely.

A technical mess awaits you at the other side. White Walls couldn't possibly be a better finale to an ultra-heavy, ultra technical and ultra-progressive album, since it is an ultra-heavy, ultra technical and ultra-progressive song. 14 minutes of pure prog-metal fan wet dream and you will listen to it more than once, I grant you. My play count is 30 so far for this track, and I've only had the album for a week. We see influence in Meshuggah, Camel, Floyd, Death... This also may be a worthy best track off the album for me. But then again so may the other 5. I can't decide.

Despite what I've said in the realm of the positive, I do not consider this a masterpiece of progressive music. If I did, then what would I have to say about the next album? No, this is just purely excellent. No questions, but every metal fan must own it. Period. 4.4999999 stars.

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Send comments to The Pessimist (BETA) | Report this review (#192891)
Posted Saturday, December 13, 2008 | Review Permalink
horsewithteeth11
PROG REVIEWER
5 stars This is beyond progressive music. This is beyond metal. This is beyond music. This is the ultimate definition of artistic masterpiece.

I've been putting this review off for some time in fear that if I wrote it too soon, my thoughts would be jumbled and I would babble endlessly. Since I got this album, I spent the first 2 months listening to it at least four or five times a week listening to it. I still probably listen to it once or twice every week. It's that good. For those who know the band, Between the Buried and Me started off in North Carolina and their debut was a slightly more technical metalcore album. The Silent Circus continued in the direction of metalcore, but started moving into more progressive waters. Alaska was the last time that any clear metalcore influence was found in BTBAM's music, but it was more in the realms of death metal than metalcore. In Colors, they've become a progressive death metal band. The metalcore no longer exists (which is probably a good thing in the eyes of most proggers). However, in hearing "progressive death metal", do NOT expect to play this album and then complain that it doesn't sound like Opeth. Unlike Opeth, BTBAM is a much heavier (literally) dose of death metal with proggy aspects in their music, but still enough for them to be considered full-fledged prog. The mix of clean vocals to death growls is probably in the range of 15% clean to 85% harsh, the guitars are fairly distorted yet still very melodic at times; the drum work on here is absolutely mind-blowing; the bass is ridiculously complex. And in between all of this we get Tommy Rodgers harsh voice (sometimes I wonder how a skinny, white vegan guy can belt such powerful lyrics) as well as many passages with touches of a clean, almost falsetto voice. This is the ultimate form of technical metal that is still fairly accessible with an open mind and openness to heavier vocals. If it helps anyone, think of the heaviness somewhere in between Opeth and Meshuggah.

I would do a track by track review of this album, but I don't want to go on par for having one of the longest reviews ever, so instead I'll just point out some highlights. Overall this isn't so much 1 album with 8 songs, but rather 1 song with 8 extended pieces, as the songs flow very smoothly from one into the other with no breaks in between. If there was anything I could level any criticism against in this album, it could only be at the first two tracks. Both tracks have slight hints of metalcore (okay, large hints) in them, and I'm not the kind of person who really likes metalcore. Although I have grown to appreciate them quite a bit and they serve as a good intro into the album Otherwise, every other track consists of some of the best music I have ever heard. Informal Gluttony would be my pick for favorite track if I had to choose one, especially for the Middles Eastern feel in the intro. Sun of Nothing has an absolutely fantastic melodic section that is very calm and is very, very beautiful. Ants of the Sky has a fan favorite in the bar fight near the end, which always puts a smile on my face when I picture a group of drunken hillbillies throwing fists and bar stools at each other. Prequel to the Sequel has a very mind-blowing, very metal intro. Viridian is instrumental and entirely melodic and has a fabulous bass solo in it, and the album closes with White Walls, which goes through so many different movements in and of itself that it feels much more enjoyable and longer than it actually is.

If you like or can tolerate heavier music or like the thought of death metal with a progressive touch, then get this album immediately. I would even go so far as to say that this is THE best album I've heard so far in the 21st century and might be my pick for album of the decade. I don't think I could ever give this album too much praise, and what I do give it isn't enough to do it justice. Since 5 stars is the maximum I can give an album on this site that is what I give this one. Truly an outstanding piece of art and one that people will continue to talk about for years to come.

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Send comments to horsewithteeth11 (BETA) | Report this review (#199069)
Posted Wednesday, January 14, 2009 | Review Permalink
Conor Fynes
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars 'Colors' - Between The Buried And Me (8/10)

For a very, very long time, I hated Between the Buried and Me. I viewed them as Metalcore 'straight- edge' garbage that played music for 14 year old emo-kids to thrash to. Even when I saw them live (opening for Dream Theater and Opeth for the ProgNation tour) I couldn't stand them, and spent the majority of their set conversing with friends. However, upon wider listening to their repetoire, I started to notice why they have such a prog following to them. Despite alot of leanings towards metalcore- esque music, their music started to dawn on me as having alot of credibility, and carefully composed technicality to it. Although I (for the most part) cannot stand their previous works, Between the Buried and Me's 2007 effort 'Colors' emphasizes their Prog Rock side just enough to make me enjoy it.

