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Between The Buried And Me

Tech/Extreme Prog Metal


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Between The Buried And Me Colors album cover
4.02 | 303 ratings | 47 reviews | 54% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
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Studio Album, released in 2007

Songs / Tracks Listing

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)

Total Time 64:09

Lyrics

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Music tabs (tablatures)

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Line-up / Musicians

- Tommy Rogers / vocals, keyboards
- Dusty Waring / guitar
- Paul Waggoner / guitar
- Dan Briggs / bass
- Blake Richardson / drums

Releases information

CD Victory Records (2007)

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BETWEEN THE BURIED AND ME Colors ratings distribution


4.02
(303 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(54%)
54%
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(25%)
25%
Good, but non-essential (11%)
11%
Collectors/fans only (7%)
7%
Poor. Only for completionists (4%)
4%

BETWEEN THE BURIED AND ME Colors reviews


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Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by 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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Review by 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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Review by 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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Review by 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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Review by 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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Review by 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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Review by 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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Review by 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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Review by Conor Fynes
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars 'Colors' - Between the Buried and Me (70/100)

It's all on the cover, really. The cityscape artwork has been etched onto a black background with digital precision, and looks designed as if the artist had a compass protractor at hand the entire time he was making it. For an album called Colors, the cover is pretty colourless, save for a few precious streaks of vibrance, descending from the top. Although those coloured streaks make up a relatively miniscule chunk of the composition, your attention is drawn to them, if only for the fact that they stand out from the rest of it.

You probably get where I'm going with this. I have given Between the Buried and Me what seems like equal proportions of praise and dismissal since I heard them open for Dream Theater in 2008, but a few things have always rung as constants. First off, BTBAM are some of the finest proprietors of technique the current face of progressive rock has to offer. From a technical standpoint, Colors offers one of the busiest executions I've heard on a metal album, with stylistic influences everywhere from prog metal, tech-death and jazz drawn in under one banner. What's more; unlike a sickening ratio of these technically proficient flash bands, they know how to write solid arrangements around their playing chops. Or is it the other way around? With Between the Buried and Me, it's often hard to tell whether there's an ultimate intended destination for their calculated chaos.

Secondly-- and this impression is more specific to Colors than any-- BTBAM have struggled to make their art emotionally palpable. This isn't mindless noodling in the sense that tradprog fetishists might like to hereby dismiss it as-- far from, in fact; there are riffs and passages amidst the album's go-to chaos I've remembered since hearing the album seven years ago. While I've no doubt that Between the Buried and Me made this album with passion, it's hard to receive that on the listener's end. Tommy Rogers' growl has always crossed me as dull even at the band's best, and there's a feeling of digital perfection to the band's performance that seems to undermine how impressive their arrangement actually is.

It was Between the Buried and Me's goal with Colors to make a seamless hour of music, or at least something that might be considered a single piece of music. While they accomplished this well enough that the songs would feel slighted out of the album's context, I think they went a step further, making each of these movements memorable in themselves. While their hyperprog metal is surprisingly dry and samey, each one of these songs offers moments (and usually several at that!) where the band will break out of the frantic pace for something fresh and unexpected. For what it lacks in consistent engagement, BTBAM have packed the album with an impressive amount of twists and turns. The way "Foam Born: The Backtrack" opens up the album is unforgettable, building up with Muse-like bombast before diving into the tech-death-meets-progressive-deathcore of "The Decade of Statues". While "The Decade of Statues" offers above and beyond the best metal riffs on Colors, "Informal Gluttony" is the strongest track overall, with a distinctly exotic twist and build, the likes of which almost seems plucked from Dream Theater's epic "Home". As for the out-of-nowhere bluegrass break (complete with banjo and washboard) that blossoms in "Prequel to the Sequel", the prog-for-prog's-sake randomness is too endearing not to feel some warmth towards.

