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Between The Buried And Me

Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

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Between The Buried And Me The Great Misdirect album cover
4.09 | 338 ratings | 27 reviews | 46% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection

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Studio Album, released in 2009

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Mirrors (3:38)
2. Obfuscation (9:15)
3. Disease, Injury, Madness (11:03)
4. Fossil Genera - A Feed from Cloud Mountain (12:11)
5. Desert of Song (5:33)
6. Swim to the Moon (17:54)

Total Time 59:34

Line-up / Musicians

- Tommy Rogers / vocals, keyboards
- Paul Waggoner / guitars (classical, steel acoustic, lap steel & electric), vocals (5)
- Dustie Waring / guitars (electric, slide & acoustic), guitar Fx
- Dan Briggs / fretted & fretless basses, keyboards, backing vocals
- Blake Richardson / drums & percussion

- Chuck Johnson / vocals (6)

Releases information

Artwork: Brandon Proff

CD Victory Records ‎- VR533 (2009, US)

Thanks to Treasure for the addition
and to Quinino for the last updates
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BETWEEN THE BURIED AND ME The Great Misdirect ratings distribution

(338 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(46%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(34%)
Good, but non-essential (11%)
Collectors/fans only (5%)
Poor. Only for completionists (4%)

BETWEEN THE BURIED AND ME The Great Misdirect reviews

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Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Marty McFly
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars EDIT 10/05/16 - OK, let's be fair a little bit here. If you hate Death Metal, let's read bellow. If not, let's just say that this record shows very skilled musicians performing quite Hard Rock / Metal, simply heavy sound, even sometimes depending on melodic guitar solos (and so). Weird combination that results into cacophony mess while being nice the rest of times.

4(+) because this work is good enough to classify so high. Variety is stunning and OK, I learned to appreciate this genre far more than half a year ago.

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- I don't know if it's just me, but I think I'm not affected by this hype around this album which suffered 2009 ratings recently. Well, I've made this mistake with Riverside's 2009 piece of musical effort, I underestimated their quality and thought that it's just hyped. It wasn't and I had to admit that their album was quite good. So I've tried it with this one.

I failed terribly. Or the music failed, one of these (in worst case even both of these statements) are true, because this music simply didn't make it to me. I've tried to see something here, but just monotone sound here (which is part of this whole death metal thing, which I still didn't get and I'm probably not going to understand it any time soon. What exactly is interesting in repeating brutality, again and again same tone, same sound and melody + ever-present unpleasant [well, it's certainly not pleasant] sound). I'll of course try in future to find something (because I don't like bashing albums, especially this popular albums), but I'm not too optimistic. First track, serving as intro is perfect, but it's not connected to the rest of this album. But what I heard in next is simply wonderful. There's melody, wild, rock melody and connected with death metal growl it doesn't sound so bad. And after this one, this repeats. Varying and changing, but it is here. But sheer relying on overwhelming vocals and sound is here simply too much to be considered as better rated album. This is not album for everyone (in this, all these reviewers (so far, 5 members reviewed and all with 5 star. I've read these reviews and can agree with these words, they're quite well composed revs, but they're wrong in one thing. Even it can be masterpiece for those who love death metal, it fails for others, or is even pain in the (you know) for those who hates it. I can stand it, if there's fair amount of it. It is, almost. But album for everyone, no way) are wrong).

So 2(+), quite pleasing, but I still don't understand why 7 times 5 stars. (31. 10. 2009)

Review by Bonnek
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Sometimes it is interesting to see how your appreciation of an album can change over the course of a couple of listens. By way of demonstrating that change, I kept my review in its original state, which I took down after the first few listens. As you will see it does not correspond with my rating at all. Not because I'm schizophrenic (I'd rather say this album is totally schizoid) but because I've changed opinion. A human right I often claim. I must also admit that a second reason why I didn't rewrite the review is simply because I'm lazy. Another human trait that is not entirely strange to me.

Between the Buried and Me combine old school death metal and aggressive hardcore with prog indulgences to create a burst of anger that leaves little room for things to develop. I like well-dosed aggression in music but after being slapped around the ears with it for 5 minutes, I sort of get the point and I'm ready to move on towards more interesting expressions of our mental state.

That doesn't happen enough here, there are scattered occasions where BTBAM tempt us with what they could achieve if they would stop hammering down their one point so continuously. Yes we've got it: you're young, angry and very angry. (Well I admit, that's 3 points they're making)

But it's not just that, my main issue is that the aggressive parts themselves are not good enough: it is known hardcore and thrash metal riffs pasted together with monotonous hardcore shouts and a hyper-kinetic Mars Volta-on-speed approach to prog. But don't have your hopes up with this last reference. Never do they reach the level of excellence and creativity that we know that band for.