Although there are still (after 20+ listens from start to finish) parts of the album that still sound too noisy and thrashy, there is alot of intelligence to keep the music flowing. There are even a suprising amount of moments on the album where I got chills from listening to it. From the piano-driven first track, to the post-rock section of 'Ants In The Sky' and even the famed bluegrass section, this has the ability to raise your eyebrow in question, touch your heart, and give you a dose of 'hardcore' metal that at times can be decently enjoyable if taken as it is.

There was a point (when I first started to truly enjoy this album) I would give this a 5-star rating, simply because of how technically brilliant it is. But despite this being one of the most technically accomplished albums I've ever listened to (I mean that too!) there are just those few parts that are a little too reminiscent of their earlier work that robs them of the perfect rating. Also, some of their lyrics I found annoying. Although theres some sense of poeticism in their words, writting an entire song, in essence about how awesome they are as a band (White Walls) can get tiresome. Especially in the prog metal genre, that sort of pretenious lyricism can really wear thin.

However, flaws aside, I found myself amazed by the sheer technical talent and cohesion of this band. It's definately not an album for everyone (I certainly can't see too many Marillion fans loving this album - although ironically, I love that band) but if you can withstand an hour of ear-shattering jaw dropping madness, then by all means, this album is recommended!

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Send comments to Conor Fynes (BETA) | Report this review (#202431)
Posted Wednesday, February 11, 2009 | Review Permalink
5 stars I never thought in a million years I would be the one to call myself a BTBAM fan. The self titled debut just sounded like an awful attempt at mixing hardcore with some form of death metal, without being deathcore, and it failed miserably. Though having a few good moments it was nothing to really deserve diving into. The same is said for both Silent Circus and Alaska. At times they do show moments of pure beauty and all out technical wizardry, which layed foundation of what was to come, but it still sounded a little too grind to be prog. Then in 2007 Colors came, and it changed the way BTBAM would be seen forever. No longer were they a second rate hardcore/death metal fusion band, they made their jump up into full on prog-metal. The first 3 tracks from Colors didnt do much for me in the beginning either and I was just about to give up on them once again until 'Sun of Nothing' began. I never had a moment of such shock and surprise before and not since. I was completely blown away. Everything about the second half of Colors is something to be admired and adored. From soft moments of beauty, fluid jazz guitar solos and even a country breakdown make they way to the surface of this band's trademark style of progressive death metal. If it werent for those first 3 old-school BTBAM songs, this would be a lock for one of prog's all time classics.

Now only if they can fuse the sound of Colors with something a little more along the lines of clean singing (since his clean singing is amazing for the few minutes he showcases them) we will have our new golden standard for what tech/extreme prog metal can and should be!

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Send comments to Metal_Style (BETA) | Report this review (#203621)
Posted Wednesday, February 18, 2009 | Review Permalink
5 stars I grew up listening to a lot metal before moving onto progressive rock. During my heavy metal phase, I enjoyed some the great riffs, aggression of the songs and even the strong melodies and progressions, but after a while it got old and cliche; yet this band manages to hold my attention throughout the entire listening experience. The first song I heard from Between the Buried and Me was 'Selkies: The Endless Obsession,' and I was amazed at their use of melodic structure; however, Colors was the first album I had the pleasure to listen to in entirety. I must say that this album completely blew me away! All the intense metal parts are like the classic metal I used to listen to, except amplified to an extensive degree; giving me a sense of nostalgia, but while still keeping everything fresh and new.

In contrast to the heavy, hardcore metal parts, Between the Buried and Me also uses an equal amount of symphonic orchestration, while also employing jazz structures and blues styles. The band knows how to weave you through the dark and then provides you an uplifting moment, pulling you toward the light. The actual song structures are very diverse, yet still uphold structure; if you are familiar and can digest this kind of music. It just takes some good listens to get used to, and then you'll remember all your favorite parts.

I particularly enjoyed the riff in 'Prequel to the Sequel' at approximately 1:25 due to the alternating measures played as such: (4/4, 7/8)x2... then, (7/8, 4/4)x2... only to revert back the previous structure and repeat again. The album really keeps you on your toes thinking about all the musical aspects going on within just a mere 1 minute of music.

This album is a very concept-based album, and the entire thing can be seamlessly listened to as a whole, even though many of it's themes and progressions can be viewed as the individual tracks presented. As with all conceptual and lengthy progressive/art albums, I recommend as viewing this album as 'watching a movie,' and each track is a chapter you'd you would skip to by pressing 'Next' on your dvd remote. If you can keep that in mind, this album is really a 'piece of cake' to listen to.

Even though I don't listen to lyrics very much because I'm more concerned with the instrumentation than poetry, I thought the lyrical content was also very interesting, considering they revolve the abstract concepts and thoughts/ideas that most people don't think about withing their everyday lives, ranging from social fear to environmental issues, and even the acceptance of death.

Overall, the technicality and intricacy of the song structures are well-crafted, and the transitions between the songs and even the individual parts are flawless; I wouldn't want this album constructed any other way. This album is very stylistic and only for the open-minded listener that can handle non-commercial or non-pop cultured song structures. This is truly an experimental art and progressive album and I always speak highly of this one. I can't wait to see what Between the Buried and Me come out with next!

