Progarchives, the progressive rock ultimate discography


Between The Buried And Me

Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Between The Buried And Me Alaska album cover
3.67 | 186 ratings | 13 reviews | 18% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection

Write a review

from partners
Studio Album, released in 2005

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. All Bodies (6:14)
2. Alaska (4:02)
3. Croakies and Boatshoes (2:24)
4. Selkies: The Endless Obsession (7:25)
5. Breathe In, Breathe Out (0:55)
6. Roboturner (7:07)
7. Backwards Marathon (8:29)
8. Medicine Wheel (4:18)
9. The Primer (4:48)
10. Autodidact (5:32)
11. Laser Speed (2:53)

Total Time 54:07

Line-up / Musicians

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

Releases information

Artwork: Wes Richardson

CD Victory Records ‎- VR262 (2005, US)

Thanks to Bryan for the addition
and to Quinino for the last updates
Edit this entry


BETWEEN THE BURIED AND ME Alaska ratings distribution

(186 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(18%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(38%)
Good, but non-essential (33%)
Collectors/fans only (9%)
Poor. Only for completionists (2%)


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

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by AtLossForWords
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.

Review by King of Loss
2 stars Between the Buried and Me is an extremely interesting band, a crazy combination of Pop, Death Metal, Grindcore, Noise,Experimental Rock, Jazz, Hardcore, Folk, etc. Yep, Between the Buried and Me basically have done everything. They remind me of a band called the Dillinger Escape Plan and since I was really impressed (for this genre at least) of DEP's Calculating Infinity, I decided to test my patience with this noisy album.

When I first heard it, my dad told me to turn it off as the singer serenaded a beautiful chorus using his rather "enchanting" death metal vocals, but then turned into jazz patterns, and then turned back into some Grind-Death. Some interesting? As interesting as it sounds, that is all the interest I can find with this album.

Alaska starts off with the extremely interesting opener and from this track, I was almost scared to hear what the rest of the cd sounded like. After listening to half-way through to this cd, I quickly found out how formative this band was. By creating a weird, experimental sound was all that they found interesting. I continued my endeavor with great purpose and somewhat small promise in my head.

After a listen of it, I can say the first two tracks are probably the only two tracks worth listening to, if you are interested in the band. But overall, I find this band a rather "bad" combination of Deicide, Thrice, Killswitch Engage, Django Reinhardt, THe Dillinger Escape Plan and Fantomas. The extreme experimentation does not save this cd for me.

Rating: 65%

(Only recommended for lovers of experimental music or extreme music in general)

Review by Moatilliatta
4 stars Whoa! This album is crazy-awesome. Everything the band started to develop on The Silent Circus has been perfected, and now we're seeing their experimental side come out. The songs vary from brutal metal assaults to post-rock-ish ethereal breaks and even some jazzy elevator music to close the disc! And as complicated as the pieces may be, all of it is very expressive and emotional. It's worth nothing that Between the Buried and Me make much more use of the bass than most tech-y bands. Dan Briggs is a machine (a human machine, of course, or at least a machine with AI because if he weren't that would contradict my last sentence); he works the fretless bass quite nicely. As far as the other musicians go, vocalist Tommy Rogers has one of the most varietal voices in the business; he has a huge range both in his clean voice and his screams & growls. Lead guitarist Paul Waggoner has flying fingers and rhythm guitarist Dusty Waring maybe overlooked, but he is quite skilled himself, and drummer Blake Richardson is mind-boggling. This group has so much ground on their peers that it's almost not worth spending your time on anyone else.

All you need to hear to become a convert is "Selkies: The Endless Obsession." It covers many of the group's sounds and styles and beyond that it's completely ineffable. Stunning! The other highlights are the opener "All Bodies," the brilliant "Backwards Marathon" and that great closer "Laser Speed." The only weak spot is "Croakies and Boatshoes" because it's pretty much a standard tech-metalcore piece, but it does have some funny lyrics, and it's not bad by any stretch. Well, and "Roboturner" gets a bit irritating in spots, but that one bass line makes everything ok again.

