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Between The Buried And Me

Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

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Between The Buried And Me The Parallax II: Future Sequence album cover
4.17 | 197 ratings | 4 reviews | 43% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection

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Studio Album, released in 2012

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Goodbye To Everything (1:39)
2. Astral Body (5:02)
3. Lay Your Ghosts To Rest (10:02)
4. Autumn (1:18)
5. Extremophile Elite (9:59)
6. Parallax (1:15)
7. The Black Box (2:11)
8. Telos (9:45)
9. Bloom (3:29)
10. Melting City (10:19)
11. Silent Flight Parliament (15:09)
12. Goodbye To Everything Reprise (2:29)

Total time 72:32


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Music tabs (tablatures)

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Line-up / Musicians

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

Releases information

Released on October 9th, 2012 on Metal Blade Records

Thanks to pianoman for the addition
and to Rune2000 for the last updates
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BETWEEN THE BURIED AND ME The Parallax II: Future Sequence ratings distribution

(197 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(43%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(29%)
Good, but non-essential (15%)
Collectors/fans only (7%)
Poor. Only for completionists (6%)

BETWEEN THE BURIED AND ME The Parallax II: Future Sequence reviews

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Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Wicket
5 stars The best metal album ever made.

Yeah, I said it.

The best metal album ever made (although Metallica's S&M is a close second, but that's a live disc so I'm not sure that counts).

Now, I'm not an idiot. I understand attaching words like "best" or "greatest" to anything is going to piss people off, because, frankly, these words are subjective at best, opinionated. So before I continue, these are the descriptors I use to determine the "best" out of an album:

It has to have an original sound. It has to display a wide variety of emotions. It needs to be able to tell some kind of story or tale. If the songs are connected or intertwined, they need to transition smoothly. The sound quality needs to be otherworldly, superb and top-notch. There needs to be a delicate but mastered balance of each facet of the band's signature sound, regardless of style or genre. It has to provide something new on each listen (or manage to be a timeless sound). And most importantly, there needs to be sections that instantly catch ones ear so that the novelty never wears off, something you'd put on repeat over and over again.

This album encompasses all these criteria in stunning and excellent fashion. Granted, it's not perfect (nothing is), but in terms of the zenith of just how far one can take a flexible genre like metal and still keep it within the bounds of accessibility, nothing beats "Future Sequence". I look at reviews of this band here, and 95% of them state in the beginning how most of them don't care much for progressive metalcore or the like, and yet BTBAM is a rare exception they can listen to.

That's probably the most impressive feat of all. Explore the very edge of the boundaries that are physically possible, and yet still appeal to non-metal enthusiasts? Even 10 years ago that would've seemed too good to be true.

The intro, "Goodbye To Everything", is your typical BTBAM soft, pretty intro. Before singer Tommy Giles Rogers went sing crazy on "Coma Elliptic", this is was his most adventurous in terms of his singing exploits, and even here it's a remarkable improvement over his frankly lifeless singing on "Colors". It doesn't take long for that to come and go and the catchy tune, "Astral Body", to burst into life and develop around a catchy 8-note guitar lick that signals a build in tension, a sign that "Baby, you're in for a real treat if you hang in there for the next hour or so."

Right away, I can tell there's a more melodic focus, despite a good abundance of screaming, which doesn't bother me much. Rogers' screaming is entirely unique, but it doesn't destroy my ears, which is good. The focus on staying heavy is there, but exploring more elaborate melodies seems to be the key, with drummer Blake Richardson throwing in some elaborate polyrhythms without having to go too mental. At least, before the blastbeats come in the second half of the song. Still, the choruses sound thoroughly composed, spectacles and fantastic arriving points in themselves, as if each one is designed to be the finale of a great epic saga or story, and "Astral Body" only presents the first of many to come.

"Lay Your Ghosts To Rest" is a bit longer than "Astral Body", almost twice as long (and honestly, I'm sure the lyrics are gripping, I care more about the music itself). Apart from that, it's a typical BTBAM double-minute gobstopper. The heavy theme only lasts for about a minute and a half before we're introduced to a sort waltzy circus kind of groove, before we're kicked out and get front row seats to another Rogers chorus of wonder and mystique. The clean and heavy sections still kick in abruptly back and forth, like you're a soccer ball and you're just getting kicked from one side of the pitch to another, but the transitions still don't feel as jarring as on "Colors", and nor does it feel as chaotic either. Controlled is more like it this time around.

"Ghosts" definitely feels like the most hectic and angry of the lot, apart from the almost pseudo-surf rock ditties and circus rock breakdown. I guess it's a good think the circus breakdown is immediately followed by a relaxing verse from Rogers' gentle croon and a nice guitar lick over a nice, soft waltz groove. And then we're back out into the light into a few extra heavy fills before the chorus returns once again and fades out into the atmospheric "Autumn", concluding the section of the album. In short, it's another typically constructed BTBAM song. Explores the diverse range of emotions, transitions are wonderfully executed, but it doesn't feel abrupt or jarring, but it does feel like a story being aurally told. Whatever the story actually is, I don't know, and honestly, I don't quite care. It's just brilliant.

"Extremophile Elite" is perhaps one of my favorite BTBAM tracks of all time, mostly from the fact the song's theme is Middle-Eastern based, and I'm a sucker for exotic scales and chords of the Middle-Eastern variety. The chorus is quite catchy too, the b-theme roughly 3 minutes is tasty, and about 2 minutes from the end, you'll notice a sort of c-theme underneath a sitar sample as Rogers' is stuttering through his "Walking into a certain state of walking..." verse, which, for fans of BTBAM is the same verse and rhythmic progression from "Specular Reflection", off their "Hyperspace Dialogues" 3-track ep. Same verse, key and progression, but on this album it has a more exotic flair to it, obviously. It's gripping and engaging throughout, and it just pumps me up everytime I listen to it. Maybe it's just because I'm weird, but something about this particular song is just so special, it's one of my most listened to tracks ever on my computer.