It's only when they open up their neurotic attack for some more laidback playing that it gets more interesting. Examples can be found around the 5 minute mark into "Obfuscation" or 2 minutes into "Disease, Injury, Madness". But all too soon, the overstressed metal riffs kick in again and we're submerged under a wall of thrash metal again.

BTBAM has a lot of potential and I'd guess that many youngsters will devour this. For me, less predictable songs would have enhanced it a lot. Another option would be to do karaoke versions of their music. Without vocals this would work a lot better. Given the poor state and creative standstill that the metal scene has suffered from in the last few years, it is no wonder that this album comes floating to the top of all year-lists.

Actually this is a fun hodgepodge of an album! Approach with care though, maybe some of my initial criticism will still be valid for you. 4 stars. Subject to change...

Review by Conor Fynes
5 stars 'The Great Misdirect' - Between The Buried And Me (9.5/10)

As the year 2009 reached it's final stretch, I was pretty certain that I had heard the best that the year had to offer. The year has seen some great achievements from bands both old and new, and by the time November came around, I was almost sure that while the year had not yet ended; there wasn't anything left musically to look forward to, so to speak. Of course there was new music being released (albums are released every week) but there didn't seem to be anything left that would really blow me away...

At the behest of a friend, I went and purchased 'The Great Misdirect' a week or two after it was released. Until this point, Between The Buried And Me has really been a mixed bag for me. The other album of theirs I own 'Colors' (and many other's introduction to the band) was fantastic instrumentally, but it seemed a bit dry and rough at parts. Most of the other material I had heard from the band had been less than impressive, to say the least. Suffice to say, despite some great things I had heard about this album, my expectations weren't exactly surging through the roof.

Upon the first listen of 'The Great Misdirect,' I found myself paralyzed. From that moment on, I was sure I had heard the perfect culmination of a band that was really going places.

Don't get me wrong, 'Colors' was an exhilerating listen, but this new record goes above and beyond it. Three days into listening the album, I had listened to it over 30 times. The only other time I've enjoyed an album enough to be so stuck to the replay button was years ago, when I first bought the cornerstone concept album 'Scenes From A Memory' by Dream Theater.

There's no denying it; 'The Great Misdirect' is in fact, one of the most innovative metal records I've ever heard.

Between The Buried And Me has really seemed to do away with alot of their metalcore sound and there's alot of a prog sensibility here.The record really takes the listener on a ride through time and genre. The album starts with some dark jazzy chords and a meloncholic vocal line before letting go into an incredibly beautiful and polyrhythmic section before erupting into the first heavy song of the album, 'Obfuscation.' Honestly, I don't think I've ever heard a band meld traditional beauty and mind-numbing technicality before.

All the same, the first two songs do resonate alot with 'Colors' and existing fans of the band will certainly be pleased. It's not until the heaviest number 'Disease, Injury, Madness' rolls around where it becomes clear that this isn't just a victory lap for the band, and the expected 'Colors' formula is broken. From that point on, 'The Great Misdirect' really takes a form of it's own.

Even the less fantastic sections on the album have a role to play. 'Desert Of Song,' a hard- edged country/western ballad, is a good song with that would even shine on a lesser album, but it ends up being 'The Great Misdirect's lowest point. The album benefits greatly from it however, as a mellow, less demanding track is a very welcome segue between heavy, technical sections.

The album's epic finale, 'Swim To The Moon' is 18 minutes of seemingly unrelelenting tech-metal madness. While there are parts in the song that are among the best of the album, there could have been a bit more of an 'epic' build up to the climax. With 'White Walls,' there was a very gradual tension that put the listener on edge for minutes until the big climax burst out in full force. With 'Swim To The Moon,' the album seems to just 'end.' There's no big payoff, although that certainly doesn't rob the epic of being a great track.

This is undoubtedly the greatest album I've heard all year, and even one of the best modern metal albums ever made. Absolutely brilliant... I would say 'words cannot describe it,' but that's what a review is for! Five stars, essential, masterpiece... whatever you want to call it, 'The Great Misdirect' has it all, and is living proof that Between The Buried And Me are the great progressive metal band of the new generation.

Review by Epignosis
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
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.

Review by Rune2000
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars It's interesting that The Great Misdirect hasn't received a single review since November which is only a month after its release. At the same time this abnormality actually manages to explain exactly how I feel about this particular album.

After some impressive work on Colors I was interested in the direction this band would undertake on their follow-up release. It felt as though Between The Buried And Me should still have a great deal of inspiration left in them to carve out something even more spectacular this time around! Would it be a new over-the-top concept album or maybe a release consisting of one coherent track? Let's listen and find out...