Although there's still an autistic emotional distance to these non-metal parts, the unexpected progressive passages are those streaks of colour I was talking about on the album cover. Colors as a metal album is performed immaculately, and that's part of the reason it feels so, er, colourless at times. While similarly chaotic and busy progressive metal bands can make me feel their madness, Between the Buried and Me sound too controlled, too predetermined for me to really buy into what they're selling on that end. Keep in mind that this isn't a broad judgement of BTBAM as a whole, but Colors in particular. Their follow-up The Great Misdirect may have kicked up the prog another notch, but it felt more spontaneous and consistently varied than this.

Still, the question remains; should Colors be considered a modern prog metal classic? While I might find the level of polish boring compared to their dirtier counterparts, I do think the album is a classic, at the very least essential listening for anyone who wants to understand the post-millennial progressive landscape. Between the Buried and Me impressed me a lot with this album when I first heard it seven years ago, and while I don't think it's ever left an emotional impact on me, there's more than enough vision to their self-indulgence to make it memorable, when compared to most of their less-capable kin.

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Review by 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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Review by 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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Review by 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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Review by 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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Review by 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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Review by 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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Review by 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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Review by siLLy puPPy
COLLABORATOR PSIKE Team
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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Review by Wicket
PROG REVIEWER
5 stars Ok, I'll admit this first off the bat; I discovered BTBAM through Guitar Hero thanks to "Prequel To The Sequel", so according to some people that means I'm not a diehard fan.

Since then, though, I decided to actually buy (buy! when we can just torrent!) all their albums since and will also do so for Coma Elliptic when that is released soon.

Now, I am a fan of some pretty heavy metal. Steel and iron, for two, say. But if it ain't got some melody, unusual shape or form, electronics or epic symphonic strings and choir, or doesn't tell a story, count me out. That means you, Cannibal Corpse.

But BTBAM was different. Even in Alaska, you could just tell that wanted to go bigger. They wanted to tell stories, explore melodically and technically. They wanted to do something no one else had ever done before.

And dear god did they get the recipe right with this.

Looking back on this album now, at times it seems a bit one dimensional compared to their later offerings, but their execution was no less than spectacular. "The Backtrack" provides a nice soft opening which leads to a blistering opening in "The Decades Of Statues". Even though The Great Misdirect and the Parallax discs have a bit more of a sophisticated structure (for lack of a better term), "Colors" still is one of their heaviest offerings. Right away, though, I feel a little bit of disappointment in Tommy Rogers' vocal work. It seems very minimalistic, more of a hypnotized drone than real singing or crooning which he flexes in later albums, which is a shame, because their cover album "The Anatomy Of One" proved he does have some golden pipe chops.

Oh yeah, I got off track. Long story short, "Decades Of Statues" is a [%*!#]ing bludgeoning sledgehammer.

But then "Informal Gluttony" rings in with a gong and some sort of tribal ritual drum and chant kinda stuff. Once the main theme of this song kicks in, then you realize this is no ordinary album. Time signatures are getting mashed, chords are going all freaky like, and Blake Richardson puts on one of the most fantastic chop tracks I've ever heard out of a drummer (and his setup isn't as outlandish as you might think for a metal drummer, he only uses about 4-5 toms.) And after another fine fill, "Sun of Nothing" introduces to us a now familiar staple of their repertoire, a long double-digit track with short introductory heavy section, then a longer softer section, followed by a reprise of the heavier section to close out the track. By "Future Sequence", it becomes predictable, but still nevertheless enjoyable.

This track also gives our first taste of their wacky side roughly 3 and a half minutes, with Richardson rocking out a jazz riff, vocal rhythmic stuff and is that a chorus of laughing babies in the background?