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Send comments to jpgarcia7787 (BETA) | Report this review (#208331)
Posted Sunday, March 22, 2009 | Review Permalink
5 stars This album deserves to be heard by every fan of progressive metal at least once. Even if some may not enjoy it, they deserve to hear this excellent example of creativity and innovation in metal.

Colors is an album that is a little over an hour long that deserves to be listened to in its entirety. There are 8 separate songs, each contributing a huge part to the whole. In each song the listener will be assaulted with agressive, loud metal, with sort of a mix between death metal and metalcore (not deathcore). At any given point in the album, the band will suddenly take the extreme noise in a completely different direction, from jazz to middle eastern to latin. In any event, whoever is familiar with this album has to admit that Between The Buried and Me has a wonderful ability to write beautiful melodies, and are not just one of many standard metal bands who only make noisy songs and only occasionally slow it down for a ballad.

Every song is a highlight in this album, and each has its own personality. From the melodic opener "The Backtrack", to the desert-evoking "Informal Gluttony", to the ever changing "Ants of the Sky", this album is full of personality. Not only do most of the tracks contain interesting and creative non-popular music styles, but the diversity of the actual metal portions is intriguing as well. Tracks like "Ants of the Sky" and "White Walls" are definetely a more extreme variety of metal, but have been compared with power metal because of their melodic chords behind the rapid drums and the growls. "The Decade of Statues" contains a great section that will remind the listener of any great technical thrash bands like Meshuggah with excellent syncopated bass drums and guitar runs. And of course, there's your standard death metal and metalcore dispersed throughout the album that the band is so well known for.

Overall, this album is not only a testimony that metal can be eclectic or creative, but also brutal and technical while being emotional at the same time. It contains elements of music that often appear together, but never before all at once. This album is essential for any prog metal fan, and any fan of progressive music should hear this wonderful example of creativity.

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Send comments to topofsm (BETA) | Report this review (#217962)
Posted Sunday, May 24, 2009 | Review Permalink
5 stars Wow, this album is simply stunning! It takes more effort to listen to than any album I have ever heard but is more rewarding when you get to the end. The album title is perfect as there are so many colours in the music , the complexities are there to be found; rewarding you with more each time you listen. To me the album only really gets going at the end of track 4 and from them on it is a sweeping rollercoaster of sheer brilliance. That's not to say that the first few songs aren't good, it's just that the end is sublime.

Most people will either love or hate this album and it's easy to see why, what is beyond my comprehension though are some of the defamatory reviews I have read. When an album gets hyped as this one has been it seems common for people to want to cast it down as overrated tripe; people I have spoken to who don't like it can clearly see its qualities shine brightly.

It's hard to mention particular songs as it is all one continuous piece, like I said the end is the best ? the end being the last 40 minutes or so. Unusually for progressive music this album is great at getting you going when at the gym and you can't be arsed. The builds in the music give you a boost and change a miserable mundane situation into something entirely bearable. This album killed my beer belly!

Give it a chance and try to get to the end before you make up your mind as to my ears this is simply the best heavy progressive album I have ever heard and I don't even like the vocals.

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Send comments to HobblingFool (BETA) | Report this review (#230218)
Posted Thursday, August 06, 2009 | Review Permalink
5 stars BETWEEN THE BURIED AND ME is a metal band from North Carolina performing unpredictable genre changing music. Although the band is relatively new, they have gained quite a large following with their critically acclaimed album "Alaska". So everyone was on the edge of their seats in anticipation for "Colors" their fifth installment (if you count "The Anatomy of...). The album begins with a short piano intro leading you into the album, which is far heavier than your led to believe within the first minute, and After about 15 minutes you begin to wonder what song your on, and you then realize that this album is gapless giving the feel of one epic track, being pulled off very well I might add. Guitar work is phenomenal as well as percussion, bass, and vocals, come to think of it this whole album is phenomenal. This is a definite progressive masterpiece and although very heavy it contains just about something for everyone.

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Send comments to DASistGrantTeeL (BETA) | Report this review (#230283)
Posted Thursday, August 06, 2009 | Review Permalink
5 stars After listening to Between the Buried and Me's newest CD, i'm having a hard time deciding if this is their masterpiece, or The Great Misdirect. A very intense concept indeed, followed by some very brutal music to go with it. Some may complain that it is too heavy all the time, but I feel that it is just right to go with the mood an concept of the album. All the breakdowns to me are in the right places, as well as the clean vocals and the heavy vocals. With the right ears, you will find that this album is extremely progressive and there are even parts where the music lets down from being brutal and will go into symphonic mode. There's also the bar fight music at the end of Ant's of the Sky" That everybody loves. I think that "Son of Nothing" is the strongest piece on the track ranging from all sorts of moods, showcasing that this band is extremely talented. "Decade of Statues" is also very well done and should be heard by anyone that likes to headbang and go nuts.

I know that this kind of music will not appeal to everyone on this site, but if you are a fan of technical or brutal music, than this one is a must. It has the best of both worlds, being both prgressive and heavy.

