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Between The Buried And Me - Alaska CD (album) cover

ALASKA

Between The Buried And Me

 

Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

3.59 | 155 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

AtLossForWords
Prog Reviewer
4 stars Between the Buried and Me may be one of the most contreversial additions to the progressive metal genre. What is not contreversial is the variety of influences this band uses to create some of the most unique music in the genre. Their latest album Alaska succeeds in passing shades of John Petrucci, Mikke Akerfelt, and many others past a listener's ears.

Between the Buried and Me is difficult to categorize, because of the mass amount of influences they have and styles they cover. The most specific genre for this band is probably progressive melodic extreme melancholic bluesy death metalcore. They may recieve a bit of heat for the "scene" that they are wrongly placed in, but anyone who has a chance to listen to this particular album Alaska would have to be an elitist not to be slightly impressed.

Paul Waggoner and Dusty Warring, the guitarist put in the most impressive performance of the album. Waggoner delivers an impress array of techniques showcasing influences from John Petrucci, to Mikael Akerfelt, and maybe even Roine Stolt. In other words Waggoner delivers great shredding techniques combined with controled melodic playing and a bluesy touch. Dusty Warring on the other hand lays down more aggressive rythymn figures that contribute to the extreme side of this band. These too guitarists despite their differences manage to show great chemistry.

Dan Briggs is a rare commodity in the "scene" Between the Buried and Me seems to be a part of. Briggs unlike bassist in this "scene" contributes a necessary part for the band. Briggs is able to hold down polyrythymns, smooth out grooves, and even add melody. Briggs gives a versitile performance showcasing better than average technique.

Tommy Rogers is a polarizing vocalist. He has great versitility which is necessary for a band with so much variation. Rogers best skills is definately harsh screaming vocals with occaisional growls. At the same time, Rogers is able to pull off both serious and skillful progressive vocals along with ridiculous power metal vocals. The keyboards he contributes are hardly noticeable, but add a nice touch when the band plays softer parts.

Blake Richardson does an all but impressive performance. His extreme metal style just doesn't seem to impress. He seems to lack the versitility the rest of the band has. Occaisonal polyryhymns showcase most of the skill he has. He doesn't seem to be very creative with his set. His fills show some skills, but not enough to excite anyone.

The production is good. The guitars may be a little too agressive, but for a band with extreme influences that's excusable. The bass is very present in the mix, and that is always a good refreshing thing to hear. The drums are a bit too prominent for my taste, considering the drummer isn't nothing to write home about. The vocals are great though. The variety of tones is something that is more than welcome. It's great to see a variety of vocal techniques are equally matched with a variety of mixing techniques.

The album isn't essential to any collection, but is a welcome addition to more extreme styles of prog metal. The variation is something to keep this album a fresh listen. This is certainly the pinnacle of Between the Buried and Me's currently short career. What the band produces in the future has a high standard to meet with this release.

AtLossForWords | 4/5 |

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