The first two tracks start in a similar manner to the band's previous outputs but this time without anything spectacular. Mirrors is a sparse and underwhelming composition that doesn't fulfill its purpose as the opening track. Things do start to look up with Obfuscation and the band even manages to get some of the transition sections to actually work but every time I hear the ending sections guitar riffs and solo it all feels too much like a re-work of Dream Theater's Scenes From A Memory. This is truly a pity because the rest of material doesn't reach the intensity level that was offered by Obfuscation. Instead we are treated to the same old riffs as always which would have worked well if I didn't have all these high expectations after Colors!

The conclusion of The Great Misdirect is where it really goes sour for me! Swim To The Moon features an extensive instrumental jam section filled with every cliche in the book which could have been avoided by scaling down the composition to 10-12 minute format. As it stands today this 18 minute track has very little to offer in exchange for this hefty chunk of my time and I always feel underwhelmed after hearing it.

Overall performance-wise there isn't anything particularly wrong with this release and have I not known what this band was actually capable of then my review would probably have been different. I don't consider this album to be a bad release but at the end of the day I'll always end up choosing Colors over it. This is also why I think everyone has already forgotten about The Great Misdirect and are instead eagerly awaiting what this band will think of next!

**** star songs: Mirrors (3:38) Obfuscation (9:15) Disease, Injury, Madness (11:03) Fossil Genera - A Feed from Cloud Mountain (12:11) Desert Of Song (5:33)

*** star songs: Swim To The Moon (17:54)

Review by J-Man
4 stars A Breath of Fresh Air In the Crowded Prog Metal Genre!

Between The Buried and Me's fifth album (not counting The Anatomy Of) is pure gold, and is one of my favorite albums from 2009. This unique band has been stirring up much discussion in the progressive metal world lately, and after hearing this album it's obvious why this band is getting so much attention.

I had enjoyed their previous album, Colors, prior to hearing The Great Misdirect, and I must say that this album is just about equal with its outstanding predecessor. The type of music that is played here is undeniably BtBaM's unique spin on progressive metal. To me, this album sounds like your traditional prog metal in the vein of Dream Theater with more space rock sounds (think Pink Floyd) with some added death metal and metalcore influences. Don't be scared away by the death metal or metalcore labels, though. If you are a progressive metal fan who can handle growling, I can almost assure that you will love The Great Misdirect.

One of the highlights of this album for me is the outstanding musicianship. Every musician is tight and precise, and that is really what is needed for this type of technical prog metal. Sloppy playing can ruin an album in this genre (I've seen it many times), but BtBaM is so fantastic on their respected instruments that this is never a problem. The bass playing from Dan Briggs is smart and innovative; I think modern metal bassists should learn a bit from his intelligent playing. The drumming from Blake Richardson is fantastic as well, and he is definitely one of the best drummers in modern prog metal. The dual guitarists do their job exceptionally as well, and good guitarists are essential for this type of music. While I was initially not very keen on Tommy Rogers's vocals, I've learned to appreciate his talent more. He is a very skilled vocalist in terms of growling and clean vocals.

The songwriting is also really excellent. The Great Misdirect is filled with interesting compositions and the excellent musicians deliver it perfectly. This is filled with soft and heavy moments, and many influences you wouldn't expect from a band in this genre (Fossil Genera sounds like ragtime at times, believe it or not). The beautiful Desert of Song serves as a breath of fresh air in the album, and the opening track, Mirrors reminds me very much of Pink Floyd. The heavier, more epic songs are my favorites, though. My personal favorite is Swim To The Moon, which has a superb instrumental section near the end. All of the songs on this album are great, though. I have no complaints at all.


The Great Misdirect is a superb album from one of the best modern progressive metal acts around. A 4.5 star rating is well earned for this outstanding album. If not for Transatlantic's latest effort, this would have been my favorite album of 2009. This is highly recommended to any prog metal fan, along with their previous album, Colors. I'm still debating what my favorite Between The Buried And Me album is, but The Great Misdirect may very well be my favorite. This is essential for anyone into heavier prog metal with a true sense of originality.

4 stars.

Review by AtomicCrimsonRush
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Acoustics, brutal distorted riffs, incredible lead breaks, diversity, beautiful singing and death growls, all on one album! Between the Buried and Me drew me in due to the technically excellent and precise musicianship along with a diversity of styles. The Death metal vocals are prevalent at times and dominate over the music, and there are moments of inspired genius in the instrumental sections that are mindblowing. It begins with a piece of beauty on acoustic and delightfully clean vocals, reminding me of the quieter Opeth.

The peace does not last for long as Obfuscation hammers out with growls throughout and noisy guitar distortion, with the occasional lead break thrown in. This is a noisy infernal clutter and I hoped the rest of the album would not sound like this. It just sounded like any other death metal band, caustic vocals, sparse lead work and a bombardment of distortion. Unpleasant for my ears but I am sure many death metal addicts would revel in this.

