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

THE GREAT MISDIRECT

Between The Buried And Me

Tech/Extreme Prog Metal


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5 stars Well, what we have here is one of 2009's best albums. The album is amazing, no weak song on the album and the music is varied and keeps you interested - the album has quiet and beautiful moments such as "Mirrors", "Desert of Song" and a few parts in the other songs, aggressive moments such as "Obfuscation", jazzy parts, amazing solos and riffs all over the album, epic moments such as the last few minutes of "Fossil Genera" and in the long songs they change a lot within themselves.

Bottom line, listen to this album - even if you are not a death metal / extreme metal fan I am pretty sure that with few listens you will LOVE this album, I myself for example not an extreme metal fan and I love this album!

5/5

Report this review (#246030)
Posted Saturday, October 24, 2009 | Review Permalink
5 stars So, I got this package in the mail today. I didn't think it was anything important, but then I saw that it was from Victory Records and immediately, my heart started racing: It was the new Between the Buried and Me album THE GREAT MISDIRECT!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

In conclusion...

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

Report this review (#246131)
Posted Saturday, October 24, 2009 | Review Permalink
5 stars The Great Misdirect is a great album which came as a bit of a shock since the single, Obfuscation, was less than good. As I began to actually listen to the record I found the track to be actually perfect for the dynamic of the album and helped throw you around till you arnt really sure what you're listening to (it took me about three spins till I found my footing and began to properly understand this masterpiece of a record).

From track two onwards the album starts to take shape as a much more eclectic Between The Buried And Me, also BTBAM has taken on alot of evident classic prog influences from the space jams of Pink Floyd to the methodical madness of Gentle Giant. The band sounds much smoother than on colors (I know it sounds crazy but it's the truth) and the musicianship is far superior to any of their peers, as well as anything they've done in the past.

The closing track Swim To The Moon is brilliant, brutal, and suprisingly beautiful spaning over 18 minutes it's suprising that the band has become so eclectic, and the singing is far better a lot less growling and a lot more real singing.

I highly recommend this album, it's definitly my pick for 2009's album of the year.

Report this review (#246831)
Posted Wednesday, October 28, 2009 | Review Permalink
5 stars Wow, this one definitely amazed me! BTBAM's newest release shows that this band is growing and branching out more and more towards other styles of music. This one should appeal to an even larger crowd than their previous releas "Colors." While not as heavy as their previous released, don't expect that they've completely let up from their hardcore style because this is definitely not the case. They just have less moments of the sheer intensity.

The first number isn't really heavy as it has clean singing and great intrumetal parts. Despite being just over three minutes, it's still very good! The next piece however is even better and has some killer solos and it is a lot heavier. "Disease, Injury, and Madness" is one that many will like due to the quieter middle section that is very atmospheric and progressive. There's even some nice acoustic guitar thrown in it too. It's one of my favorite's on the album due to it's power and its varying styles. "Fossil Genera" has the most unique intro starting with some quirky piano, leading into the heavy guitars. The vocals are mosyl clean and is another piece that people may like outside this genre. "Desert Of Song" is almost entirely absent of the heavy parts just like the first piece is, and makes for a great acoustic song! The grand finale of the album "Swim to the Moon" is just what you'd expect, with BTBAM throwing in everything into this piece! It makes for a great epic, and is also very technical. It's also my other favorite piece on the album, and it ranges from different moods while still being brutal.

I highly reccomend this album to fans of this genre and even encourage people from the outside to give it a try!

Report this review (#246946)
Posted Wednesday, October 28, 2009 | Review Permalink
5 stars First of all, I have been listening to BTBAM for about 5 years because my friend was into metal and stuff... Im not a huge metal fan, but always could appreciate BTBAM. I've seen them live at least 6 times, but I never could get 100% into the music, seemed to cold and calculated, didn't flow enough for me. I started to get more into them with Alaska and Colors and loved the direction they were headed in, but still couldn't enjoy the songs 100%....

Now with the Great Misdirect, I was blown away...i had to listen to it about 3-4 times for it all to sink in, but when it did...i was just in awe, not just with the musicianship, but with everything as a whole. I love every single song, it feels very organic, and to me that is important. it doesnt seem forced at all, as colors, for me, did at times. i'm not going to review each and every track individually. however, i think this is easily the best album released within the past couple years. the direction they are headed in is unprecedented...and who knows where they will take it from here...i mean they are so young. the oldest member is paul waggoner at 30, and amazingly blake is only 25. most bands creating this caliber of music are at least ten years older than they are. I have listened to this album at least 15 times, and it keeps getting better and better each time i listen to it.

I wasn't expecting this album to be much more than a more pretentious colors...but it's different in the sense that it is more advanced and evolved. To my surprise, BTBAM has taken a quantum leap forward from their previous works, and I most certainly feel this is a masterpiece and worthy of a five- star rating.

Report this review (#246996)
Posted Wednesday, October 28, 2009 | Review Permalink
5 stars ALAS! THE NEW BETWEEN THE BURIED AND ME ALBUM! I'VE BEEN WAITING FOR THIS FOR TWO YEARS!

This young band has really turned it up in The Great Misdirect. Colors was, in my opinion, completely amazing. But some parts did seem forced and the feel was somewhat mechanical. Now they've progressed to new heights. Everyone in the band is at the top of their game, including the exceptional drumming and bass section courtesy of Blake Richardson and Dan Briggs.

The album is just starting to sink in for me, but I have somewhat of a grasp of what I can write about the album. It's just that mindblowing.