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Send comments to CH1390 (BETA) | Report this review (#246934)
Posted Wednesday, October 28, 2009 | Review Permalink
Negoba
PROG REVIEWER
2 stars Massive Talent but a Musical Mess

I have discovered so many new bands since joining this site, and more than a few take several listens before I finally started to get them. I have given Between the Buried and Me's COLORS more chances than sanity dictates. The core sound of BTBAM is progressive metalcore, and I've concluded that I really really dislike metalcore. Sadly, the progressive parts of COLORS are phenomenal. Some of the riffs during the metal sections aren't bad. But the atonal, unsubtle raw aggression that is at the heart of the metalcore sound is just pointless noise to me, no many how many times I listen.

More importantly, one of the most progressive aspects of BTBAM, which is their genre- hopping, does not always make musical sense. It's a more cut-and-paste affair, mixing cool textures just because they sound interesting even though they don't necessarily relate well. Certainly, the band has a go at about every genre they can think of (blues-based rock, thrash, jazz, pop, Egyptian march, and even country.) This choice is not uncommon in young bands trying to be progressive (Ansur's WARRING FACTIONS being an even more extreme example.) But with avant metal pioneers Mr. Bungle and their modern descendants like Unexpect doing this SO much better, BTBAM is left seeming like children playing with the tools of the adults.

A good contrast to this album is Maudlin of the Well's LEAVING YOUR BODY MAP, which also employs very heavy guitars, throated and clean vocals, varieties of textures, and some genre-bending. MotW, however, clearly has a musical point in everything they do. The contrasts of light and dark create emotional contours for the listener. Heavy parts have melody and rhythm, and never overstay their welcome. On COLORS, we get prolonged sections of throated vocals without significant rhythm over blast beats that go on far too long.

The progressive parts of COLORS sound great. The harmony vocals, the piano interludes, the major key solo guitar lines (one of the few aspects of metalcore I like), are sonically quite interesting taken one by one. But as a challenge to myself, I tried to think what I'd rate this album if there was no metalcore at all. It still wouldn't quite reach 4 star level. It's just not coherent enough. These leftovers are fun and could be recombined into quite an album, but as it is, COLORS is a bit of a jumbled mess.

If you're into metalcore, this could probably be a 4 star album. For me, I have never managed to listen to the album all the way through. I've done short episodes spanning the entire album over almost a year now. It could have been so beautiful, but I still have IN A FLESH ACQUARIUM.

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Send comments to Negoba (BETA) | Report this review (#262490)
Posted Monday, January 25, 2010 | Review Permalink
Rune2000
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Prog Metal Team
4 stars This album is a really huge improvement over everything that I've previously heard from Between The Buried And Me! We already knew that the individual members are talented musicians but this time around they united their efforts and managed to create a new approach in the songwriting department!

The short introduction track Foam Born: The Backtrack gives a hint of everything that is about to happen over the course of the next 60 something minutes. The description of this music is very hard and I would have to name at least 10-15 bands to even go through the basic comparisons. Just listen to this short intro track and you'll know exactly what I'm talking about!

There are of course a few flaws like the transition problems that the band still struggles with almost every time they go into a new section of a composition. On top of that some of the band's influences are way too obvious which sometime restrains me from actually enjoying the material in all its glory. The most extreme example of this is Ants Of The Sky which I'm sure most progressive metal fans would recognize as an attempt to mimic the giants of the genre. This composition could easily have avoided this problem and somehow I get a feeling that this whole setup was intentional.

Despite this slight criticism I still think that the band is trying to do innovating things with this material and it definitely pays off in the long run. Every time I hear the intro to White Walls all the previous flaws feel just like nitpicks in comparison to this flawless composition!

Colors is definitely the right way to go for Between The Buried And Me and although everything is still not top notch here I predict that a true masterpiece is just around the corner.

***** star songs: Foam Born: The Backtrack (2:14) Sun Of Nothing (10:59) White Walls (14:13)

**** star songs: The Decade Of Statues (5:20) Informal Gluttony (6:48) Ants Of The Sky (13:11) Prequel To The Sequel (8:37)

*** star songs: Viridian (2:51)

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Send comments to Rune2000 (BETA) | Report this review (#265217)
Posted Wednesday, February 10, 2010 | Review Permalink
5 stars Between the Buried and Me are an incredibly talented group of musicians, and they showcase this throughout the hour and four minutes of Colors.

The mellow piano opening quickly escalates into the intense, heavy, riffy, complex Decade of Statues with barely a hesitation between the two tracks. The rest of the album continues in this manner, playing through as an hour-long song, rather than the 8 individual titles on the back of the album booklet.

Colors is full of incredibly complex riffs, ridiculous time signatures (passages without the same time signature for more than a measure are quite common), and absolutely virtuosic musicianship on everyone's part. The songs build, release, and travel through many different styles (all the while still sounding unquestionably like Between the Buried and Me). Blake Richardson's drums are fill-heavy, switching time signatures and tempos without so much as a hiccup. The guitars intertwine seamlessly, creating a very solid wall of sound, backed by Dan Brigg's fantastic bass skills, and complemented by Tommy Rogers' very listenable screams and smooth clean tones.

