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Between The Buried And Me

Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

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Between The Buried And Me Between the Buried and Me album cover
3.09 | 107 ratings | 9 reviews | 11% 5 stars

Good, but non-essential

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Studio Album, released in 2002

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. More of Myself to Kill (4:50)
2. Arsonist (4:50)
3. Aspirations (5:46)
4. What Have We Become (5:07)
5. Fire for a Dry Mouth (6:05)
6. Naked by the Computer (5:34)
7. Use of a Weapon (4:51)
8. Shevanel Cut a Flip (9:24)

Total Time 46:27

Line-up / Musicians

- Tommy Rogers / vocals, keyboards
- Paul Waggoner / lead & rhythm guitars
- Nick Fletcher / rhythm guitar
- Jason King / bass
- Will Goodyear / drums, clean vocals

Releases information

CD Lifeforce Records - LFR 027-2 (2002, US)
CD Victory Records ‎- VR224 (2004, US)

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Buy BETWEEN THE BURIED AND ME Between the Buried and Me Music

BETWEEN THE BURIED AND ME Between the Buried and Me ratings distribution

(107 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(11%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(18%)
Good, but non-essential (36%)
Collectors/fans only (24%)
Poor. Only for completionists (10%)

BETWEEN THE BURIED AND ME Between the Buried and Me reviews

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Collaborators/Experts Reviews

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

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

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

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

Review by Petrovsk Mizinski
3 stars Hailing from North Carolina and after releasing their demo in 2001(entitled "Demo 2001"), Between the Buried and Me were able to release a debut full length studio album in 2002 entitled Between the Buried and Me.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Review by horsewithteeth11
3 stars Well, as the saying goes, you have to start somewhere. And while Between the Buried and Me are one of the leaders in this day and age in progressive metal, this album is not a good showcasing of that. It does however have its moments from time to time.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Review by Kempokid
4 stars The debut album by progressive metal powerhouse Between The Buried and Me is a textbook example of a debut putting a band's potential on full display while simulaneously showing a lot of room to grow. Rather than prog metal, this definitely feels more in line with metalcore in its general sound, but it manages to avoid being generic both through the impressive instrumental talents of the band, and the labyrinthine nature of their songs, shifting wildly with reckless abandon, at times only sticking with a set riff for mere seconds before transforming. This proves to be both a positive and negative, as while it sometimes works, there are other times where it feels very much clear that the band still don't quite know how to write effectively at points, leading to certain songs feeling quite aimless.

More Of Myself To Kill immediatley displays the wild nature of the compositions, with immediate screaming and switching between 2 separate riffs a couple of times before changing tempo immediately, becoming progressively slower until it resembles slow, chugging djent. Throughout, the drumming is what stands out most to me, going between fast bursts, but never sounding like more of the same, constantly changing time signature and being able to sound amazingly precise and loose at the same time. The song then becomes slower and introduces some clean vocals, which while nothing special, still work really well here, and provide some beauty to the relentless nature of what came before, all before building back up into amazing intensity, but now with some actual riffs to back it up, giving something to latch on to. One issue with this song and future ones is that I do find the harsh vocals to often sound quite poor, and while that works in the context of the very raw sound going on here, I still think that this would sound much better with better vocals and production. Arsonist starts off even stronger, with the first section of the song containing an absolutely incredible riff, with the harsh vocals serving more as mad screams of anger rather than anything coherent, which actually works quite well here. I also find the breakdown halfway through to be amazing, as it somehow intensifies the song further. Aspirations is a definite improvement, showcasing both some parts even more intense and brutal than before, particular in the vocal department, as Tommy Rogers sounds like he's tearing his throat out here, and that moment of softness near the end ties everything together amazingly. What We Have Become is definitely one of the weakest songs here, as it does nothing particularly interesting and becomes very dull very quickly.