Mirrors is a wonderful, jazzy and very beautiful intro to the album. Tommy's singing is as clean as ever. And the band is tighter and more free flowing than before. Amazing. (10/10)

In comes the metal with Obfuscation. It is as chaotic as it is calculated and is just really awesome. With little proggy interludes everywhere and a groovy guitar solo, this song is just really killer. (10/10)

Now its at this point when I first listened to these two songs and felt: "Wow. Between the Buried and Me sounds great. Doesn't sound very different from Colors, but it's still REALLY awesome." I didn't think they had progressed too much. They clearly had, but it wasn't until the album came out that I got to hear the rest of the songs off the album.

Boom. Disease, Injury, Madness. Comes in with a ton of crushing riffs. I haven't heard Between the Buried and Me as organized as this. Every fits perfectly. The metal is generally easier to handle. Then the gentle, Pink Floyd section of the song. It's so catchy and flows amazingly. This really showed me Between the Buried and Me's progression. I haven't ever heard them like this before. Then some wonderful acoustic guitar leading to more crushing metal. It's as brutal as it was before, but much more organic. It sounds amazing, not to mention some RIDICULOUS drum fills from Blake. (I'm a prog drummer too, and this guy is insane.) Then a catchy blues rock riff, which by itself could be a song. It's pretty driving and energetic. Then with some crazy vocals and blast beats comes a technical section. The song ends pretty abruptly, but what comes next just really blows my mind. (10/10)

Fossil Genera: A Feed From Cloud Mountain. Piano. FRIGGEN PIANOS EVERYWHERE. This is just completely insane! I can't even believe I'm hearing such a piano driven metal riff. Of course, the catchy boppy stylings of Tommy Rogers. Now this song stays pretty dark and demonic for the most part. I ridiculously brutal breakdown really made the song sound crazy. They sound like Dillinger Escape Plan at this point. But, you can slowly hear the prog creeping on, as it hits you right in the face with some interesting mathy riffs. Then in with some energetic intrumentals. An overall cohesiveness, I'm beginning to hear makes this song what it is. Then a simply amazing driving proggy section before the slow ballad leading to the epic ending of the song, I think I'm sold. (10/10)

The wind is blowing slowly and the desert is dry in Desert of Song. The band's redneck/Counting Crows roots come out, in this lovely ballad, featuring Paul Waggoner singing lead! Wicked. Catchy, warm and filled with thick bass lines. The band really shines when they play a ballad. Incredible. The interlude leading into the next song is very nice. (10/10)

What's that I hear? Percussion? Keyboard layers? WOAH. Kick in the face. The band just hammers away with their fast as lightning prog solos. In fact, it sounds somewhat like Mastodon. The band is tighter than ever, firing on all cannons. Tommy doubling his keyboard over the guitar lines and even having lines of his own. Blake Richardson, is just on fire. Pretty long instrumentals. Now what's this? Who's this guy? This guy is Chuck Johnson, the bass player in Dan Briggs sideband, Orbs. His singing is pretty interesting. The riffing here is pretty wicked as well. The band almost sounds like, Dream Theater. If that's not obvious enough. I found an overall DT influence on the majority of the record. But they go from DT, to Mastodon, to Queen! This band is utter genius! Now with some technically well timed Mastodon like grooves leading into an absolutely ridiculous drum solo. Onto a short little guitar break, comes another ridiculous, well executed exotic sounding riff. Which leads into, solos. And more solos. And uh, well more solos. Even I, a huge BTBAM fan, will admit they were a little self indulgent here. But it really only lasts about 4 or 5 minutes. Then a nice buildup to an absolutely disgusting brutal breakdown. I smell some Coalesce. Then the song finishes strong and abruptly with their opening wackiness. (10/10)

Although they soloed a lot on Swim to the Moon, I can really appreciate the direction the band is taking overall on this album. They are becoming a forced to be reckoned with. I know for a fact there was a decent amount of hype for this record. The band is the best they've ever been. Especially Blake. Oh Blake. He's at the top of his game. His riffs are as complicate and original as ever. The band really shines as a whole on this album. With some organized metal riffs and lots of slow ballads. Absolutely amazing, in terms of Prog, this is my album of the year. All in all, It's in 2nd place. But absolutely amazing. Great for any progressive metal fan, the harsh vocals weren't that bad on this album. GET THIS NOW.

Report this review (#247025)
Posted Wednesday, October 28, 2009 | Review Permalink
5 stars Here we have what for me is the album of the year. An absolutley stunning album from Between the Buried and Me, a band that at the moment can do no wrong. Following up the modern day classic Colors was always going to be a difficult task, but BTBAM has succesfuly created an album the lives up to the greatness of Colors, if not exceeding it (though still too early to say one way or the other). Each song on this album is truly stunning, from the beautifuly subdued opening track Mirrors to the closing 17 minute epic of sheer technical brutality Swim to the Moon.
Report this review (#247075)
Posted Thursday, October 29, 2009 | Review Permalink
5 stars This is the first metal album of 2009 where I feel like i have been offered something refreshing as well as very inspired. The great Misdirect is a tech/extreme metal masterpiece, and sets the new benchmark for progressive metal acts to come.

Firstly it has to be pointed out that if you cannot tolerate screaming vocals at all, then this band is not necessarily for you. This album is going to take a beating for this very reason. Also, there is a LOT to take in from this album. It requires iterative listening. And I do think this applies to ALL types of music, even popular music. But this notion particularly applies here, because Between the buried and me can cram a ton of musical ideas within a short time span, and there are some lengthy tracks on this record, too. So before going on a BTBAM rant campaign about how noisy, poorly constructed or self indulgent there music seems (or ranting about any music for any reason for that matter), put you're impartial listening caps on and give it a couple of spins.