Not afraid to push the boundaries and just do what they want, there are a few passages that exemplify the playful nature of the band. For example, in Sun of Nothing, there is a section that sounds like it's taunting children, and there's a ho-down sort of part in Ants of the Sky. It makes for a very interesting listen that just doesn't get old. It's complex enough so you still hear things that you didn't know were there on the tenth listen.

The bass solo in Viridian is something different, and very cool.

And, just as gently as it led you in, the album builds up to a glorious melodic crescendo in the final song, before resolving quite nicely, and ending with a very fitting piano outro.

I can listen to this album five times in a row and still not be bored of it. Then, after you've finally listened to it so many times you think you know it by heart, try playing it. There is so much hidden in every track that you miss by just listening to it. It's definitely one of my favorite albums by what is unquestionably my favorite band EVER.

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Send comments to dan_awesome (BETA) | Report this review (#279739)
Posted Wednesday, April 28, 2010 | Review Permalink
5 stars Between The Buried And Me (or often refered to as BTBAM by 'hardcore' fans of the band) are an American metal band that fuse a hardcore/deathcore sound with some very excellent progressive metal sounds, now on this album not only can you hear those sounds but quite a lot of other influences come in as well such as jazz, blues, country rock, a little bit of paino rock i can hear in there as well, now while i would say the whole deathcore thing really isnt my cup of tea, this works, it really does.

The musicmanship is quality and overall the composition is incredible, it starts off with the very Beatlesqe FOAM BORN (A) THE BACKTRACK before being blown away with the next one (B) THE DECADE OF STATUES, the transaction from track 1 to track 2 is fantastic and really doesnt seem forced which is what most bands tend to do, the whole album flows so naturally, and you can tell that this band really know what they want to do and they go ahead and do it, and do it right.

Standout tracks for me was SUN OF NOTHING with the excelent vocoder used just over the halfway mark of the song and of course the beautiful and obvous Dream Theater influenced bass solo VIRIDIAN, this track just blew me away with the amount of versatility and talent on display;

Foam Born (a) The Backtrack - 8/10 (b) The Decade of Statue - 10/10 Informal Gluttony - 8/10 Sun of Nothing - 10/10 Ants of the Sky - 9/10 Prequel to the Sequel - 10/10 Viridian - 10/10 White Walls - 10/10

My Conclusion? This album has 'must buy' written all over it, believe the hype this album is a masterpiece.

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Send comments to FarBeyondProg (BETA) | Report this review (#282215)
Posted Sunday, May 16, 2010 | Review Permalink
Sinusoid
PROG REVIEWER
1 stars I'm no technical metal expert by any stretch of the imagination, and COLORS was my first try at this genre.

The album started off quite nicely with the first ''Foam Born'' part having a quaint piano riff at the beginning yet slowly descending into a metallic mess. Unfortunately, I wasn't going to get that for the rest of the album.

For most of the longer songs, the pattern seems to go in this format. The first few minutes are covered by the noisiest of technical metal riffs that seem to find no melody. Being technical and fast is fine, but I can't hear any notes out of these riffs; it all sounds like musical mush. However, the band feels the need to get melodious for relatively no apparent reason and any time that happens, it happens too quickly. The middles of the songs seem to do too much style jumping, incorporating various odd genres (like Carribean blues?) with not one inclusion making any sense. Then, we go back to nosiy metal followed by melodious choruses to end the song.

My point here is that COLORS gets way too formulaic and is too random for its own sake. I can't listen to any metal section without getting a migraine, the random oddball genres thrown in aren't necessary and the band seems way too happy to switch themes every minute. It make COLORS very hard for me to sit through as the music forces me to keep up with what's going on, and that requires immense focus. I admire those that listen to COLORS regularly for this reason alone.

The two shorter songs get the most replay from me, although a melodious section in ''Sun of Nothing'' also perks my interest. It's not completely atrocious or unmemorable, but I'd stay away if you like to keep your sanity. (I've already lost mine...)

And I didn't mention the vocals once...

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Send comments to Sinusoid (BETA) | Report this review (#285500)
Posted Monday, June 07, 2010 | Review Permalink
Bonnek
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Prog Metal Team
4 stars On Colours, BtBam seem to have fully grown into their sound, a mix of modern prog, heavy riff frenzy and metal-core outbursts. In other words, a sort of metalized version of Mars Volta with both hardcore vocals and delicate melodious vocals.

When they chose to prog out, they do it like the best of the pack. Tommy Rogers has a great spontaneous lyricism in his melodic voice and he is very inventive at finding fresh and dynamic vocal lines to accompany the inspired and adventurous music. When it comes to the metal parts I found myself in a place that will be familiar to many other listeners, I initially just frowned in discomfort at the metal-core parts. Too much one-dimensional aggression for me.

