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

THE GREAT MISDIRECT

Between The Buried And Me

 

Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

4.04 | 291 ratings

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Epignosis | 4/5 |

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