There has been a drastic improvement of tone and production quality. Even the more dense guitar riffs similar to that which can be heard from their previous album, colors, are more coherent and audible (relatively speaking [It's still tech/extreme metal after all!]). The bass and Drums also follow suite, and prove that Between the buried and me potentially have the greatest rhythm section in metal today. The lead vocals are pretty much the same deal as colors, although the vocalist proves that he has a versatile singing voice. There are also vocals other than that of the lead singer, such as that from Paul Waggoner and other guest vocalists (swim to the moon).

The great Misdirect is not just a bombardment of in-your-face technical/extreme metal. In-fact, two of the six tracks are far from that, and that the other tracks consist of quieter segments of music. The quite/quirky sections may be labeled contrived or there for the sake of differentiation, but it's hard to deny that these sections are, most importantly, musically tasteful and very fitting. They delve into other genres or styles which ultimately impact on the mood of an entire track (imagine fossil genera without that first section, it just wouldn't be the same!). I do believe this genre exploration is the secret to the bands success, and is justified by the musical brilliance along with how these parts work well within the context of the progressive metal elements.

This really is the greatest progressive (metal) album of 2009. When I think of the many albums that have been released this year, the words "uninspired" or "incredibly overrated" generally come to mind (I need not name albums). this is NOT the case for the Great Misdirect. They have stuck to their guns, but they have also, successfully, refined their sound and pushed the envelope.

Report this review (#247079)
Posted Thursday, October 29, 2009 | Review Permalink
Marty McFly
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Errors and Omissions Team
4 stars EDIT 10/05/16 - OK, let's be fair a little bit here. If you hate Death Metal, let's read bellow. If not, let's just say that this record shows very skilled musicians performing quite Hard Rock / Metal, simply heavy sound, even sometimes depending on melodic guitar solos (and so). Weird combination that results into cacophony mess while being nice the rest of times.

4(+) because this work is good enough to classify so high. Variety is stunning and OK, I learned to appreciate this genre far more than half a year ago.

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- I don't know if it's just me, but I think I'm not affected by this hype around this album which suffered 2009 ratings recently. Well, I've made this mistake with Riverside's 2009 piece of musical effort, I underestimated their quality and thought that it's just hyped. It wasn't and I had to admit that their album was quite good. So I've tried it with this one.

I failed terribly. Or the music failed, one of these (in worst case even both of these statements) are true, because this music simply didn't make it to me. I've tried to see something here, but just monotone sound here (which is part of this whole death metal thing, which I still didn't get and I'm probably not going to understand it any time soon. What exactly is interesting in repeating brutality, again and again same tone, same sound and melody + ever-present unpleasant [well, it's certainly not pleasant] sound). I'll of course try in future to find something (because I don't like bashing albums, especially this popular albums), but I'm not too optimistic. First track, serving as intro is perfect, but it's not connected to the rest of this album. But what I heard in next is simply wonderful. There's melody, wild, rock melody and connected with death metal growl it doesn't sound so bad. And after this one, this repeats. Varying and changing, but it is here. But sheer relying on overwhelming vocals and sound is here simply too much to be considered as better rated album. This is not album for everyone (in this, all these reviewers (so far, 5 members reviewed and all with 5 star. I've read these reviews and can agree with these words, they're quite well composed revs, but they're wrong in one thing. Even it can be masterpiece for those who love death metal, it fails for others, or is even pain in the (you know) for those who hates it. I can stand it, if there's fair amount of it. It is, almost. But album for everyone, no way) are wrong).

So 2(+), quite pleasing, but I still don't understand why 7 times 5 stars. (31. 10. 2009)

Report this review (#247214)
Posted Friday, October 30, 2009 | Review Permalink
5 stars Well, now, what do we have here? Despite all the hype, this one still came as a surprise to me. I felt their previous releases were lacking something, somehow feeling at once a bit disconnected and monotonous. But with this one, Between the Buried and Me has pulled it all together. This album, start to finish, amazes, enthralls, captivates and transports the listener.

Has BTBAM moved closer to songwriting that fits my taste, or have my tastes evolved to allow me to like this band? Probably a little of both. I'll admit to being one of those people who really disliked anything with cookie monster vocals. Opeth changed that for me, and bands like BTBAM have followed on their coattails and I've been the one to reap the benefits. The key for me is song structure and the dichotomy between the growling vocals and clean passages. No one does it better than Opeth, but BTBAM has come closer for me than any other band to pulling this off successfully. It's as if Gabriel-era Genesis and Death (the band) had two children. The first was named Opeth, the second Between the Buried and Me.

5 stars? Yes. This is as good as it gets.

Report this review (#247495)
Posted Saturday, October 31, 2009 | Review Permalink
2 stars The new release of the ever so hyped band Between the Buried and Me is finally here, following their 2007 power-house "Colors", which truly opened my eyes to this strangely ambivalent band. The reason why I say ambivalent is not in the sense that the music is surprising or confused, the ambivalence to me lies in the absurd contrasts that are at conflict within each BtBaM album.

There has never been much debate as to whether or not BtBaM are a metal band, the very distorted vocals and death/black-metal riffs give it away on the first listen if you'd ever care to step back to previous releases. Then they have their softer side, like almost every progressive metal band you'll find that no matter how hard they may try to keep up a metal facade there is always to some degree alot of softer proggy goodness nestling below it all. The thing is though, that with most other bands you'll find that these influences are intertwined, the hard and the soft, but with BtBaM it may be completely different bands playing at times. If you'd care for a brilliant example then trace your way back to "Alaska"(2005) and listen to the title track, the shift from the opening riff to the song is both harmonically and dynamically absurd.