I also love the transition into "Parallax", the fade into almost distant nothing, and the subtle intro of the piano in "The Black Box", right before the band kicks back into high gear and foreshadows a future of beatdowns in "Telos". Even though Telos isn't my favorite, there are some juicy phases, such as that almost psuedo-Samba groove break2 minutes in signaled by the whistle. The heavy stuff doesn't last long til at 3:15, the soft groove begins, and the sexy time starts making its magic. This section lasts for most of the remainder of the song, and the buildup to the big chorus is phenomenal, and when Rogers sings "Rebirth, reborn", it's quite possible one of the most surreal aural moments ever to grace my ears. It's triumphant, it's terrifying, and it doesn't last long before the quick heavy them from the beginning retakes the lead and throws me for a loop, and onslaught that lasts the remaining 2:30 of the song.

"Bloom" is quite unusual though. Apart from "The Ecoptic Stroll" off Coma Elliptic, it's one of Roger's most unusual singing performances. Not that that's a bad thing, and I kinda like the surf rock theme the band churns out as well. The transition into "Melting City" is kinda weird, as I personally think the two tracks should have been merged to one, but that's not the worst thing in the world. I still have problems counting along with the chorus as the band throws in an extra beat constantly. It's just such an awkward rhythmic pattern. The addition of the flute in the middle though is hot, and the second, slower chorus is another triumpahnt, bombastic moment that's just indescribable and unique. The whole track just sends shivers down my spine half the time. Try doing that with a Yes album.

"Silent Flight Parliament" heralds the beginning of the end, much like "White Walls" had the same effect on "Colors". It's a great track, not one of my absolute favorites, but it's a track worthy of a finale, a finale that doesn't really come until an abrupt cut off leads into a reprise of "Goodbye To Everything". In a perfect world, I would've made the reprise as bombastic as possible rather fading away into nothing. Nevertheless, it's still a fantastic cap to a great album, an album that not only maintains a consistency through transitions and fluidity, but each big epic sounds the part of a stand-alone track as well, a feat rarely accomplished by even the most seasoned prog veterans.

VERDICT: It's glorious. It's ridiculous, sublime and then ridiculous again. It's loud, it's bombastic, it's epic and it's sobering. It makes me very happy. And yet it makes me very sad. Because this album, to me, feels like the culmination of a great career for this band, and even though I do like "Coma Elliptic", it's an entirely different beast from this, and I worry that the band put so much effort into this album that, frankly, I don't think we'll ever come across an album this complete, this thorough, this detailed. It's a unicorn, this album. Never again will something like this grace our ears. Cherish it. Embrace it. Leave it something nice in your will.

I might even go so far as to compare it to Beethoven's 9th. Once ol' Ludwig incorporated Turkish Janissary percussion and dropped a choir (A CHOIR) in the 4th movement singing "Joy To The World", I could just imagine all the other Romantic composers at the time going "NOPENOPENOPENOPE". It was the virtual equivalent to Beethoven dropping the mic and walking off stage (or going deaf and dropping dead, whichever works), and it would take roughly 60 years before Brahms came around to make the symphonic genre even remotely relevant again.

And this album seems to do the same. BTBAM have always created a sound unique and true to them, but as far as progressive tech metal goes, not even Dream Theater (my most beloved band) could top this. This is the pinnacle, and because of that, I fear that BTBAM won't ever be the same again. (please no, even if you can't recreate this album, please try. plz)

And on top of all that, it's accessible. It's catchy. It's heavy. It's quirky. It has so many elements that anyone can get into, and it's all blended into an accessible cocktail that's so well balanced and put together, they make it look SO EASY. It's staggering.

Honestly, whatever you listen to, give this album a shot. All BTBAM albums take multiple full listens to really grasp, but this particular album shouldn't take you long at all before you get it. And even if you don't like it at all, which I completely understand (BTBAM isn't for everyone, even though that's just simply blasphemous), you have to at least respect it for what it is, a colossus of epic proportions. If you don't, then I'm sorry, you have no soul.

The best album ever made. Period.

*dons flame retardant suit*


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Latest members reviews

5 stars Let me tell you that I am not a particular fan or at least follower of bands of extreme metal where the voice is growling and nothing can be understood, at least at first hearing by a non- speaker of English or the language in which the growl is delivered. My first approach to a band using thi ... (read more)

Report this review (#1009475) | Posted by Memo_anathemo | Thursday, August 01, 2013 | Review Permanlink

5 stars I don't say this about too many bands (none really), but I have been saying the same thing about BTBAM since Alaska was released....They get better with every album they put out. And Alaska was a very very good album. Then Colors blew that out of the water, then The Great Misdirect was like an even ... (read more)

Report this review (#840949) | Posted by Puppies On Acid | Saturday, October 20, 2012 | Review Permanlink

5 stars When a friend recommended this band to me, I could not get into their music. After listening to their more ambitious work such as Colors, and the Great Misdirect, I found myself "getting over" the vocals and really appreciating their musical diversity and talent. After listening to Parallax: The H ... (read more)

Report this review (#836783) | Posted by Izek | Thursday, October 11, 2012 | Review Permanlink

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