Fire For A Dry Mouth is by far one of the angriest songs the band has ever put out, each moment simply radiating pure fury, bordering on becoming scary. The mix on this song actually works quite effectively as well, with the final minute accentuating the bass and providing a different sound to everything else. The 2 minute intro to Naked By The Computer is excellent, both being incredibly beautiful and making for a perfect transition into the madness of the remaining 3 minutes. The song carries more emotional weight than the others as well, with both the lyrics and the music contributing to this, especially the breathtaking final minute. Use Of A Weapon is another lower point on the album, simply because at this point, something new has to be done in order to stand out from the insanity of everything else, and this song simply doesn't do anything special. Shevanel Cut A Flip on the other hand is definitely one of the highlights of the album starting off just as intensely, but with a certain unhinged nature to it, especially noticeable in the random restaurant conversation thrown in before jumping right back in. I find this to be the first proper example of the quirkier side of the band that would be explored in much greater depth on future albums. The best moment for sure however is the gradual removal of all heavy elements until the song becomes absolutely beautiful, keeping nothing more than a minimalistic drum beat and lovely, interweaving acoustic guitar work, as the clean vocals come in and help create my personal favourite moment on the album, along with an incredible way to close it off.

Overall, while I initially had little praise to give this album, after giving it a few listens, it's grown on me immensely. While it's definitely rough around the edges, both the skill of each band member, and the complex, high quality compositions really stand out after a few listens, where everything no longer just sounds like meaningless noise. The album has an excellent duality between looseness and precision, having a very messy, yet calculated sound to everything. While this is the last place I'd recommend someone start listening to BTBAM, I cannot deny the fact that this album is very good, despite the lack of polish it has.

Best songs: More Of Myself To Kill, Naked By The Computer, Shevanel Cut A Flip

Weakest songs: What We Have Become, Use Of A Weapon

Verdict: While a very unpolished album in many respects, everything still somehow falls into place to make a largely great album. I'd recommend this to fans of chaotic, brutal, raw music, as this album contains all the stuff that would be enjoyable for such a crowd.

Review by Dapper~Blueberries
4 stars In the early 2000s Progressive Metal was hitting its stride pretty well. Dream Theater was huge, Opeth right next to them, and bands like Mastodon and Gojira were breaking the mold in fun and innovative ways. However, one band stuck out from the rest. Every other band had a distinct style, but none were more distinct in their playing, styles, musicianship, and love for their craft as Between The Buried and Me were.

Between The Buried and Me is one of my favorite bands ever conceived. To me this band has made some of the greatest albums ever made by man, one of them I think is down right perfect, but every flame has to have a lighter and for a band like Between The Buried and Me, that lighter must be huge, and huge it was. You see Between The Buried And Me weren't always Prog Metal, they were actually metalcore. They still are, definitely by their fast riffs, their chaotic sounds, and their more hardcore punk exterior, but with their first release it was more apparent, but my god this album is seriously under appreciated, and definitely one I'd like to talk about. Their self-titled album is a great start for one of the best bands ever, and I think it is high time that it deserves some needed love and attention.

The album starts immediately strong with More Of Myself To Kill. It instantly showcases what the band knows how to do, and that is to create hard hitting music that is as aggressive as it is awesome. Heck in this exact same song we get some small snippets of what the band would later be loved for, the switch in tempos, the somber yet brutal lyricism, and those beautiful ballads in between. Likewise this also showcases Tommy Roger's vocals, and right now it sadly isn't at its peak, but at the age of 22, it isn't bad, it just needs improvement and with later works it definitely has improved. All in all for a first song this is impressively made and definitely a classic among the band.

Next up is Arsonist. This is a pure heavy song, no filler, no additions, just raw metalcore at its finest. The strums are heavy, and lyrics of angels bathing in blood and the horrid people in religious texts showcase the band's boldness in their songwriting that'll continue throughout the 21st century. Everything feels so angry and aggressive that it's a little intimidating the first go around, but after a few times it only gets better and better. Just an awesome song.