I might have already given away that I embrace this chosen style with a varying degree of enthusiasm, it is very apparent that this is how they want to sound after their recent releases have all followed this particular pattern. Where "Colors" mixed things up with some truly astonishing pieces of music(Ants of the Sky, White Walls I'm looking at you). BtBaM once more fall into their pit of mediocrity with this album.

"The Great Misdirect" begins with one of the greatest opening tracks I have ever heard, once more tricking me into hoping that this might be the one album for me I know that BtBaM could theoretically make... And then the album turns to its second song, Obfuscation, and I felt myself physically cringing at the first sound of vocalist Tommy Rogers growl, or whatever you'd like to call it. To me it sounds basically like the noise I'd imagine a Transformer would make if it died of old age. I am not one of those people who generally dislike growling, screaming or whatever you'd like to call the style, but in Rogers case it's so terribly monotone that I grow tired just thinking about it.

Oh yeah, we were talking about the album.

It sounds like BtBaM, that is the best way to describe "The Great Misdirect"(and also the reason why I give it a 2: Collectors/fans only-rating). There is nothing new here. To me the metal parts just stretch out eternally, I can hear things happening in the background and I understand that there is depth somewhere in there. But with the absolutely pointless over-drumming by Blake Richardson and the drone of Tommy Rogers I lose track of it all and it turns into a blur of sound. The softer parts are as always what keeps pulling me back to this band. At times its so good that I almost forgive their dreadfully boring metal... and then another song begins and I forget about their good side all over again.

But to conclude this review I have to say that when it comes down to it, this is not a bad album. On the contrary, "The Great Misdirect" is a great album by a great band. But to those of us who do not enjoy the style and sound of BtBaM this one will find it just as painful to listen through as their previous works.

2/5

Report this review (#248027)
Posted Tuesday, November 3, 2009 | Review Permalink
Bonnek
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Prog Metal Team
4 stars Sometimes it is interesting to see how your appreciation of an album can change over the course of a couple of listens. By way of demonstrating that change, I kept my review in its original state, which I took down after the first few listens. As you will see it does not correspond with my rating at all. Not because I'm schizophrenic (I'd rather say this album is totally schizoid) but because I've changed opinion. A human right I often claim. I must also admit that a second reason why I didn't rewrite the review is simply because I'm lazy. Another human trait that is not entirely strange to me.

Between the Buried and Me combine old school death metal and aggressive hardcore with prog indulgences to create a burst of anger that leaves little room for things to develop. I like well-dosed aggression in music but after being slapped around the ears with it for 5 minutes, I sort of get the point and I'm ready to move on towards more interesting expressions of our mental state.

That doesn't happen enough here, there are scattered occasions where BTBAM tempt us with what they could achieve if they would stop hammering down their one point so continuously. Yes we've got it: you're young, angry and very angry. (Well I admit, that's 3 points they're making)

But it's not just that, my main issue is that the aggressive parts themselves are not good enough: it is known hardcore and thrash metal riffs pasted together with monotonous hardcore shouts and a hyper-kinetic Mars Volta-on-speed approach to prog. But don't have your hopes up with this last reference. Never do they reach the level of excellence and creativity that we know that band for.

It's only when they open up their neurotic attack for some more laidback playing that it gets more interesting. Examples can be found around the 5 minute mark into "Obfuscation" or 2 minutes into "Disease, Injury, Madness". But all too soon, the overstressed metal riffs kick in again and we're submerged under a wall of thrash metal again.

BTBAM has a lot of potential and I'd guess that many youngsters will devour this. For me, less predictable songs would have enhanced it a lot. Another option would be to do karaoke versions of their music. Without vocals this would work a lot better. Given the poor state and creative standstill that the metal scene has suffered from in the last few years, it is no wonder that this album comes floating to the top of all year-lists.

Actually this is a fun hodgepodge of an album! Approach with care though, maybe some of my initial criticism will still be valid for you. 4 stars. Subject to change...

Report this review (#250915)
Posted Monday, November 16, 2009 | Review Permalink
Conor Fynes
PROG REVIEWER
5 stars 'The Great Misdirect' - Between The Buried And Me (9.5/10)

As the year 2009 reached it's final stretch, I was pretty certain that I had heard the best that the year had to offer. The year has seen some great achievements from bands both old and new, and by the time November came around, I was almost sure that while the year had not yet ended; there wasn't anything left musically to look forward to, so to speak. Of course there was new music being released (albums are released every week) but there didn't seem to be anything left that would really blow me away...

At the behest of a friend, I went and purchased 'The Great Misdirect' a week or two after it was released. Until this point, Between The Buried And Me has really been a mixed bag for me. The other album of theirs I own 'Colors' (and many other's introduction to the band) was fantastic instrumentally, but it seemed a bit dry and rough at parts. Most of the other material I had heard from the band had been less than impressive, to say the least. Suffice to say, despite some great things I had heard about this album, my expectations weren't exactly surging through the roof.

Upon the first listen of 'The Great Misdirect,' I found myself paralyzed. From that moment on, I was sure I had heard the perfect culmination of a band that was really going places.

Don't get me wrong, 'Colors' was an exhilerating listen, but this new record goes above and beyond it. Three days into listening the album, I had listened to it over 30 times. The only other time I've enjoyed an album enough to be so stuck to the replay button was years ago, when I first bought the cornerstone concept album 'Scenes From A Memory' by Dream Theater.

There's no denying it; 'The Great Misdirect' is in fact, one of the most innovative metal records I've ever heard.

Between The Buried And Me has really seemed to do away with alot of their metalcore sound and there's alot of a prog sensibility here.The record really takes the listener on a ride through time and genre. The album starts with some dark jazzy chords and a meloncholic vocal line before letting go into an incredibly beautiful and polyrhythmic section before erupting into the first heavy song of the album, 'Obfuscation.' Honestly, I don't think I've ever heard a band meld traditional beauty and mind-numbing technicality before.