But the imaginative freedom and energetic boost from this band is simply too high to give up on them too easily. I'm glad I persisted as this is truly a remarkable album. It's extremely capricious but I don't find it a mish-mash at all. Maybe it sounds like that if you expect a song to have a head and tail and all the other parts in a logical order in between. That's the old-school prog. These disturbed youngsters throw in whatever bit that feels like a logical continuation of the previous bit and to my ears everything seems to flow naturally. Just don't expected much repeated choruses or recognizable tunes to whistle along to.

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Send comments to Bonnek (BETA) | Report this review (#285849)
Posted Thursday, June 10, 2010 | Review Permalink
Mellotron Storm
PROG REVIEWER
2 stars Well this was a bit of a surprise, especially for one like myself who isn't a huge fan of growly vocals (haha). Sometimes it pays to research a little better when purchasing a cd (no kidding). Man these guys play incredibly well though, and I like the way they interupt the intense screaming with mellow sections at times. Problem is this is mostly in your face grunting and growling as he spits out the lyrics. I was reaching for a facecloth after this one. Lots of variety instrumentally as they incorporate some different styles but again the bottom line for me is that I just don't enjoy this at all. Sorry BTBAM fans.

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Send comments to Mellotron Storm (BETA) | Report this review (#301593)
Posted Saturday, October 02, 2010 | Review Permalink
5 stars When I first got this album, I wasn't really what to make of them, but I looked at the artwork and the times of the songs, and I thought?this is for me.

And it was "right up my street" (as Cheryl Ashley Cole Tweedy whatever would say). They had melody and harmony perfect, enough technical ability to entertain most children, and some weird parts to make you laugh or interested.

These guys are very unique, and its such a shame that there is so many carbon copies of this band out today, giving half the effort and half the ability and talent.

Mixing death core with progressive metal and other eclectic moments, these guys made a real masterpiece of work, even the way the songs flow are amazing.

There is also an accompanying live DVD that accompanies the album, where the album is played in its entirety, and it really is interesting to see music of this dexterity played with such precision. These guys have a lot more in their future?

1. Foam Born: (A) The Backtrack - A beautiful piano intro with some lovely instrumental work. One of the best intros I have ever heard. 10/10

2. Foam Born (B) Decade Of Statues - Amazing instrumental work and some crazy riffing. 9/10

3. Informal Gluttony - Every band has an Arabic influenced song. And this is theirs. I love the layered vocals in the chorus. One of the albums more contemporary moments. 10/10

4. Sun Of Nothing - The Spaceman song. Yes, the Spaceman section is the real highlight, and really is beautifully written. The rest is also very interesting, especially all the links into all the different sections. 10/10

5. Ants Of The Sky - Some odd lyrics, but when ever the melodic sections hit, it really does evolve into a monster of a piece. 10/10

6. Prequel To The Sequel - The intro is just spectacular and beautifully written. The song is quite fast paced and takes you into many dimensions. 10/10

7. Viridian - Beautiful bass based instrumental. Some great atmospheric moments. 10/10

8. White Walls - This does support itself as a great outro, but it is a bit too long (a bit like Swim To The Moon). Some amazing instrumental parts. 9/10

CONLCUSION: Close to perfect really. A modern masterpiece and one of the most interesting albums released in the past 10 years.

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Send comments to arcane-beautiful (BETA) | Report this review (#308865)
Posted Monday, November 08, 2010 | Review Permalink
Andy Webb
FORUM & SITE ADMIN GROUP
Site and Forum Admin
4 stars Between mastery and perfection.

Colors is the 5th release from progressive metalcore master Between the Buried and Me. Fusing classic progressive metal elements with the thrash and furious elements of death metal, they have produced a rather unique sound in a genre that doesn't really have any creativity, for the most part. With colors we can see a great variety of sounds, from melodic piano interludes to crushing and quick metalcore thrash sessions. The album displays a near perfect mix of all these elements, making this album a must have for any seasoned or avid metalcore fan.

The album kicks off with the Foam Born duology, first with Part A "The Backtrack," a mellow piano and vocal piece. The part slowly builds into a slightly more rocking piece, instituting a slight keyboard/guitar solo arpeggio sweep and some more major sounding backtracks before modulating into the much heavier and metal music the band is known for. The song seamlessly transitions into Part B "The Decade of Statues," a much faster and heavier hitting song. Sometimes the song seems to have way too much going on at once, with crazy vocals, crazy guitars, crazy bass, crazy drums, and pretty much just an overall craziness, and it can be somewhat overwhelming. But, the song does have an amazing attribute going for it: at the end of the song, there is a short period of jazzy synchronization that is purely infectious. Each member puts forth a key effort, making those short seconds a blast to listen to.

Informal Gluttony opens with a somewhat Arabian or ethnic sounding riff, before breaking into a more traditional BtBaM riff and metalcore thrashery. The album has some interesting dynamics, switching often between crazy metalcore riffs and more mellow breakdowns. Sadly, this often seems to act as a detriment to the album, with some awkward transitions happening between feels. There are some good ideas in the song, but occasionally they seem forced into the song unnaturally.