Disease Injury Madness continues brutal riffing and death vocals for a short time and then breaks into a wonderful quieter section that simply mesmirises. The musicianship is incredible and very complex time sigs clock in and out of sync with the bass and drum, and yet are enmeshed together with striking lead sweeps. The lead break is amazing technical precision and perhaps showcases the band at their best.

Fossil Genera begins with a quirky piano motif that some may mistake for an old Nintendo game. Love the vocals too as they sound aggressive without screaming the wallpaper off. Death vocals do return for the next section but I am okay with that due to the amazing innovative music, and the structures with sporadic time sig changes are awesome. Polyrhythmic sweeping guitar riffs blast over the growls, and the drumming is well executed. There is a strange little instrumental break that stops and starts and is way off kilter. At 5:30 the song is a blitzkrieg of brutal speed riffing, sounding like Death or Sepultura. Some inventive instrumental work follows, and a droning voice over. The quiet acoustic chimes in eventually and it is a delightful break from the intensity, and I like that beautiful lead guitar tone. Cleaner Akerfeldt style vocals take over, and some very sweet violin sounds. The ending reminds me of Dream Theater, namely Octavarium.

Desert of Song is a wonderful country flavoured ballad with slide guitar and some great vocals. The diversity of the band may be maddening for some death heads out there, but I really love the way the band launch into dangerous territories and provide risky little pieces like this. The song sounds great and shows how diverse these guys can be.

The epic at the end is a masterful piece of music with some unusual shouting vocals along with the death vocal style. This sounds weird after the country song previously. The vocals are not all that bad even for those who may not be into this brutal stuff. The music is as usual very complex and replete with lead breaks and odd percussion and bass patterns. The death vocals cease after about 10 minutes of intense metal blastbeats. The band are so tight it is criminal, the drum fills and lead breaks are awesome. This sounds like Petrucci and Myung in places, the lead break sweeping and hammer ons are incredible. My favourite part of the album begins here and continues for 8 precious minutes. The trade offs between musicians and time sig shifts are inspirational. I wished the band were more like this on other parts of the album. The organ solo is astonishing too and very Dream Theaterish. I know why Portnoy chose these guys for the Progressive Nation Tour now. They are almost a death metal version of Dream Theater.

So at the end of the album I am left with a problem and that is personally I have outgrown death metal growls, though once loved it, and yet the music is absolutely brilliant so I believe the music alone is worth a 5. The vocals are great when the screaming stops but there is a hell of a lot of growling on this, similar to Opeth. I can definitely recommend this to fans of death metal and technical prog, and it certainly deserves its high rating, 4 stars for the sheer inventive experimentation of metal.

Review by EatThatPhonebook
3 stars 5/10

"The Great Misdirect" is one of the most ambitious and progressive metalcore albums.

Let me put this straight. I am not a fan of Metalcore. Actually, at times I get pretty close to hating it. Maybe one day I'll like more, but until then, I'll have a few issues with a band like Between The Buried And Me. But what makes them exceptional is the really big progressive influence that is noticeable in their music and their album structures. "The Great Misdirect" , the band's sixth studio album and follow-up to their most acclaimed album to date, "Colors", keeps this formula that has been a winning one for Metalcore fans. As for me, I'm enjoying it partially.

Metalcore, to say it in an easy way, is a mixture between Hardcore Punk and Death Metal, and usually there is almost no melody in it. I like it when music has this characteristic, but not at all when these two genres combine. (I must admit though that I do like Grindcore, which is a little more extreme) "The Great Misdirect" has this type of music, and pretty abundantly too. But, like I said, what I like about the most about this band is the progressive side: many of the songs have crazy keyboard sounds, many time changes, alterations of moods, maybe even some electronic, and excellent musicianship. Because of these elements the songs on this album are extremely ambitious and adventurous, much more actually than many bands that define themselves progressive.

I've got to say that the highlights of this album, formed by six really long tracks, are "Fossil Genera", my absolute favorite, where even the harsher moments have some catchiness in them, even though the best part is at the second half of the song, where it gets more calm, and eventually it builds in a very epic way, until the end of the track where it has repeated the riff from the first part of the song. "Swim To the Moon" is another great track, with some flaws, but still pretty much worth the whole seventeen minutes; this is most definitely their most ambitious track off the album, where the experimentation goes wild with the keyboards and the time changes are infinite. A good thing about this album is that nearly every song has at least one great part in it, but all of these parts are the most experimental of the track (can't help it, I love progressive!!).

An album that just isn't my taste, but I do really appreciate the more experimental side of it, so this wasn't at all a terrible listen for me, but I do feel that many flaws are present, and I'm afraid that if I'll listen to the band's previous albums I'll find the same characteristics I consider negative that I see in "The Great Misdirect".