All the same, the first two songs do resonate alot with 'Colors' and existing fans of the band will certainly be pleased. It's not until the heaviest number 'Disease, Injury, Madness' rolls around where it becomes clear that this isn't just a victory lap for the band, and the expected 'Colors' formula is broken. From that point on, 'The Great Misdirect' really takes a form of it's own.

Even the less fantastic sections on the album have a role to play. 'Desert Of Song,' a hard- edged country/western ballad, is a good song with that would even shine on a lesser album, but it ends up being 'The Great Misdirect's lowest point. The album benefits greatly from it however, as a mellow, less demanding track is a very welcome segue between heavy, technical sections.

The album's epic finale, 'Swim To The Moon' is 18 minutes of seemingly unrelelenting tech-metal madness. While there are parts in the song that are among the best of the album, there could have been a bit more of an 'epic' build up to the climax. With 'White Walls,' there was a very gradual tension that put the listener on edge for minutes until the big climax burst out in full force. With 'Swim To The Moon,' the album seems to just 'end.' There's no big payoff, although that certainly doesn't rob the epic of being a great track.

This is undoubtedly the greatest album I've heard all year, and even one of the best modern metal albums ever made. Absolutely brilliant... I would say 'words cannot describe it,' but that's what a review is for! Five stars, essential, masterpiece... whatever you want to call it, 'The Great Misdirect' has it all, and is living proof that Between The Buried And Me are the great progressive metal band of the new generation.

Report this review (#252106)
Posted Saturday, November 21, 2009 | Review Permalink
Epignosis
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Eclectic Prog Team
4 stars With extremely few exceptions, growling is a ridiculous technique that can quickly and easily mar an otherwise great musical performance. Wholeheartedly believing this, I purchased this album on a whim anyway, partly because I wanted to again see exactly how far my hang-up with that awful vocal style would allow me to enjoy the rest of the project, and partly because the price was right. In this particular case, the growling acts more like a wash of punctuated distortion over the music, and doesn't rob the album of much of anything, although I certainly stop at saying it adds something. Regardless, this is furiously focused chaos, with several stylistic morphs that guarantee the listener's interest is not swamped by constant double-bass drumming, hideous snarling, and unvarying speedy guitar riffs. There are some weak and rather haphazard transitions within pieces, something I am always displeased with, but few of the compositional ideas or their executions are remotely unconvincing or uninteresting. While I'm not crazy about everything in this album, I'll be damned if I wasn't incredibly and pleasantly surprised. And people are saying Colors is better? This means I have yet another discography to consider, much to the chagrin of my wallet.

"Mirrors" A beautifully misleading opening track, "Mirrors" has clean guitars and mournful vocals. It is a cross between the lighter fare of The Mars Volta and the darkest music of Pink Floyd. It also features a phenomenal demonstration of the bassist's prowess.

"Obfuscation" The heavy onslaught begins here. Overpowering guitar and drums provide the heavy backbone for thunderous growling. Two-and-a-half minutes in, however, the music shifts into a hypnotic synthesizer bit. Once again the bassist stands out, even during a blissfully restrained guitar solo. Overall, this is an excellent demonstration of what the band is capable, but by no means exhaustively so.

"Disease, Injury, Madness" Rather than provide a respite, Between the Buried and Me choose to crank things up with a piece of music that initially is even heavier than what came before. The audio assault lasts two minutes, and then one of the quietest, and most plaintive moments of the album ensues. It features proper singing, including subtle counterpoint, as well as graceful acoustic guitar. For some reason, the guitar soloing about three quarters of the way in reminds me of the heaviest section of Pink Floyd's "Money." It is followed by an elegant bass solo.

"Fossil Genera - A Feed from Cloud Mountain" What's this? After extremely hard-hitting metal with bombastic growling and blistering guitars, there's this nasty bit of cabaret music, complete with honky-tonk piano, whistling in the background, and giddy singing. It returns to a sludge of growls soon enough, and after the gritty business subsides, listeners are treated with placid acoustic guitar, a well-composed guitar solo, and a Porcupine Tree-like composition.

"Desert of Song" If there weren't enough variation on this album to please those who are not hardcore fans of the overall genre, there's this- an olden-sounding country and western piece, complete with a tinny slide guitar.

"Swim to the Moon" Exotic percussion and light synthesizer begin the track, which is abruptly interrupted by a barrage of guitar, bass, and drums. One of the guitar runs gets a classical guitar treatment- masterfully done- and then the technical metal experience begins, complete with a buzzing synthesizer lead. Volatile vocals, from practically shouted melodies to all-out roaring come into play. That extremeness remains for most of the first half of the piece until about halfway through, when coherent vocals take over in a powerful climax; a single, delicate guitar follows, and introduces one of the most creative musical moments of the album- words fail me in describing it. Trailing that is a wondrous and unexpected organ solo. The acoustic guitar and lap steel, followed by classical guitar, provide a peacefully sweet transition to the compellingly melodic chorus.

Report this review (#252369)
Posted Monday, November 23, 2009 | Review Permalink
2 stars The album is very uncompromising and to be honest was not my cup of tea. Its often just a wall of sound with very little variety. That maybe ok for one track but its for most of the album. It would be nice to have a bit of variety to liven it up.

Music for me should be enjoyable and frankly this isn't. The music carries a certain tension and anger and its not what I listen to music for. Not an album I will be playing again and I would think they are unlikely to find a wider audiance with this type of music. I see that this album has had a high percentage of 5 stars-I guess these must be from fans of the band already. For me as they say, one for completionists ie fans of the band.