Sun of Nothing is the first 10+ minute epic on the album, and it certainly delivers. Again it has some intense metalcore riffing with some heavy guitars and vocals. The song has some of the more "listenable" material, with more audible guitar riffs rather than low register, mad fast guitar chugging. The instrumental section are great, with some great synchronized solos and some interesting guitar melodies and harmonies. A much more melodic section can be found in the song, making this one of the tastier and more dynamic songs on the album. It has strong jazz and progressive rock roots, showing the band's many influences. Overall, this song is one of the better tracks on the album, with great dynamics and some really great ideas.

Ants in the Sky is the seamless transition from Sun of Nothing, and the second longest song on the album, clocking in at over 13 minutes. The song is similar to the last track, with some interesting soloing and more melodic dynamics. The song has another jazzy synchronized instrumental section, which flows into a great mellow section, which flows back into a more metal section, which flows into yet another jazzy and infectious synchronized instrumental section. Whew! The song, as you can see, has its healthy dose of creativity and inventiveness. The song as a whole contains so many genius ideas that sometimes its hard to wrap your head around it, but overall the song just oozes creativity and fun.

Prequel to the Sequel is a surprising breath of fresh air-- with a song in a major scale! The song is, surprisingly, happy. The extremely happy music contrasts the not-so happy vocals actually quite nicely, making an oddly pleasant track. The song does modulate to a much more heavy and metal feel though, but doesn't hesitate to keep up the intensity, despite dropping the great happy/evil contrast. The song has plenty of dynamics, however, with a peculiar parlor-like section near the end, which flows into a more thrash-metal like section, which flows into a pseudo-black metal section. Overall, the song is good, but has even more ideas shoved into it than the last track, making very peculiar to listen to.

Viridian is a short instrumental track, consisting of a much slower and more ambient feel. Mellow guitars slowly pick their way through the track and some jazzy guitar soloing fronting that. Some really ambient keys in the back make the song especially ambient and trippy. Overall, the song acts most as a transition to the last and most epic track on the album, and can for the most part be overlooked as an individual track.

White Walls is the definitive epic of the album, clocking at over 14 minutes and containing a generous amount of epic music. The whole song provides an amazing ride. Opening intense, like always, the song has a certain original quality that most of the other songs don't seem to have. Instead of just intense riffing all the way through, the song has a steady build up to the more fierce stuff, and the fierce stuff has a certain melodic and dissonant quality to it that is unique to the track. The band has no trouble switching dynamics, going into a much mellow and melodic section midway into the song, adding a fantastic charm to the song. This dynamic makes for an extremely enjoyable progressive section, with some fantastic instrumentation and progression in their music. Overall, the song outputs one of the strongest and most creative efforts for the album, making it an especially amazing closer to the album.

ALBUM OVERALL: This album is easily one of Between the Buried and Me's best. The whole album is a blast to listen to, containing some of the best dynamics I've heard in a metalcore album. Of course, as in any album of the genre, some of the music can be a little unnecessarily intense and fierce. However, many of the songs can easily switch up this norm with jazzy interludes and great progressive synchronizations, melodic breakdowns and mellow ambient sections, and so much more. The band has no trouble making a great and dynamic album which just misses the masterpiece tag. 4+ stars.

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Send comments to Andy Webb (BETA) | Report this review (#384350)
Posted Friday, January 21, 2011 | Review Permalink
2 stars Colors -- Between the Buried and Me

Between the Buried and Me's Colors isn't a bad album. It's also not a great one (by any means). Somewhat of a creative effort, Colors just didn't deliver the way I expected it to.

A mix of techinal death metal, metalcore, and flashy prog, Colors sounds like the bastard child of Opeth, Dream Theater and As I Lay Dying, with perhaps a bit of Pink Floyd thrown in every now and then for good meaure. While many of the tracks are technically proficient, they don't have any kind of special feel to them, and this is the bane of this particular album. All flashiness and no substance. The lyrics are quite dull and don't really leave any sort of impression after repeated listens. I've tried to like this album, but I oft find it hard to discover any pleasurable moments.

If you're a fan of metalcore, perhaps you would like this album; if not, I'd stay away. The redeeming qualities of this album lie in the softer sections; Tommy Giles (vocals, keyboards) is quite good in these passages. I feel that BTBAM need to focus less on technicality and much more on song- writing. Perhaps they will improve given time. Until then...

2 stars.

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Send comments to The Monodrone (BETA) | Report this review (#428009)
Posted Tuesday, April 05, 2011 | Review Permalink
Warthur
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars A glorious example of just how fruitful the cross-fertilisation of progressive metal and metalcore can be, Between the Buried and Me's Colors weds clean vocals and death metal growls, furious breakdowns and sweeping progressive metal workouts, and sprays the resulting fusion over broad canvasses (including the incredible 14 minute album closer White Walls) to yield a metalcore album that most prog metal fans can love. Vocalist-keyboardist Tommy Giles Rogers is perhaps the star player in my estimation, but all the band members turn in great performances and the end result is a cutting-edge metalcore masterpiece that stands as a shocking rebuke to anyone who'd write off metalcore as shallow or formulaic.