This band is unbelievable, and somehow they find a way to outdo themselves with each new release. You'll forget how good their past albums are because of how good their newest one is, but make sure you put the older ones on every now and then because you're quickly reminded of how much you love them too.

Review by siLLy puPPy
4 stars After "The Silent Circus" there was a mass exodus of band members leaving only Tommy Rogers (vocals and keys) and Paul Waggoner (guitars) as original members. On ALASKA the third release of BETWEEN THE BURIED AND ME, Dan Briggs replaced Jason King on bass, Dustie Waring replaced Nick Fletcher on rhythm guitar and Blake Richardson replaced Mark Castillo on drums which would remain the permanent lineup up to the present. While three of the five members are new to the club, i can't say that there is a substantial change between this album and the last. ALASKA is very much in the style of the two preceding albums with only the ratio of ingredients being shifted around randomly.

The first thing that's noticeable is that BTBAM are back to putting emphasis on the metalcore elements with their signature progressive magical touches changing things up on a regular basis. While this album pretty much has the same ingredients as the last, there is substantial less sidetracking into totally non-metal genres and the progressive rock, space rock and alternative metal parts play more minor roles. It seems that the band wanted to make the statement that despite 3/5 of the band being newbies that they were intent prove they were keeping the hardcore principles that were laid down in the beginning intact and that the new members had to prove themselves as metalcore behemoths with relentless intensity.

While not much included on ALASKA manages to distinguish it from the previous two albums, there are a few elements that stand out. There are moments of electronica, post-rock (on the short but sweet instrumental track "Breathe In, Breathe Out") and the finale "Laser Speed" is an instrumental Brazilian bossa nova / samba track that sounds absolutely like nothing else on the album. Overall there isn't anything new on this one to reel in any fans who weren't captivated by the first two albums but if you dug those two then this one is a decent followup and somewhat of a bridge between "The Silent Circus" and "Colors" in that it does manage to refine the disparate elements in a somewhat more organized fashion but more often than not this is an extreme metal earache inducing monster fusing metalcore with tech death, alt and prog metal.

Review by Dapper~Blueberries
5 stars After their already starlight achievements on The Silent Circus, Between The Buried and Me experienced a bit of a fall where multitude of band members left leaving only Tommy Rogers and Paul Waggoner out in the dust. In replacement for the lost members, we have Dan Briggs on bass, Dustin Waring on rhythm guitar, Blake Richardson on drums which would later become the main lineup for the band even to today. This lineup change definitely improved the sound of the band drastically. Their first two albums were great but they never didn't know what to do with the puzzle pieces that would make for a truly great band. However with this new lineup, this is where the pieces fell into place. This was truly where Between The Buried and Me became a progressive metal band, and Alaska was the key to their gateway into truly becoming a band to take notice of. I dearly love this album and I think it is one of the band's strongest albums to date.

Coming into the album we have All Bodies. I always felt as though their first two albums had a dividing line between if they wanted to be progressive metal or metalcore with songs having one or the other. Immediately with this song we get that line striped away as the two genres coexist with each other. This song is clearly as brutal as one can get, but it's a lot more refined in certain areas. The complexity brims brighter on this song than ever before but in such a way where even the most mainstream of listeners can enjoy. This first song is a star staple already in the band's work.

Next up is the titular track, Alaska. A lot more streamlined, it still carries the same fixation on improving an already good sound, this time more on the metalcore aspects, polishing them to where they can be in tune with the progressive side of the band. It explores what the band can do with their sound and quality with this new line up, and solves the problems the last two records proposed.

Much like the last track, Croakies And Boatshoes still delivers more on the metalcore aspects, but also includes a clear progressive influence in the music. It's a band maturing from their roots and growing into their own fold. Time signature changes and a multitude of riffs on this small little song showcases a band that are attuned to the fact that they are practically creating their magnum opus with this album.