Aspirations continues the threshold of heaviness while also adding a little bit of power metal to the mix, giving the sound a more fast paced and action like feel. I do however have to bring up Tommy's vocals again, this'll be the last time but here it's a little more apparent that at the moment of this album's release, his screamo was weak, and in this track it's really noticeable by how less attuned it is with the music playing and it's almost hard to hear what he is saying half the time due to how screechy it sounds. Definitely a mere problem of its time, but definitely one worth looking at when taking a critical look at an album that came out 20 years ago. Other than the vocals, the song is pretty good.

After that is What We Have Become. It continues planting the progressive seeds More Of Myself To Kill had and does so by showcasing a more technical side of things from the band. An increasing amount of tempo and riff changes on a dime to really make the song feel fast paced and intense. It's like a roller coaster through a blazing hell and I absolutely adore it.

Up next is Fire For A Dry Mouth. As you'd expect it's more intense and heavy metal that really kicks you down to size, but this definitely would be a good time to probably catch a break from the intensity this album brings. The best heavy metal albums I have heard are the ones that can slow time, take a breather, and let the listener not feel too overwhelmed. Here though we don't really get that. There is not a single song on the album that really doesn't let the listener breathe, and that is definitely an apparent issue that it has. While I do love my super heavy, fast paced, and super brutal heaviness, a little lightweight can do wonders for an album. Other than that, this song is perfectly fine.

Naked By The Computer is next up, and for this I'd like to take a little closer look at the lyrics. Many Between The Buried and Me songs have an aura of sadness and despair. For an aggressively heavy band, in any context these songs have lyrics that are depressing. It is almost like a conjoined effort with the 2nd and 4th stages of grief. It adds a level of overwhelming emotions this band creates, and for this album, and especially this song talking about grief in a broken up abusive relationship, it really creates a foreboding shield around the listener that is as interesting as it is horroring.

The next song is The Use of a Weapon. This is one of the more progressive songs from the album. It's still what we know and like from this album, but it allows itself to take the seeds that were sown from the last few proggy tracks and makes it work even more. I can even feel as though this is the real start to BTBAM and their usual style of music. It is technical with a ton of virtuosity, and that is something I love dearly.

And lastly is Shevanel Cut A Flip, the first sorta longer song the band has made. I sorta lied when I said that this album has not any breathing moments because this song is essentially that. It is less hardcore metal and more like a somber rock ballad. It's almost like a calm after the storm, as if after a long brutal beating, it stops and realizes the pain in which it has done. Not saying the album is painful, but it's definitely brutal. It's a lot more clearer, a lot more reflective, and definitely shows off the band's equal parts expertise on creating a slower and methodical track. This 9 minute slow song is one of the many perfect finale acts this band has put forth in their discography, and I think perfectly ends this pretty great album.

I definitely really enjoy this album, it's so heavy and hard hitting that going through it feels like a rollercoaster. It's not for everyone and there are definitely things that improve later in the band's career, like the screaming, the progressive aspects, and the lack of any real breaks definitely makes it a little less attuned to what the band will create next, but the seeds are clearly there. If you love metalcore and or Prog Metal then this is a pretty good album to check out, there are better, but this wouldn't be a bad introduction to the band.

Latest members reviews

3 stars This debut album from NC natives BTBAM show that they will soon be a force to be reckoned with. While probably the weakest album they made it has great moments. Most particularly for me 'Fire for a Dry Mouth' (track 5) and Shevanel Cut a Flip' (track 8). Listening to ffadm shows influence of ... (read more)

Report this review (#252407) | Posted by CJCrackaMcNasty | Monday, November 23, 2009 | Review Permanlink

2 stars To be fair, I will admit that they showed promise with this album. There were hints of slight experimentation and attempting to break the mold of the Metalcore genre. However, there is little, if any "Prog" in this album, or anything progressive about it. There are few accoustic passages, an ... (read more)

Report this review (#141008) | Posted by Drakk | Saturday, September 29, 2007 | Review Permanlink

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