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Send comments to Warthur (BETA) | Report this review (#1115605)
Posted Friday, January 17, 2014 | Review Permalink
siLLy puPPy
PROG REVIEWER
5 stars I have to admit that I have failed to check this band out because I can't stand their name and to be honest, metalcore is not my most favorite subgenre because more often than not it is very one dimensional. Well, then there's BETWEEN THE BURIED AND ME which frankly blows me away with their 5th album COLORS Not only does their unique brand of metalcore blow away the competition but they also manage to sock it to us with their hybrid tech death metal, jazz interludes, indie rock, bluegrass and even cheesey AOR amongst other styles that they throw in whenever they see fit. A recipe for disaster you say, well surely it could be but somehow they manage to make this all work without sounding like those other bands that have also played the in the genre changing game.

This is at its core some seriously brutal stuff but even at their hardest and loudest aggressiveness they have mastered the progressive metal thing making the timings and nuances really fascinating and they have an excellent sense of delivery knowing how to milk an idea and letting go before it gets really annoying. Now that i'm a convert to a band whose name I can't stand I can hardly wait to hear the other twisted ideas they can muster up. I was expecting this album to wear thin by the time it got to the end but never happened. I have given this several good listens expecting it lose its luster but that hasn't happened either. A strange sound this is indeed but one for which I have acquired the need.

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Send comments to siLLy puPPy (BETA) | Report this review (#1198375)
Posted Wednesday, June 25, 2014 | Review Permalink
5 stars I was first introduced to this album 5 years ago. Being someone who typically listens to hard rock and metal, it still took a couple of tries to get a feel for it. I'd never listened to much death metal or metalcore before. In short, this album expanded my world of music into many new metal subgenres, as well as the world of prog. After well over 100 listens through the years, this album is nothing short of amazing.

The album begins with peaceful and delicate melodies played an piano, but quickly begins its ascent (or descent?) to metal. Unfortunately the second track (as I find with all of their albums for some odd reason) is the weakest of them all. It stands out in a bad way, because it's hardly progressive and contains almost entirely growly vocals which are used more sparingly in other tracks. Really, this song should almost have been left out altogether. That's almost the only negative point I have about this album.

Informal gluttony has an immensely powerful instrumental intro, and eventually settles down into to a hauntingly elegant chorus ("feed me fear..."). This album changes genre/mood often, and on a first listen seems as if they're doing it at random. Except after a couple listens, the album doesn't feel "random". It has a flow almost unlike anything I've ever heard. Some prog albums it feels as if they wrote a bunch of pieces then later strung the medley together with some attached interludes, but this just... grows. It evolves as it goes. The last several minutes of 'Sun of Nothing' leading into 'Ants of the Sky', possibly my favourite part of the whole album, is a great example of this. It starts off with gentle clean guitar and some very light drums, growing into a catchy rock rhythm, further growing into a heavy rock rhythm and growly vocals, and finally evolving into an incredible metal climax that builds into the first riff of Ants of the Sky. They take something that should normally feel strained or forced, and make it feel so 'proper', like it was meant to be. Ants of the Sky continues this feeling, minus the increase in intensity. This song has a vast abundance of instrumental sections, and is easily the best overall track on the album. The "main" riff or refrain that happens in this song only twice is almost reminiscent of "Canon rock" by Funtwo on youtube. Yes, it sounds almost classical amidst a track otherwise seemingly not classical in any other way. But it sounds right at home, which I just can't explain. That's part of the magic of this album.

Ants of the sky also has a beautiful part just past the halfway point where Tommy overlaps his clean vocals with his growl vocals to create something quite beautiful, yet at the same time powerful. It's almost like the listener can choose their preferred vocals and ignore the other. He does it again in the song "Swim to the Moon" on one of their other albums. I've still never heard another band do something quite like that.

Viridian, a relaxing yet intricate bass solo, is a nice change from the intensity of the other tracks on the album. Viridian is very essential actually, particularly it's placement just before the final track. It allows you to prepare for the mind-altering instrumentals at the end of the album. I see it as the quiet before the storm and as such, does not at all feel out of place on this album.

White Walls starts out powerful and is the perfect finisher to this album. In my opinion the section from 1-3 minutes in outstays its welcome. It just doesn't seem to 'add' anything to the song except for some quirky riffs and growls, kind of like the first half of Foam Born: B. But after drum fills take the music back down to some soft guitar and vocals, the song is right where it needs to be. You hear the song starting to build very slowly ("Step back.."). The building is what this album is all about, and is just so deliciously good at it. The middle section all the way till the end of White Walls is my other favourite part of this album. The song reaches an absolutely insane climax followed further by guitar and drum solo's that completely fulfill the standard set earlier in the album. I can never get enough of those beautifully insane instrumentals, and that's what makes this album a 5 from me, though I'd really give it a 4.7 or so. Foam Born: B and a chunk of White Walls hinders this album from being my definition of perfect prog metal(core).

At first you probably won't notice it. BTBAM don't just 'play' metal on this album. They USE metal as a tool to take their music to the next level.

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Send comments to Jordan677778 (BETA) | Report this review (#1212964)
Posted Sunday, July 13, 2014 | Review Permalink

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