Report this review (#252680)
Posted Wednesday, November 25, 2009 | Review Permalink
Rune2000
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Prog Metal Team
3 stars It's interesting that The Great Misdirect hasn't received a single review since November which is only a month after its release. At the same time this abnormality actually manages to explain exactly how I feel about this particular album.

After some impressive work on Colors I was interested in the direction this band would undertake on their follow-up release. It felt as though Between The Buried And Me should still have a great deal of inspiration left in them to carve out something even more spectacular this time around! Would it be a new over-the-top concept album or maybe a release consisting of one coherent track? Let's listen and find out...

The first two tracks start in a similar manner to the band's previous outputs but this time without anything spectacular. Mirrors is a sparse and underwhelming composition that doesn't fulfill its purpose as the opening track. Things do start to look up with Obfuscation and the band even manages to get some of the transition sections to actually work but every time I hear the ending sections guitar riffs and solo it all feels too much like a re-work of Dream Theater's Scenes From A Memory. This is truly a pity because the rest of material doesn't reach the intensity level that was offered by Obfuscation. Instead we are treated to the same old riffs as always which would have worked well if I didn't have all these high expectations after Colors!

The conclusion of The Great Misdirect is where it really goes sour for me! Swim To The Moon features an extensive instrumental jam section filled with every cliche in the book which could have been avoided by scaling down the composition to 10-12 minute format. As it stands today this 18 minute track has very little to offer in exchange for this hefty chunk of my time and I always feel underwhelmed after hearing it.

Overall performance-wise there isn't anything particularly wrong with this release and have I not known what this band was actually capable of then my review would probably have been different. I don't consider this album to be a bad release but at the end of the day I'll always end up choosing Colors over it. This is also why I think everyone has already forgotten about The Great Misdirect and are instead eagerly awaiting what this band will think of next!

**** star songs: Mirrors (3:38) Obfuscation (9:15) Disease, Injury, Madness (11:03) Fossil Genera - A Feed from Cloud Mountain (12:11) Desert Of Song (5:33)

*** star songs: Swim To The Moon (17:54)

Report this review (#265472)
Posted Thursday, February 11, 2010 | Review Permalink
J-Man
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars A Breath of Fresh Air In the Crowded Prog Metal Genre!

Between The Buried and Me's fifth album (not counting The Anatomy Of) is pure gold, and is one of my favorite albums from 2009. This unique band has been stirring up much discussion in the progressive metal world lately, and after hearing this album it's obvious why this band is getting so much attention.

I had enjoyed their previous album, Colors, prior to hearing The Great Misdirect, and I must say that this album is just about equal with its outstanding predecessor. The type of music that is played here is undeniably BtBaM's unique spin on progressive metal. To me, this album sounds like your traditional prog metal in the vein of Dream Theater with more space rock sounds (think Pink Floyd) with some added death metal and metalcore influences. Don't be scared away by the death metal or metalcore labels, though. If you are a progressive metal fan who can handle growling, I can almost assure that you will love The Great Misdirect.

One of the highlights of this album for me is the outstanding musicianship. Every musician is tight and precise, and that is really what is needed for this type of technical prog metal. Sloppy playing can ruin an album in this genre (I've seen it many times), but BtBaM is so fantastic on their respected instruments that this is never a problem. The bass playing from Dan Briggs is smart and innovative; I think modern metal bassists should learn a bit from his intelligent playing. The drumming from Blake Richardson is fantastic as well, and he is definitely one of the best drummers in modern prog metal. The dual guitarists do their job exceptionally as well, and good guitarists are essential for this type of music. While I was initially not very keen on Tommy Rogers's vocals, I've learned to appreciate his talent more. He is a very skilled vocalist in terms of growling and clean vocals.

The songwriting is also really excellent. The Great Misdirect is filled with interesting compositions and the excellent musicians deliver it perfectly. This is filled with soft and heavy moments, and many influences you wouldn't expect from a band in this genre (Fossil Genera sounds like ragtime at times, believe it or not). The beautiful Desert of Song serves as a breath of fresh air in the album, and the opening track, Mirrors reminds me very much of Pink Floyd. The heavier, more epic songs are my favorites, though. My personal favorite is Swim To The Moon, which has a superb instrumental section near the end. All of the songs on this album are great, though. I have no complaints at all.

Conclusion:

The Great Misdirect is a superb album from one of the best modern progressive metal acts around. A 4.5 star rating is well earned for this outstanding album. If not for Transatlantic's latest effort, this would have been my favorite album of 2009. This is highly recommended to any prog metal fan, along with their previous album, Colors. I'm still debating what my favorite Between The Buried And Me album is, but The Great Misdirect may very well be my favorite. This is essential for anyone into heavier prog metal with a true sense of originality.

4 stars.

Report this review (#268358)
Posted Thursday, February 25, 2010 | Review Permalink
4 stars While not as strong as the fantastic Colors, The Great Misdirect is still just as crazy, if not more crazy, yes the songs may be more structured and more stright forward than the last album, but to me it just seemed like they were trying to make another Colors and i was ever so slightly disappointed.

I was hoping that they would take it in a different direction, bt it just seemed to samey same, and im not a big fan of that, there are some great standout songs on this album though, the start of FOSSIL GENERA - A FEED FROM CLOUD MOUNTAIN was just wierd and sounded like a very bad musical number gone wrong, DESERT OF SONG i just didnt like at all and thought the vocals were rather whiney, having said that the standout tracks made up for it DISEASE, INJURY, MADNESS being the best song on this collection with a really cool mid section that reminded me of Dream Theater's 'A Nightmare To Remember' and there was a cool hardcore punk sounding section in the final song SWIM TO THE MOON that also had a cool Mars Volta like section in the middle as well. The musicmanship on this album is just as good as Colors as well again making up for the not so great songs, at least they were played well;

Mirrors - 7/10 Obfuscation - 8/10 Disease, Injury, Madness - 10/10 Fossil Genera ? A Feed from Cloud Mountain - 8/10 Desert of Song - 5/10 Swim to the Moon - 9/10

My Conclusion? if your new to this band and want to check them out, i would buy Colors first before picking up this one, still a decent album though.

