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Between The Buried And Me

Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

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Between The Buried And Me Colors II album cover
4.43 | 69 ratings | 7 reviews | 52% 5 stars

Essential: a masterpiece of
progressive rock music

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Studio Album, released in 2021

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Monochrome (3:15)
2. The Double Helix of Extinction (6:16)
3. Revolution in Limbo (9:13)
4. Fix the Error (5:01)
5. Never Seen / Future Shock (11:42)
6. Stare into the Abyss (3:54)
7. Prehistory (3:08)
8. Bad Habits (8:43)
9. The Future Is Behind Us (5:22)
10. Turbulent (5:57)
11. Sfumato (1:09)
12. Human Is Hell (Another One with Love) (15:08)

Total Time 78:48

Line-up / Musicians

- Dan Briggs / bass
- Blake Richardson / drums
- Tommy Giles Rogers Jr. / vocals, keyboards
- Paul Waggoner / guitars
- Dustie Waring / guitars

Releases information

Sumerian Records (August 20, 2021)

Thanks to Isaac Peretz for the addition
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BETWEEN THE BURIED AND ME Colors II ratings distribution

(69 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(52%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(24%)
Good, but non-essential (16%)
Collectors/fans only (3%)
Poor. Only for completionists (5%)


Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Necrotica
4 stars Colors II is a loaded album title if I've ever seen one. 14 years down the line, it seems our friendly neighborhood prog-tech-core-death-etc. band has seen fit to draw from the well of their breakthrough masterwork; and really, why shouldn't they? Colors remains one of the most acclaimed metal albums of the 2000s, practically redefining what it meant to be a progressive metal band going forward. Between the Buried and Me's penchant for creative musical set pieces and genre-bending craziness really hit a stride on the landmark record; however, as with any album that garners that much adoration, there will always be that lingering pressure to top it. But let's be real here: 2021 Between the Buried and Me is quite different from 2007 Between the Buried and Me. So much has changed, whether that be the inclusion of even more off-the-wall avant-garde elements or the growing prominence of vocalist Tommy Giles as a keyboardist. But I think the reason for Colors II being a loaded title is fairly obvious; it's a title intended to cause excitement for fans - especially longtime ones - but that could quickly turn into crushing disappointment if Colors' level of quality isn't at least somewhat met.

On a surface level, Colors II does seem to provide exactly what it should: a highly enjoyable followup to Colors that mirrors it stylistically. The same techy riffs, blazing solos, crazy genre experiments, atmospheric synth excursions, and juxtaposition of clean and growled vocals? they're all still here. And if stuff like that is your criteria for loving the record, I can't blame you. "Monochrome" is a pretty dead giveaway that there will be references to the original album, the song taking on a similar "piano intro to extreme metal" crescendo to "Foam Born A: The Backtrack" which opens Colors. On the other hand, there are a few experiments that really surprised me, as they likely wouldn't have found a place on the original record at all; the hardcore punk elements of "Fix the Error" and random fife-driven folk breaks in "Never Seen/Future Shock" immediately come to mind. Meanwhile, you'll find more familiar territory with songs such as the chugging extreme-yet-melodic approach of "The Double Helix of Extinction" or the "White Walls"-esque rolling drums and complex web of riffs that comprise closer "Human is Hell (Another One With Love)".

The performances, as you'd expect at this point, are fantastic. The members really haven't lost a beat since the original Colors in regards to playing such complex and technical material with grace and confidence. Paul Waggoner and Dustie Waring remain a formidable guitar duo, whether it be navigating the crazy rhythm parts of the Dream Theater-esque intro to "Prehistory" or the beautiful - and vaguely jazzy - chords found on "Stare Into the Abyss". Waggoner is particularly noteworthy for some of the striking leads he pulls off on this record, especially in the fantastic? uh, Latin circus section(?) (that's probably the best way I can describe it) at the end of "Revolution in Limbo". And obviously Dan Briggs and Blake Richardson still bring the thunder on the low end of things. However, the member who deserves the most recognition for Colors II is definitely Tommy Giles. He's often the member who garners the most criticism from both fans and detractors, but he sounds so much better here than he did on the original Colors. His growls have stayed largely the same, but you can tell his cleans have come a long way - both in technique and confidence behind the mic. Plus, on songs like "Prehistory" and "Never Seen/Future Shock" his way of hamming up the more theatrical bits is just so fun.