Review by Wicket
4 stars I love how music is such a paradox. Bands, artists and musicians will spend their entire lives trying to break through with one album.

But then once they make that one, singular defining album, the question then becomes "how do you top that"? And frankly, that's harder than the first question.

BTBAM began swimming the cult tech death underground with furious chaotic shredding, growling and mashing of drumsets with the occasional soft parts thrown in between. They started throwing in more of their what would be signature arpeggios in "The Silent Circus" and "Alaska", the latter of which stirred the hype train a bit. But once "Colors" dropped, the whole game had been changed. Hell, "Prequel to the Sequel" landed on Rock Band! Not many really heavy bands can do that.

So of course, when you release game changing material like that, the question is how you top it. But BTBAM decided otherwise, instead saying "We don't have to follow up Colors", we'll just push our sound in different directions, that way no two albums sound the same."

It's a brilliant strategy, albeit one that's rarely successful, but by the time "The Great Misdirect" came out, BTBAM had already established their sound, while still evolving it from album to album (i.e . "Coma Ecliptic"). "Mirrors" is a slow opener, but not like "Color's Backtrack". There's no real buildup, just a slow, plodding melodic tune, but then "Obfuscation" kicks in and so does the headbanging, and while I don't believe this album is really comparable to "Colors", this song in general I find a lot of connections to "Prequel to the Sequel", the closest you could call "hit songs" of their respective albums. It's a roller coaster of a ride, as almost all BTBAM songs are, but the guitar melodies are really pronounced so that you latch onto them like a safety net. Throw in a heavy hitting chorus, a crazy tension building bridge/interlude/face-melting guitar solo/cacophony-of-endless noise section and you've got a heavy hitter of a statement piece.

"Disease, Injury, Madness" and "Fossil Genera" are all right, similarly composed as before, with chaotic sections with repeating motifs with mellow and melodic interludes and bridges in between, with each song bringing a unique "X-factor", the former being a cool blues rock groove towards the end and the latter bringing a haunting circus-esque motif throughout and ending with a haunting and repeating melody on the finishing chorus.

"Desert of Song" is probably the closest BTBAM has ever gotten to an accessible or daresay, even "pop" hit. It begins almost like a cinematic western tune, featuring a very rare vocal spot from guitarist Paul Waggoner, and quite jarring comparing it to the constant thrash and violent furry of "The Silent Circus" just six years prior. Considering the numerous genres they've sampled and teased even just on this album and "Colors", it's a fresh and unique breath of relaxation from the constant barrage on the ear drums, and yet it still sounds familiar, still somehow quintessential BTBAM. A rare progressive tune that is quite catchy and enjoyable, despite it being somewhat melancholy.

"Swim To The Moon" to me is, not just the apex of the album obviously, but it's crowning achievement. Compositionally, it's a brilliantly structured track, with the opening motif also bookending as its closing notes, while also introducing a breakdown motif that's foreshadowed towards the latter end of the song. It's still just as chaotic as any BTBAM song, but the structuring of the verses and bridges just seem a bit more fluid than say "Disease..." and "Fossil Genera". I'm more likely to skip through those two songs to get to the good juicy bits more than I am skipping through "Swim to the Moon".

As always, it's unique party piece is the little samba breakdown/Blake Richardson showcase roughly six and a half minutes in, but even before that, the saturation of noise give it an epic persona, and the chorus melody is one of the most striking and haunting I think in BTBAM's repertoire. It's short, sweet and simple, but once Tommy Rogers breaks through halfway through the song and it fades away to subtle guitar plucking, the aftereffect is intoxicating. Then a banjo style plucking comes in soon after followed by a furious distorted repetition of the motif. This sequence right here is straight head-banging inducing. It's a completely instrumental spot that showcases the entire band at its absolute peak and fury. I love the counterplay between soft and loud dynamics, which work to an astonishing effect, especially on an album like this where generally everything is turned past eleven up to a thousand. This instrumental section takes up near about four of the nearly 18 minute long track, and it's probably one of the best instrumental metal sections I've heard in quite a while.

Once that fades, the heavy breakdown motif returns in an absolutely crushing breakdown (the distortion is so immense I have no idea what chord it is, besides the lowest). A quick little transition leads back into the thematic western-styled acousitc plucking (complete with some bongos) before the chorus returns in all its glory before signing off just as it began, with the same motif the song opened with 18 minutes prior.

It's a phenomenal juggernaut of a track, one of the most complete in BTBAM history, and one of my most favorite "juggernaut" tracks (tracks I personally describe being longer than 15 minutes). Sadly, while I love the song and the rest of this album, this album has to get a 4 star. I understand the need to continue evolving one's sound so as to not be defined and compared to one singular album, but to me it just doesn't have the grandiosity and enough aural catching oddities that littered "Colors" to such an entertaining and refreshing degree. The only real downside song wise is the middle of "Fossil Genera" that gets so lost in the constant barrage of blastbeats and constant dissonant upheaval that it produces headaches quicker than any other section on this album.