Report this review (#282218)
Posted Sunday, May 16, 2010 | Review Permalink
2 stars I am annoyed by this album. Sure, the musicians are skilled and the songs are progressive. But the technical parts aren't catchy, the vocals are awful, and the songs change a lot - for the worse.

This album is a slight improvement over their previous one, "Colors". Where there where a lot of atonal, sludgy, jagged riffs on Colors, they aren't so frequent this time. The music flows a lot better, but there are still awkward insertions of other genres, including a cheesy bluesy rock n' roll part with added keys and weird-child-like vocalizations and a very poor Mike Patton/Mr. Bungle bit (which I am not of a fan of, either).

Overall, this album is a skilled but weird botch of all kinds of music.

Report this review (#291606)
Posted Friday, July 23, 2010 | Review Permalink
4 stars After the mammoth that is Colours, Between The Buried & Me made another epic of an album. And does it match up?

It's not as good, but it's still pretty damn good. In fact, it's a step forward.

I believe that after the Progressive Nation tour, these guys really took a wide range of influences and really made another very special album. Again, its not for everyone, but on my first listen, I really did enjoy it.

With less songs but a lot more length, it really showed what these guys can do.

This is only the beginning and I can't wait to hear more from these guys.

1. Mirrors - An intro really. Starts off very dark and goes into King Crimson territory. The following instrumental section is very beautiful. 10/10

2. Obfuscation - Some nice changes and instrumental work. The guitar solo in the middle is pretty cool. Great build up in parts. Very melodic. 9/10

3. Disease, Injury, Madness - Perfect title. The Disease starts off very crazy and odd. The Injury is quite solemn and dark, while Madness is incredibly eclectic. 10/10

4. Fossil Genera - A Feed From Cloud Mountain - The intro is funny. The song is very frantic, odd and the story is enjoyable. Very diverse as well. The ending is incredibly epic and beautiful. 10/10

5. Desert Of Song - Great vocals. Beautiful composition. 10/10

6. Swim To The Moon - Frantic and quite hardcore at times. The instrumental sections are the real highlights. I love the Zappa like intro. 9/10

CONCLUSION: I wouldn't say it's worse than Colours. In may ways their equal, it's just Colours is slightly more stronger. Still a great album though.

Report this review (#308867)
Posted Monday, November 8, 2010 | Review Permalink
2 stars This album I could only recommend to fans of the genre, could rescue a few things from this band in the few moments they are progressive , But nothing new, the screams can cause a headache if you're not used to this genre, the voice clean appears me of a commercial band of the tv, I think That I'll never hear this album, for me it was a bad buy, I think not is a bad album for the people who like this genre, sorry for the followers of this band but my personal rating is 2.0 of 5.0, this album would be more appropriate to have a better rating in Metal Music Archives not here.

I using a translator of Spanish to English in my reviews.

All The Best.

Report this review (#321498)
Posted Tuesday, November 16, 2010 | Review Permalink
AtomicCrimsonRush
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Symphonic Team
4 stars Acoustics, brutal distorted riffs, incredible lead breaks, diversity, beautiful singing and death growls, all on one album! Between the Buried and Me drew me in due to the technically excellent and precise musicianship along with a diversity of styles. The Death metal vocals are prevalent at times and dominate over the music, and there are moments of inspired genius in the instrumental sections that are mindblowing. It begins with a piece of beauty on acoustic and delightfully clean vocals, reminding me of the quieter Opeth.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Report this review (#436393)
Posted Thursday, April 21, 2011 | Review Permalink
EatThatPhonebook
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars 5/10

"The Great Misdirect" is one of the most ambitious and progressive metalcore albums.

Let me put this straight. I am not a fan of Metalcore. Actually, at times I get pretty close to hating it. Maybe one day I'll like more, but until then, I'll have a few issues with a band like Between The Buried And Me. But what makes them exceptional is the really big progressive influence that is noticeable in their music and their album structures. "The Great Misdirect" , the band's sixth studio album and follow-up to their most acclaimed album to date, "Colors", keeps this formula that has been a winning one for Metalcore fans. As for me, I'm enjoying it partially.

Metalcore, to say it in an easy way, is a mixture between Hardcore Punk and Death Metal, and usually there is almost no melody in it. I like it when music has this characteristic, but not at all when these two genres combine. (I must admit though that I do like Grindcore, which is a little more extreme) "The Great Misdirect" has this type of music, and pretty abundantly too. But, like I said, what I like about the most about this band is the progressive side: many of the songs have crazy keyboard sounds, many time changes, alterations of moods, maybe even some electronic, and excellent musicianship. Because of these elements the songs on this album are extremely ambitious and adventurous, much more actually than many bands that define themselves progressive.

I've got to say that the highlights of this album, formed by six really long tracks, are "Fossil Genera", my absolute favorite, where even the harsher moments have some catchiness in them, even though the best part is at the second half of the song, where it gets more calm, and eventually it builds in a very epic way, until the end of the track where it has repeated the riff from the first part of the song. "Swim To the Moon" is another great track, with some flaws, but still pretty much worth the whole seventeen minutes; this is most definitely their most ambitious track off the album, where the experimentation goes wild with the keyboards and the time changes are infinite. A good thing about this album is that nearly every song has at least one great part in it, but all of these parts are the most experimental of the track (can't help it, I love progressive!!).