Next up is Selkies: The Endless Obsession. This song is a trip, it's super proggy but still carries brutality and aggression. Every little bit of detail really makes this song great. The space rock influence is also strong with this track. The halfway point reminds me almost of a Pink Floyd song, but a bit American and more modern like. That ending is also super great, the epic guitar riffs just make this song feel like the band finally hit their sweet spot and truly knows what they want to make. It is as grand as any song can get, and this isn't even their most epic song, which is absolutely insane. I love this song from dawn to dusk.

Next up is a short interlude song called Breathe In, Breathe Out. This is the only song I don't care for on this album. It's very small and doesn't really impact the album in any big way other than to give the listener a break. I don't have any strong opinions on this track to be honest, but it doesn't damper my enjoyment of this already amazing album.

After that we have Roboturner. This song is such a treat. It delivers heavy and seamless riffs with a clear focus and creates a more sludge like song with their style. It's pretty intense, all things considered with the relentless beating of the drums and the howling screamo Tommy Rogers provides. Everything just feels super dark and gothic with this song for me, and I absolutely love it. It's definitely a band really having fun in their new environment.

Next up is Backwards Marathon. This is where we really get to see the progressive aspects of the band shine thoroughly. The beginning is this super awesome and heavy song that has a little jazziness to it, the middle is a lot more calm and collected, almost ambient like, and the ending loops right back around the heavy stuff with an epic solo at the end. You can feel the power in the heavy stuff and the meditative sense of fulfillment on the quieter stuff. All of it is smooth as butter and all of it just gives more and more each time I listen to it. It's just that brilliant.

Up next is Medicine Wheel. This is an instrumental track that's a lot more calmer and less metal like. It feels super somber yet relaxing. This track is one that I think makes this album reach its status as a progressive metal masterpiece in my eyes, as it truly feels like the band knew what they were doing. It's melodic and downright pretty at times, heck almost sounds like a post rock track almost, which definitely makes this band feel attuned with the music and creativity around them. It's experimental yet that experimentation fully pays off in the end with such a brilliant and beautiful track. This track on its own is a must listen to me.

Next song is The Primer. We are back in the heavy stuff again, and this time we get some more awesome riffs and playing. Everything about this song feels truly epic and blood rushing. It builds and builds into an epic guitar riff that just oozes beauty even in a song with a lot of screaming and aggressive drumming. It's in a major key I believe which most metal bands strayed away from, but it does make these songs feel way more epic. It's just the way the band plays and progresses and builds into these big climaxes that I cannot help but adore. I am basically fanboying throughout this album at this point, which I have no shame for.

The next track is Autodidact. This is the weirdest and more experimental track on this album. Fast and heavy riffs aplenty but also a lot of jazz fusion and classical piano influences in this song, plus a bizarre sense of nervousness this song gives. I wouldn't call it angry, I'd say this song is confusing, but in a good way. It throws you through a loop the first time you hear it. One thing goes to another and next thing you know you are basically listening to a completely different song. Its inconsistency is its virtue in this department. I love it when bands make a problem into the best thing about a song because it's showing that the worst parts of a song can be the best in the right hands. It's just a super fun song.

And lastly is Laser Speed. This is the only album the band released that doesn't have a big epic final song at the end, and I think it works. This is a really sweet little acoustic song and I think it is a perfect ending to this album. It's not flashy or does anything too heavy or weird or progressive, it's just a fun little track but after all that has come, it's beautiful in its simplicity. It is an end credits sequence for the album and it gives the listener time to really appreciate what they heard, like how a movie has a credits sequence so viewers can really look back fondly on what they watched. It's a tried and true test of love and passion that this band has for their music, and this song is basically a speechless love song in a way, and that's pretty special.