That aside, this is still a great album, a must for any fan of "Colors" or any technical metal. There's still plenty of screaming (something some people were a tad annoyed at with "Coma Ecliptic" at times, myself included), but also plenty of great melodic sections to break up the monotonous (at times) onslaught of arpeggiated riffs and furious blastbeats.

Review by Dapper~Blueberries
5 stars Now this has been the one I've been waiting to review. Ever since I started reviewing each and every album by Between The Buried and Me, I slightly got more excited each and every time because the day where I would review this masterpiece would arrive soon, and here we are. As I stated in my Colors review, they have released more masterpieces, in fact I believe there is a sort of trifecta of them. If you do not count The Anatomy Of as an original studio work, then so far we have three masterpieces from this band. Alaska, Colors, and now The Great Misdirect. I will stop my rambling but from here on out I will pretty much be fanboying as I just love this album so dang much.

The album begins with Mirrors. This is essentially a calm before the storm in a way, much like the last album's first song, however this piece has a more focus on setting the mood as opposed to being a prelude to things to come. In fact the line 'close one eye, step to the side' essentially tells the listener that this album is going to be a lot different. The guitars have this sort of dirty echo to them, and the vocal harmonies feel super angelic yet almost angry in a feel. This is definitely when Tommy's vocals were at their peak performance. It's such a good opener, it sets the mood perfectly. Not only that but it also sets the stage for the concept of this album, where Colors was about what makes us human, this time we are looking at what is next for us. The lines 'everything's a novelty' and 'everyone grows but me' are enriched in emotion. You can definitely feel what Tommy is saying on this song. This isn't even that long, heck it is the shortest one here, but man for an opener it just delivers amazingly.

Even more so is the song that comes after, Obfuscation. I freaking love this track. How it just goes and goes into these big and epic moments, how Tommy uses his keyboard work to the best of its abilities, and every little fiber of the guitars and drums just create such an intense yet almost carefree tone of sound. You can also definitely have a bit of influence on this song. They were definitely Prog before this album, but here I can hear some kinda influences of King Crimson, heck even a little bit of The Mars Volta. It does such an amazing job with delivering and expanding on the vibes Mirrors established and it just explodes into some amazing crescendos at the end. It is just a super great song from beginning to end. It also delivers so much more with the themes that were laid down, asking a what if question on what if we can become something more than a brain. You can definitely feel elements of sci-fi literature that have stories on humans becoming more than just flesh and bones but rather on comparative levels to gods. It is such a mind screw of an idea yet for this song it just works so well. I'd be hard pressed to not mention the chorus, because that chorus is so good. It's the same as Mirrors, 'Close one eye, step to side' but it just makes it feel more intense and legendary than it already is. It's just a chef's kiss of a song.

Just as amazing is Disease, Injury, Madness. This song is super heavy, the riffs are just gnarly but it does have some neatly placed quieter moments. What I love about Between The Buried and Me is their way of blending and smoothly transitioning to different sounds, whether that be heavier stuff, experimental stuff, or quieter stuff. They have a clear knack for this kind of stuff, and so this song basically showcases what the band can really accomplish with that. It combines beautiful melodic moments with the intensity and fury this band delivers on a regular basis, and it all just creates this one big feeling of epicness. It's enriched with carefully played out and performed instrumentation. The lyrics too also just sky rocket this song for me, again this band really knows how to deliver their concepts. This time it talks about madness, going insane, mental disorders, all that stuff, but told from the perspective of the mind. It isn't just a song about going insane, it shows that mental health is a very hard topic that simply saying someone who is mentally ill is just psychotic and will stay psychotic is just not the way to go. It perfectly relates to what this album wants to explore, which is again, how can humanity move forward. This song is just amazing and brilliantly executed.

Next up is Fossil Genera (A Feed From Cloud Mountain). This band doesn't have a big track record of being jazzy but this is definitely their most notable work that has a bit of a jazz twang to it. You can feel the proggy aspects of this song way more with the use of a more gothic, cryptic, and almost Halloween-like jazz feel. The beginning melody especially creates this ring leader feel, like this kind of song that plays in a circus in Hell. I especially love this part of the song that happens after 7 minutes and 40 seconds where it has this keyboard work that has this super spooky feeling to it. I don't know how to describe this song's whole aesthetic, but I can say it is certainly villainous. I think the reason this has that sort of villainous feel is the fact that this is a song about aliens coming down to earth to either enslave or assimilate. I really love this song but it is hard to really convey what it is that I love about it. The instrumentation is on point and so are the lyrics and themes, but man is it difficult to give a feeling for this song's mood. It is pretty experimental, in terms of sound, playing, and stylization. It is unlike anything the band has released up until now, which is just super cool.