Before long though, the heavy breakout returns and the W&W of metal (Waggoner and Waring) introduces us to the nice happy theme in the middle, before it disappears again under another sheet of BRUTAL. And then BTBAM takes another 360 degree turn to some nice acoustic riffs followed by a very Latin-y drum groove, before Rogers introduces us to the "floating towards the Sun of Nothing" chorus, and then after a big melodic chorus, the screaming returns right behind frankly one of the juiciest melodic licks and phrases I've ever heard, building tension behind another amazing Richardson fill right before "Ants Of The Sky", where the actions literally doesn't take a break, and keeps right on chugging along. Between these two songs, I first heard just how well you could integrate huge heavy phrases between segments of beautifully orchestrated arpeggiated 7th and 9th chords. Then the nice waltzy theme of Ants comes in right before the instrumental breakdown with Rogers rocking the rock organ sound.

Honestly though, "Ants Of The Sky" is one of my favorite BTBAM tracks ever. It just flows so beautifully together like a giant finished puzzle piece, even the section where it flows into the obviously-not-Pink-Floyd-influenced-guitar spot and the rock organ power chords laying down the back beat. Clearly though, before this, technical mastery of multiple genres in a single track was possible, and was done, but just not this smoothly, this elegantly, dare I say. There's even an odd sort of neo-classicism in the high, melodic guitar licks as well. Very structured and ordered. Same as "Sun", in the middle the heavy stuff gives way to a softer buildup with Richardson on the toms, and Rogers crooning possibly the best melody on the disc behind some quite epic power chords. Hands down one of, if not the best track on the album. It really feels like a Shakespearean epic, where the big climax is in the middle of the story.

And of course no epic track can be complete without an homage to an old west bar/saloon with crashing bottles and a nice little acoustic solo, right before the Ants theme returns in epic, happy-mode fashion, which of course segues into the peoples favorite, "Prequel To The Sequel".

Of course, I'm a sucker for that intro melody, was and probably always will be. It's a unique melody, one that can't, and never will be duplicated, which is why it will always be one of the best ever, and what separates good bands from the great bands. Oddly enough, though, this song seems to stray a bit from the norm, as after that main melody plays, it's straight up onslaught from there on out. Although I really like that chugging buildup that ends the track on the Guitar Hero section, I still feel that it's out of place, and kinda feels cut-and-paste when the weird, pirate-y accordion section kicks in.

Also, I still can't figure out who screams at this last section. It's obviously someone else because Rogers is also the typical screamer correct? The sharp contrast behind his typical growling and this high pitched shriek is actually brilliantly done in the closing breakdown, before the song's 2nd theme returns in another cut-and-paste feel again. Perhaps that's why this song never caught onto me like it did everyone else.

Lastly, the obligatory soft (interlude?) "Viridian" resets the table for quite an epic climax in "White Walls", my 2nd favorite off the album. Once again, it's structured in that heavy-soft-heavy format that's become a staple of their repertoire now, as variations on the track's theme recur throughout, before the soft section comes in and Rogers' monotone recital during the buildup is absolutely chilling. Everything about the tempo, the chords, the singing, the melody, the overlapping harmonies, is simply perfectly timed. Something about this section before the growls and the break come in is just mesmerizing, undoubtedly the sound of what a climax to an epic album should sound like. And one last breakdown, a big (roughly) 3 minute finale rings out in true rock star fashion before it all fades to black and Rogers on the keys returns to finish where the album started.

Now, to sum up the album as a whole piece. Is it perfect? Absolutely not. There are parts in the composition that just sound like they would've worked off better in the head then it does through the ears. Frankly though, that's just a small minor detail in the larger cog of this album. What this album represents is something much greater than the sum of its parts. This is the definitive album that shows that melody and technicality can live together in a crazy progressive, death metal smoothie of some kind. Sure, other bands have been doing this for years before, but none have sounded quite as smoothly as when BTBAM recorded "Colors. Sure, listening like Cynic or Electrocution 250 was quite ear-opening, but BTBAM did something amazing, something that no other band has done before or done since, really.

It just... sounded right together.

When dabbling into the world of progressive music, there are undoubtedly moments in time where you hear a phrase and while praising the audacity to perform it, you also think "Gee, that, could've sounded much better". Even though there were some cut-and-paste moments in this album, it was also transparent, so much so that it felt like it was exaggerated so much to the point of sheer idiocy (the laughing babies section in "Sun", for example).