I am in love with this album. It is definitely one of the band's best works to date. Its experimentation works to its benefits and the feelings this album gives off are super well done. I'd be hard pressed not to call this album a masterpiece, it's almost perfect. I highly recommend checking this album out if you just love progressive metal since this album is filled to the brim with awesome proggy moments mixed in with experimentation in the fields of metalcore and even a tiny bit of jazz fusion. Such a fun record to listen to, definitely one of their best works ever.

Latest members reviews

4 stars Improved songwriting with already very capable playing skills. Mathcore influences are still very present but veer more towards death-metal. A few instrumentals on the album prove that vocals are just one of the band's weapon. Compositions are getting longer and logically more varied. "All ... (read more)

Report this review (#2271786) | Posted by sgtpepper | Sunday, October 20, 2019 | Review Permanlink

4 stars Between the Buried & Me - Alaska Well, this album may not be as "Proggy" as their newer stuff, but I still find this album great. This is probably one of my favorite albums by them and for any fan that likes this kind of prog, should give it a chance. Now, the highlights of the album are indeed t ... (read more)

Report this review (#625440) | Posted by DiamondsClarity | Friday, February 3, 2012 | Review Permanlink

4 stars Between the Buried and me shot out a really great one in 2005, defining their more progressive style with Alaska. The album is a great mix of death metal, metalcore, and whatever the hell the band feels like at any given time, including jazz, alternative, synthpop, latin, and ambient. Great cr ... (read more)

Report this review (#228679) | Posted by topofsm | Monday, July 27, 2009 | Review Permanlink

2 stars Oh dearie me....After Colors, I was expecting to hear the predessecor to be great. Ugh...This record is a sporadic headache. I can't even listen to the first few songs without exploding. From a death metal stand point, it's the best thing ever, but really I have trouble hearing the prog in so ... (read more)

Report this review (#180773) | Posted by Treasure | Monday, August 25, 2008 | Review Permanlink

4 stars And just when I thought they sounded weird enough... This album is the one that solidified BtBaM as one of my favorite Progressive Metal bands. When I first bought this, and put it into the CD player, harshness and no-nonsense metal attitude put me off immediately. However, at the bequest of ... (read more)

Report this review (#141014) | Posted by Drakk | Saturday, September 29, 2007 | Review Permanlink

2 stars I heard this album from a friend who is really into the grindcore/deathmetal/experimental metal type of music. I was instantly impressed with the 6 string guitar sweeps and incredible shows of technical prowess. However, the rest of the music really gets in the way of the incredible skill of ... (read more)

Report this review (#125578) | Posted by weaverinhisweb | Tuesday, June 12, 2007 | Review Permanlink

4 stars You may not consider yourself someone who likes "intense" (heavy) music. Between the Buried and Me's Alsaska is intense--I'd venture to say some of the most intense music I've ever heard. However, I think it's accessable for those who don't generally like ultra- intense music. Why? The song ... (read more)

Report this review (#120447) | Posted by jmcdaniel_ee | Tuesday, May 1, 2007 | Review Permanlink

5 stars This album is crazy... I didn't hesitate to buy it, nor will I hesitate to advise you to buy it. Well, yeah, it's a little bit hard for some ears because of the vocals, but the guitars and keys and drums and bass... oh my God, this album is set up so perfectly that one cannot get enough of it ... (read more)

Report this review (#80912) | Posted by | Sunday, June 11, 2006 | Review Permanlink

Post a review of BETWEEN THE BURIED AND ME "Alaska"

You must be a forum member to post a review, please register here if you are not.


As a registered member (register here if not), you can post rating/reviews (& edit later), comments reviews and submit new albums.

You are not logged, please complete authentication before continuing (use forum credentials).

Forum user
Forum password

Copyright Prog Archives, All rights reserved. | Legal Notice | Privacy Policy | Advertise | RSS + syndications

Other sites in the MAC network: — jazz music reviews and archives | — metal music reviews and archives

Donate monthly and keep PA fast-loading and ad-free forever.