Next up is Desert Of Song, which is much like Mirrors where it is more of a shorter song. This album already has like 50+ styles in it, but I didn't expect a more melodic sort of southern rock ballad from this band but after hearing it for a long time, months even, this song is just really good. Tommy takes a more backseat on this song in favor of Paul Waggoner who has a more southern and homegrown type of singing. It takes its time, with the chorus coming in pretty much halfway through the song. It builds into this amazing piece of music that is just brimming with care and love. The song writing also excels, especially in tandem with the music. It's almost poetic in a sense, more about what music, more specifically mainstream music is too the band with depictions of a desert and a radio and static and all that neat little stuff that we wouldn't think much of but looking at it from a new angle, we can see a little more of what this band wants to tell to their listeners. I'd say this is probably the only song on this album that can be interpreted, maybe it is a love song on music as a whole, or maybe it is a ballad against mediocrity. Whatever it is, it's just super well executed.

And lastly is the kahuna of this album, the big fish, Swim To The Moon. This is the song that basically told me that this album is a masterpiece. It would already be something that I'd consider to be an amazing experience, but this song just elevates it to an extremely legendary degree. This 17 minute epic just has so many amazing qualities to it that it is hard to describe. The riffs are just so meaty, the drums elevate this song, and those vocals and growls Tommy provides creates this level of absolute perfection. But it doesn't stop there, the playing is so well done. It goes from intense, almost marching beats, to some crazy and almost Avant Garde playing, to stuff that has a sort of swing to it. Every little part of this song just breathes every new way imaginable. And it is not like a suite where one part builds and then leads into the next, no, instead we get new stuff practically every few minutes, or shorter. To some it might be a little crazy, but for me it just creates a layer of brilliantly executed song making prowess. And it all builds up into this awesome crescendo. Throughout the whole song, the chorus 'Slide into the water, become one with the sea, life seems so much smaller, swim to the moon' appears from the beginning, the middle, and the end. Each time it is different, one with growls, the other without, and the last is the cherry on top of it all. It's almost symphonic in how it ends with that big swirling and emotional growl at the end, screaming out the title of the song as it just melts down into heavy riffs and some of the best drumming on any album by Between The Buried and Me. I haven't even talked about the song's lyrics yet. This epic tale of a man going to the moon because of his loneliness with everyone around him is so sad but so amazingly done. Lines like 'No wake ups, no expectations' and 'Panic takes over my body' are so well done that it probably can put Shakespeare to shame. This entire piece is perfection, in no stretch of the imagination. How it all accumulates into this big finale yet in between shows a level of creativity and musicianship that is just so well developed that saying this is not one of the best Prog epics to come out would be blasphemy. It's perfect.

This album is just brilliant. This is another essential listen from the band. It is from point a to point b, a masterpiece in progressive metal music. I implore you to check this out because this has become one of my favorite albums of all time just by how excellent each of these songs are. I love this album with my whole entire heart, and I cannot say anything less than so.

Latest members reviews

4 stars This progressive death-metal/metalcore/progressive rock album starts with a light twinging guitar number a la soft Tool. It is mainly a workout for the drummer and the bass guitar player as the guitars stay mellow and don't override them. "Obfuscation" is a typical fast-paced death-metal numbe ... (read more)

Report this review (#2271788) | Posted by sgtpepper | Sunday, October 20, 2019 | Review Permanlink

4 stars I will start by saying that I do not specialize in progressive metal that includes growing vocals, but now and then I make and exception, and I have decided to do so here... 1. Mirrors (3:38) ' This album opens with some nice guitar riffs. The vocal starts as a melodic accompaniment. The m ... (read more)

Report this review (#884750) | Posted by TechnicallySpeaking | Sunday, December 30, 2012 | Review Permanlink

2 stars This album I could only recommend to fans of the genre, could rescue a few things from this band in the few moments they are progressive , But nothing new, the screams can cause a headache if you're not used to this genre, the voice clean appears me of a commercial band of the tv, I think That ... (read more)

Report this review (#321498) | Posted by GermanZERO | Tuesday, November 16, 2010 | Review Permanlink

4 stars After the mammoth that is Colours, Between The Buried & Me made another epic of an album. And does it match up? It's not as good, but it's still pretty damn good. In fact, it's a step forward. I believe that after the Progressive Nation tour, these guys really took a wide range of influenc ... (read more)

Report this review (#308867) | Posted by arcane-beautiful | Monday, November 8, 2010 | Review Permanlink

2 stars I am annoyed by this album. Sure, the musicians are skilled and the songs are progressive. But the technical parts aren't catchy, the vocals are awful, and the songs change a lot - for the worse. This album is a slight improvement over their previous one, "Colors". Where there where a lot of a ... (read more)

