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Between The Buried And Me

Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

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Between The Buried And Me Automata II album cover
3.95 | 156 ratings | 3 reviews | 30% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection

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Studio Album, released in 2018

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. The Proverbial Bellow (13:16)
2. Glide (2:13)
3. Voice of Trespass (7:58)
4. The Grid (9:45)

Total Time 33:12

Line-up / Musicians

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

- Cameron MacManus / trombone, baritone saxophone
- Jonathan Wiseman / trumpet

Releases information

Artwork: Corey Meyers

CD Sumerian Records ‎- SUM959 (2018, US)

LP Sumerian Records - SUM959 (2018, US)

Thanks to mbzr48 for the addition
and to Quinino for the last updates
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BETWEEN THE BURIED AND ME Automata II ratings distribution

(156 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(30%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(41%)
Good, but non-essential (19%)
Collectors/fans only (5%)
Poor. Only for completionists (5%)


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

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by siLLy puPPy
4 stars BETWEEN THE BURIED AND ME have returned after a three year hiatus that follows 2015's 'Coma Ecliptic.' Instead of releasing a single lengthy album which has pretty much been their formulaic approach for most of the band's almost two decade career, in 2018 BTBAM return with a completely new approach and that is take what could easily be a single album with a theme that lyrically tackles the concept of dreams being broadcast for the purpose of entertainment and divides it into two separate albums. The first of these albums 'Automata I' was released on 9 March 2018 and continued the more traditional sounds that BTBAM has crafted ever since they launched a more sophisticated progressive metal infused version of their metalcore sound. This second edition AUTOMATA II had to wait four months to find its way into the fans' musical conclusion of what was launched earlier in the year. This one came out on 13 July 2018 but personally i waited until both were released so i wouldn't have to have that annoying four month gap. Sort of like binge watching a TV series after it has ended.

While 'Automata I' was more of a continuation of the progressive metalcore cauldron of complexities that has been a BTBAM staple ever since 2012's amazing 'The Parallax II: Future Sequence,' AUTOMATA II is the far more experimental of the two having been compared to albums like 'Colors' for its unapologetic labyrinthine journey into as many musical styles possible. While there are grains of truth to this comparison, AUTOMATA II in reality is unlike any other BTBAM release as it finds fertile new grounds to construct its esoteric and eccentric musical edifice upon. While each album essentially an EP length by BTBAM standards, they have been marketed as bona fide full albums that provide two sides to the unifying concept that revolves around the unnerving thought of dreams being broadcast simply for the purpose of entertainment. While the lyrics are vague and only poetically and pointillistically fortify the overall theme, the album does confront the listener with the uncomfortable possibilities of covert technologies being used for behavior control and other means. 'Automata I' clocks in at 35:13 and AUTOMATI II at 33:12.

While AUTOMATA II is the shorter of the pair, it is without doubt the more experimental and adds myriad elements to its four tracks that have never been explored by the band. While the opener 'The Proverbial Bellow' opens with the immediate jarring freneticism of angular guitar riffs and organ runs, the thirteen minute track evolves quickly as it shifts into Pink Floydian space rock that echoes to aspects of 'Dark Side Of The Moon' albeit with a more caffeinated tempo. Despite being just a mere slice of the never-ending changes that emerge, the track shifts from the lushly embellished metalcore outbursts to the clean vocal progressive metal effluences that trade off without warning. Instantly noticeable is how AUTOMATA II takes extreme liberties in virtually every aspect of the musical procession with traditional BTBAM elements shapeshifting into bizarre new creations as well as completely new sounds. 'Glide' begins with a Mediterranean Cafe style accordion piece that segues into a lush classical piano and back again. While only a short intro for 'Voice Of Trespass,' it is unlike anything BTBAM has ever attempted.

'Voice Of Trespass' is also quite the surprise as it tackles the familiar swing jazz metal that fans of Diablo Swing Orchestra will know quite well. In fact, it sounds a little too much like DSO with a series of gypsy grooves, vocal calls and responses and Django Reinhardt-esque guitar riffs alongside the sultry swing timbres emerging from the baritone sax, trombone and trumpet. A true surprise and although a little too DOS derivative for its own good, still performed exquisitely well. The closer 'Grid' is the highlight (both albums save the best for last) as it concludes this double album journey with an alternating mix of some of the heaviest metalcore aspects with clean vocal dominated alternative metal passages and sweeping guitar licks that could fit into the best modern neo-prog album's agenda. However despite the silkiest sweetness generated by the clean vocal segments, 'Grid' contains some of the most bombastic extreme metal sequences of the entire two album experience and its rather unique how quickly and frequently these two extremes trade off, mix and meld on their musical playground.