Nevertheless, it established something crucial for BTBAM that they strived for years; an actual identity. BTBAM actually kinda sotra hit the mainstream with "Colors" (which is why I heard it on Guitar Hero, or was it Rock Band? I forget). It almost defies logic; "You can't go mainstream with a concept album that's essentially one hour-long song!"

And yet somehow they did it. And their experience in making Colors has gone on to help refine that strategy to produce The Great Misdirect, Parallax 1 & 2 and Coma Elliptic (which I REALLY hope isn't a more conservative approach to their style, Parallax II is the [&*!#]).

So if you really think more techy-prog metal isn't right for you, try cracking into "Ants Of The Sky", "White Walls" or "Obfuscation" off the Great Misdirect. You just might find that a nice blend of melody and brutally might just wear off on you. It did me, and it took nearly 5 listens of "Colors" in its entirety before I was completely sold on the band. Every time you listen to BTBAM you discover something new.

Honestly this album was a game-changer. Someone send to a metal hall of fame or something!

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Latest members reviews

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 subgenre ... (read more)

Report this review (#1212964) | Posted by Jordan677778 | Sunday, July 13, 2014 | Review Permanlink

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 ... (read more)

Report this review (#428009) | Posted by The Monodrone | Tuesday, April 05, 2011 | Review Permanlink

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 abi ... (read more)

Report this review (#308865) | Posted by arcane-beautiful | Monday, November 08, 2010 | Review Permanlink

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 ... (read more)

Report this review (#282215) | Posted by FarBeyondProg | Sunday, May 16, 2010 | Review Permanlink

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 ... (read more)

Report this review (#279739) | Posted by dan_awesome | Wednesday, April 28, 2010 | Review Permanlink

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 ... (read more)

Report this review (#246934) | Posted by CH1390 | Wednesday, October 28, 2009 | Review Permanlink

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 ... (read more)

Report this review (#230283) | Posted by DASistGrantTeeL | Thursday, August 06, 2009 | Review Permanlink

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 ... (read more)

Report this review (#230218) | Posted by HobblingFool | Thursday, August 06, 2009 | Review Permanlink

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 entiret ... (read more)

Report this review (#217962) | Posted by topofsm | Sunday, May 24, 2009 | Review Permanlink

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 throughou ... (read more)

Report this review (#208331) | Posted by jpgarcia7787 | Sunday, March 22, 2009 | Review Permanlink

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 ... (read more)

Report this review (#203621) | Posted by Metal_Style | Wednesday, February 18, 2009 | Review Permanlink

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 progr ... (read more)

Report this review (#184813) | Posted by kickflipthecat | Sunday, October 05, 2008 | Review Permanlink

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 thi ... (read more)

Report this review (#181006) | Posted by jeffster | Thursday, August 28, 2008 | Review Permanlink

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. Ra ... (read more)

Report this review (#175714) | Posted by preqT0THEseq7 | Sunday, June 29, 2008 | Review Permanlink

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 ... (read more)

Report this review (#175532) | Posted by Statutory-Mike | Friday, June 27, 2008 | Review Permanlink

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 ... (read more)

Report this review (#170909) | Posted by Figglesnout | Tuesday, May 13, 2008 | Review Permanlink

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 Progre ... (read more)

Report this review (#164109) | Posted by progdoctor | Sunday, March 16, 2008 | Review Permanlink

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 me ... (read more)

Report this review (#162334) | Posted by jmcdaniel_ee | Thursday, February 21, 2008 | Review Permanlink

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 enj ... (read more)

Report this review (#153144) | Posted by ringofhonor | Thursday, November 29, 2007 | Review Permanlink

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 ab ... (read more)

Report this review (#150983) | Posted by DethMaiden | Thursday, November 15, 2007 | Review Permanlink

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