Report this review (#291606) | Posted by un4td | Friday, July 23, 2010 | Review Permanlink

4 stars While not as strong as the fantastic Colors, The Great Misdirect is still just as crazy, if not more crazy, yes the songs may be more structured and more stright forward than the last album, but to me it just seemed like they were trying to make another Colors and i was ever so slightly disappoint ... (read more)

Report this review (#282218) | Posted by FarBeyondProg | Sunday, May 16, 2010 | Review Permanlink

2 stars The album is very uncompromising and to be honest was not my cup of tea. Its often just a wall of sound with very little variety. That maybe ok for one track but its for most of the album. It would be nice to have a bit of variety to liven it up. Music for me should be enjoyable and frankl ... (read more)

Report this review (#252680) | Posted by Kev | Wednesday, November 25, 2009 | Review Permanlink

2 stars The new release of the ever so hyped band Between the Buried and Me is finally here, following their 2007 power-house "Colors", which truly opened my eyes to this strangely ambivalent band. The reason why I say ambivalent is not in the sense that the music is surprising or confused, the ambivale ... (read more)

Report this review (#248027) | Posted by Lezaza | Tuesday, November 3, 2009 | Review Permanlink

5 stars Well, now, what do we have here? Despite all the hype, this one still came as a surprise to me. I felt their previous releases were lacking something, somehow feeling at once a bit disconnected and monotonous. But with this one, Between the Buried and Me has pulled it all together. This album, ... (read more)

Report this review (#247495) | Posted by punxycpa | Saturday, October 31, 2009 | Review Permanlink

5 stars This is the first metal album of 2009 where I feel like i have been offered something refreshing as well as very inspired. The great Misdirect is a tech/extreme metal masterpiece, and sets the new benchmark for progressive metal acts to come. Firstly it has to be pointed out that if you cannot to ... (read more)

Report this review (#247079) | Posted by tehmayne | Thursday, October 29, 2009 | Review Permanlink

5 stars Here we have what for me is the album of the year. An absolutley stunning album from Between the Buried and Me, a band that at the moment can do no wrong. Following up the modern day classic Colors was always going to be a difficult task, but BTBAM has succesfuly created an album the lives up ... (read more)

Report this review (#247075) | Posted by Hrvat | Thursday, October 29, 2009 | Review Permanlink

5 stars ALAS! THE NEW BETWEEN THE BURIED AND ME ALBUM! I'VE BEEN WAITING FOR THIS FOR TWO YEARS! This young band has really turned it up in The Great Misdirect. Colors was, in my opinion, completely amazing. But some parts did seem forced and the feel was somewhat mechanical. Now they've progressed to ... (read more)

Report this review (#247025) | Posted by Treasure | Wednesday, October 28, 2009 | Review Permanlink

5 stars First of all, I have been listening to BTBAM for about 5 years because my friend was into metal and stuff... Im not a huge metal fan, but always could appreciate BTBAM. I've seen them live at least 6 times, but I never could get 100% into the music, seemed to cold and calculated, didn't flow eno ... (read more)

Report this review (#246996) | Posted by icosahedron | Wednesday, October 28, 2009 | Review Permanlink

5 stars Wow, this one definitely amazed me! BTBAM's newest release shows that this band is growing and branching out more and more towards other styles of music. This one should appeal to an even larger crowd than their previous releas "Colors." While not as heavy as their previous released, don't exp ... (read more)

Report this review (#246946) | Posted by CH1390 | Wednesday, October 28, 2009 | Review Permanlink

5 stars The Great Misdirect is a great album which came as a bit of a shock since the single, Obfuscation, was less than good. As I began to actually listen to the record I found the track to be actually perfect for the dynamic of the album and helped throw you around till you arnt really sure what you're l ... (read more)

Report this review (#246831) | Posted by DASistGrantTeeL | Wednesday, October 28, 2009 | Review Permanlink

5 stars So, I got this package in the mail today. I didn't think it was anything important, but then I saw that it was from Victory Records and immediately, my heart started racing: It was the new Between the Buried and Me album THE GREAT MISDIRECT! I immediately dropped everything and raced upstairs t ... (read more)

Report this review (#246131) | Posted by OriginsOfRuin | Saturday, October 24, 2009 | Review Permanlink

5 stars Well, what we have here is one of 2009's best albums. The album is amazing, no weak song on the album and the music is varied and keeps you interested - the album has quiet and beautiful moments such as "Mirrors", "Desert of Song" and a few parts in the other songs, aggressive moments such as "Obfu ... (read more)

Report this review (#246030) | Posted by NamelessATM | Saturday, October 24, 2009 | Review Permanlink

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