An album that just isn't my taste, but I do really appreciate the more experimental side of it, so this wasn't at all a terrible listen for me, but I do feel that many flaws are present, and I'm afraid that if I'll listen to the band's previous albums I'll find the same characteristics I consider negative that I see in "The Great Misdirect".

Report this review (#446724)
Posted Thursday, May 12, 2011 | Review Permalink
4 stars I will start by saying that I do not specialize in progressive metal that includes growing vocals, but now and then I make and exception, and I have decided to do so here...

1. Mirrors (3:38) ' This album opens with some nice guitar riffs. The vocal starts as a melodic accompaniment. The music picks up pace with faster paced drums and nice bass lines. The vocal continues its melodic theme folding into the next track

2. Obfuscation (9:15) ' this track immediately transitions from the simplistic melody of the previous track Mirrors to this decidedly heavier metal piece. It begins with a nasty raw growling vocal that is offset with a symphonic sounding integrated guitar keyboard mix that standing along would excite almost any progressive rock fan. Getting used to the raw sounding vocal during the early part of this track can be a chore. However if you hang in there, you will find some excellent electric guitar riffs and some exciting drumming/base line backdrop. Then the song progresses into some more contemporary movements reminiscent of Dream Theater.

3. Disease, Injury, Madness (11:03) ' I must admit that I am not drawn to dark lyrical themes such as put forth by the name of this particular track. This song starts very heavy music with not much too much else to mention. Then it moves to a nice melodic piece with off-beat jazz style drumming and interesting conversational vocal. It continues to decay into a beautiful acoustic guitar piece and then suddenly explodes into a very heavy raw (once again nasty growling vocal). It continues and then migrates slowly into what I can only describe as a classic rock jam. Then we have a slower soft rock moment with brushing drumming, guitar effects and awesome bass line. The guitars break back with some well-developed lead guitar riffs accompanied buy organ (sounds like a Hammond). The song concludes with a very heavy raw growling gent.

4. Fossil Genera - A Feed from Cloud Mountain (12:11) ' The introduction is interesting as it sound like a movie track from some old film. It then continues with a something that continues to sound like something from an earlier error (30s or 40s) and then a layer of heavier distorted guitar comes in as an overlay. Sit back and enjoy the ride is the growing chorus that screams from the background. Then we get another Dream Then moment with the guitar and keyboard fully integrated into a singular complex sound following the powerful drumming augmented by bass line perfectly. There are some really nice moments buried (no pun intended) within what on the surface may seem to be chaos. The music gets more complex finally arriving at its acoustic classic guitar roots. We conclude with strumming acoustic guitar, complex clean guitar lead riffs and beautiful clean vocals.

5. Desert of Song (5:33) ' The song starts with some of the same excellent acoustics guitar work that concluded the previous track along with a wind effect. Then we have a 'Guns and Roses' style vocal introduction along with western style guitar, and perhaps some blues slide guitar. Then we break into the part of the album that would have the most popular appeal. It has a nice rolling but powerful ballet as they sing 'the silence is broken' chorus.

6. Swim to the Moon (17:54) ' Now we have the 'lion king' moment. No actually it is very good and breaks into a complex math rock piece reminiscent of 80's style King Crimson. Then rapidly it speeds up into a very technically complex movement of music. It is Chaotic at moments and very organized at others. The musicianship is excellent, but much of the central part of the track is lacking emotion. The center part of this track is almost overly technical which takes more time off the clock than needed. Then it starts to get really interesting with syncopated instrumentation, off- beat drumming and intense leads. There are complex and unexpected starts and stops, organ solos, ultra-fast guitar solos, and all round major kick'As rock and roll breakouts. Then back to the Celtic melody that started the song. The drumming is bombastic and flowing. The growing vocal joins back in for a short period and is broken up by a softer melodic movement of acoustic guitar and then back to the chorus followed by complex 80s style King Crimson guitar work.

While I am typically not a big fan of growing vocal, I do make a periodic exception for exceptionally talented music and musicians most notably Opeth and Ocean Architecture. These guys fall into this category for me, so 4 out of 5.

Report this review (#884750)
Posted Sunday, December 30, 2012 | Review Permalink
4 stars This progressive death-metal/metalcore/progressive rock album starts with a light twinging guitar number a la soft Tool. It is mainly a workout for the drummer and the bass guitar player as the guitars stay mellow and don't override them.

"Obfuscation" is a typical fast-paced death-metal number with plenty of technical finesse. Worth mentioning is the mid section with equlibristic drums and rock solo, all pretty irregular. More emotional guitar playing comes in the end. The next track has a reflecting part with differently sung vocals. The ending part has the black metal furiosity and evilness. "Fossil Genera - A Feed From Cloud Mountain" sounds like anything else from the band with jazzy piano, keyboards ad playfuk marching drums. Clean vocals not unsimilar to Haken appear in the at what seems to be the dramatic peak of the track accentuated by using bells and solemn singing. "Desert of song" is an coustic-electric song that is warm but a bit shallow; however good for ears to rest a bit before the final epic track sneaks in. It is epic not only becaue of its length; it has proper development from easy going beginning to the Dream Theater+keyboard instrumental ouverture. Growling/Shrieking only come after three minutes and the rhythm is still closer to progressive metal than death. There are plenty of ideas and keyboards can get quite proficient, too. The final guitar motive is excellent.

The album cements BtBaM leading position in the field of technical death metal and they belong among most ambitious bands in that genre.

Report this review (#2271788)
Posted Sunday, October 20, 2019 | Review Permalink

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