So after all is said and done, despite the horrible decision to separate the release date of each of the two albums and frustrate the fans of this instant gratification world we have constructed, the two albums that have emerged won't disappoint as each has its own distinct personality while hosting a unifying concept that inextricably binds them like fraternal twins with different birth dates. BTBAM prove themselves to be masters of their own unique brand of progressive extreme metal and only continues to build upon the edifice of the more metalcore based foundation that launched their career nearly two decades ago. While there seems to be a general consensus that AUTOMATA II is the better of the two albums because of its more bold and daring attempts to break free from the established BTBAM paradigm, i personally find the two albums to be on equal footing. 'Automata I' may be the less experimental but it is the better album in terms of ratcheting up the band's already established paradigm in a more consistent manner whereas AUTOMATA II despite the deviation from the norm also has moments that find the band sounding more like other bands than themselves. For me this all balances out so as a whole i find both albums of this concept to be excellent but flawed. One thing is for sure, BTBAM are in no danger of burning out soon.

Review by Dapper~Blueberries
4 stars Well the first part was a little rough, but part two is a different story. Before really diving into The Great Misdirect and realizing how much of a masterpiece it is, this was my favorite Between The Buried and Me album. I am not joking, this used to be what I considered to be their cream of the crop. Now looking back on it, it's still pretty great, but it definitely is a little bit less of a strong album than it once was to me.

The first song here is The Proverbial Bellow. So with this track we still do not have that giant insanity that we usually get, but this time I feel like it has been better handled. You still get those meaty and heavy riffs here but it goes for more contemporary aspects. The riffs and drummings feel a lot more attuned with the vocals this time where before on Automata I, the lack of growls and screams felt off putting because the riffs and drumming were so big and large, but here they feel very in lined with what the band truly wanted to put forward, and the intensity comes in when needed. They definitely improved on this less heavy but still rocking sound that they introduced in Coma Ecliptic. Since this song is thirteen minutes in length you get a lot out of this whole style so it really grew on me the more I listened to it. It is really great stuff and probably one of the best songs off these two albums, which I think is really nice.

After that is Glide. This is a sort of short calm track but unlike Gold Drifter, this one I feel serves a sort of purpose to bridge the gap between the first and third songs off this album. It also has a bit more genre experimentation which I love. This is very baroque in a way, but like in a sort of a Dear Hunter style, which makes sense given they fact BTBAM and The Dear Hunter both had live concerts together, so maybe one of their songs rubbed the band a bit to try and attempt it. I gotta say it does sound pretty nice, though I still wish this was a little longer because it feels kinda incomplete with its shorter length. When the song was really getting into its own it feels like they cut it off too short. It doesn't ruin the song but it does feel like a cop-out.

Up next is Voice Of Trespass. I freaking love this song. It's so bombastic and jazzy, probably their most jazzy song yet. This perfectly captures what the band can really achieve if they put their minds to it. The horns and the perfect mix of those intense riffs and that 40s big band nature just feels so good. I think more metal bands should incorporate jazz elements in their songs because this is excellently well done. Plus the ending being this weird proggy finale that goes into this atmospheric short segment just really feels so good to hear. Plus we get a good amount of growls and screams here too, so they did sorta ditch the more calmer vocal arrangements on this song, but that does not really disappoint me. In fact I think this is a plus. This super jazzy number is just super well done, and it definitely was my favorite song from the band for quite a while. Just brilliant.

Last song on this album, I know it's pretty short, is The Grid. Where I felt Blot was a good ending but a little weak at points, here we get that classical BTBAM sound more. The harmonies and riffs just give off this epic feeling that just builds into this epic solo at the end. This song you can feel them really putting their all to make this work feel like the best it can be and it really does show. Everything about this song just engrosses the listener to really vibe with the music. It can be very calm at times but everything here feels as intense as it should be for a song by this band and I just love it. It is not face meltingly brutal but it does get the job done which I really appreciate. It is just really well made in every aspect, except for a tiny bit of the more calmer moments, but even then they aren't bad, just alright.

This is a really big step up from Automata I. This album feels a lot more cohesive and different. Even with 4 songs and 33 minutes of run time, this still has a lot to offer. Some great proggy tracks mixed with tight melodies and you got yourself an excellent album. Definitely not their greatest, but it still has a great deal to offer. Definitely recommend it if you love this band and want to see how much more they can experiment with their sound.

Latest members reviews

5 stars Automata II is definitely the better half of the Automata series. There's a lot more variation in the sounds and it feels more explorative than the first record, including what sounds like a banjo on the opening track. The album is also less heavy handed in the death metal realm than Automata I, wit ... (read more)

Report this review (#1948427) | Posted by tempest_77 | Sunday, July 15, 2018 | Review Permanlink

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