Unfortunately, there's one thing holding Colors II back from the heights of its predecessor, and I think it's a pretty big one. That being: the glue that holds everything together. The original Colors was unapologetic about having wild flights of fancy and not giving a damn what direction the music was going, but there was always some centralized location the music could come back to. And that was usually in the form of a cathartic release, whether it be the beautiful "feed me fear" section of "Informal Gluttony" or the soaring Pachelbel-esque melody that rears its head twice on "Ants of the Sky". Not only were these moments anthemic and memorable, but they were also a great way of ensuring the more technical and crushing sections didn't kill the record's focus. More importantly, the music would have simply become riff salad without these moments of restraint, and that's where Colors II all too often hits a wall. 79 minutes is already a beefy album length to begin with, and there simply isn't enough focus to maintain that runtime. This is particularly felt in "Human is Hell (Another One With Love)", which just meanders on without much of a reason for being 15 damn minutes long. Even the pleasant soft section that builds up the song's conclusion is just kinda? there. Sure, there are a few potentially anthemic moments on the record, such as the "monotonous drought" section from "Revolution in Limbo", but the album really could have benefitted from more of these segments.

With all of that said, I think Colors II can be enjoyed more for its craftsmanship than as an emotional journey. The compositions and diverse arrangements are still a lot of fun and the performances are incredibly solid, but the album often comes off as a jumbled mess when compared to its predecessor; it doesn't help that so many parts mirror that record as well, thus constantly inviting further comparison. But then again, that's what happens when you brand it as a sequel, right? The callbacks were inevitable. However, given a lot of the amazing material that's here, it's just a shame that I don't feel much of anything when listening to it like I did with the original Colors. Still, it's worth a listen for its abundance of great riffs and impressive technical acumen, so don't miss out on it if you've enjoyed Between the Buried and Me's more recent work.

Latest members reviews

4 stars When I accidentally stumbled upon Between The Buried And Me a few years ago, I made a lot of effort to figure out where their music was headed. They jumped from one genre to another in visionary pindaric flights, completely neurotic and apparently without rhyme or reason. Only later, as I gr ... (read more)

Report this review (#2604522) | Posted by prog_traveller!! | Sunday, October 17, 2021 | Review Permanlink

5 stars It's been a while since I've had a reaction quite like this to a new album.  At this point, 10pm on 8/21/21, I've listened to Fix The Error about 10 times, Revolution In Limbo about 4 times, the entire album twice (while driving or doing yard work), and once all the way through with total undivi ... (read more)

Report this review (#2587996) | Posted by mneil1968 | Saturday, August 21, 2021 | Review Permanlink

5 stars Brilliant album! I really wish more progressive metal bands were as creative and innovative as this. Between The Buried And Me started out as your typical metal-core band, until the release of their most popular record Colors, which had them define their signature sound. So releasing a sequel to ... (read more)

Report this review (#2587672) | Posted by Isaac Peretz | Friday, August 20, 2021 | Review Permanlink

5 stars Imagine if Yes names their new album as "Close To The Edge 2" or "Fragile 2", an insanely bold decision that probably wouldn't pay well. Between The Buried And Me's fourth album was their breakthrough album, and till today it's considered one of their best works, so a sequel to that record only mean ... (read more)

Report this review (#2587671) | Posted by Gorgut Muncher | Friday, August 20, 2021 | Review Permanlink

5 stars "I cannot seem to say, Say what I need, They have my tongue, Let's cut it out" I must say that Between The Buried And Me are one of my favorite modern bands. They're incredibly innovative, inventive, and very professional. Even records like Coma Ecliptic or Automata I & II which were, less praise ... (read more)

Report this review (#2587670) | Posted by King Brimstone | Friday, August 20, 2021 | Review Permanlink

5 stars My first impression: Dream Theater makes an album: Everyone criticizes it for being emotionally dead and for wanking too much. Gets called "more of the same". Between The Buried And Me makes an album: Everyone calls it a masterpiece even though it wanks as three times as much, has barely any m ... (read more)

Report this review (#2587669) | Posted by Ian McGregor | Friday, August 20, 2021 | Review Permanlink

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