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Between The Buried And Me - Colors II CD (album) cover


Between The Buried And Me


Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

4.13 | 134 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

4 stars Prog Metalists' favorite from Raleigh, NC, Between the Buried and Me are back with another highly acclaimed exposition of their eclectic tastes and ideations.

1. "Monochrome" (3:15) this is is Prog Metal? If so, it's the most benign, simplistic, and melodic metal I've ever heard. 2:20 death metal growls and more djenty guitar rhythm play. Okay, now I feel I'm in the metal jungle. (8.5/10)

2. "The Double Helix of Extinction" (6:16) one minute straight of pure and continuous death metal spew before a human-voiced chorus breaks things up for a few seconds. This is the pattern of this quite monotonous song. Though the instrumental performances are not as constant and metronomic below, they are lost (for me) in the of the turbulence caused by the vocals. I'm sure the vocals have lyrics but, what's the point? Only one mood/emotion could be being expressed by these sounds. Not interested. Even the cutsey electric piano at the end can't sway me: it's all fake. (7.5/10)

3. "Revolution in Limbo" (9:13) more growls open this one but at least it's not constant--which allows me the opportunity to pay attention to the music--which is actually quite varied and interesting here. The PETER NICHOLLS-like voice of the human singer are actually quite good and the music is decent (despite the plastic sound of the drum heads as they are mercilessly beaten--something that I always find quite irritating). I laugh while hearing the two growl voices "duelling" or conversing with one another around the five minute mark--and then the music shifts into a bassa nova! What the! As a non-death metal group of musicians I find their music quite straightforward metal, even familiar and IQ-ish. (17/20)

4. "Fix the Error" (5:01) It's the Ballroom Blitz! At least, that's how this song starts out. Then power chords, soloing underwater bass, and growl vocals follow. Other than the vocals, I feel as if I'm listening to Thin Lizzy--at least until the drum and cowbell solo with underlying talking bass and Baptist organ hits. At 2:30 it starts making fun of itself with what sounds more like some child cartoon/video game music. The next section reminds me of Opeth, but that church organ becomes more prominent again, taking things back into the comical (at least, for me). Nice execution and engineering. (8.5/10)

5. "Never Seen / Future Shock" (11:42) At the 7:00 mark, I can find myself relaxing and engaging with the less abrasive "Future Shock" section--especially since the vocals become human/humane. This is very Porcupine Tree-like--and melodic! Even mixed with some growl vocals, it's tolerable--and the music is nice--with some great lead guitar play going on in the background. Two songs, one I am unable to penetrate and enjoy, the other that I love. The second half would be my favorite song on the album, the first my least. (17.75/20)

6. "Stare into the Abyss" (3:54) opens with gentle piano chords played within a spacey sonicverse. This is nice. Kind of IQ-ish. At 1:37 the metal side of the boys bursts forth, but it's gentler--melodic, even. The singing that ensues is actually very nice--very powerful with long, beautiful notes not unlike --until 3:00 when the djenty guitar riffs and growl vocals take over (multiple tracks, which, I have to admit, are kind of cool!) before the song steps through a sudden door into the next song. A top three song. (9/10)

7. "Prehistory" (3:08) travels instrumentally as if a song by CAST or LINKIN PARK until 1:23 when a kind of carnival music and MC-voice take over. Then, stepping into second metal gear, they start singing in a partialgrowl about Creature Features and the like before falling into third gear around 2:35 for the finish. Not a great song; more like filler. (7.75/10)

8. "Bad Habits" (8:43) organ-foundation to some country-roads-cruisin' prog metal. I could actually see enjoying this one as I drove through the open lands of Nevada with the top down on my convertible. But then things change--as URIAH HEEP-like as the band tries to keep it with that organ and those classic rock guitar riffs, as soon as those machine gun bass drum notes start firing away I feel compelled to hit the ground and yell, "Blood makes the grass grow!" Must be PTSD from too many war movies over the course of my lifetime cuz I've never served in the military. Then the growl vocals take over and I'm dissociating again--what I thought was an innate (natural) human coping mechanism, but this would not help explain all of the humans who are drawn to/even "like" metal music. The more humane vocals here again remind me of one of LINKIN PARK's lead singers: both in tone and style. (17.5/20)

9. "The Future Is Behind Us" (5:22) opens as a fairly simple construct built around a kind of annoying child-toy-like keyboard arpeggi. The human voice vocals, however, help me to stick with it. Again, I'm reminded of a kind of cross between OPETH and IQ for the first 2:15. Then an ART OF NOISE-like bridge leads us into a more stop-and-go/staccato section with growl vocals. (From the band's official video for this song, I'm able to discover for the first time that the vocals--human and otherwise--all come from one singer! I'm impressed!) The walls of sound expand and fill in the fifth and sixth minutes beofre emptying out into a kind of RUSH-like "Tom Sawyer" outro (which bleeds into becoming the intro for the next song). At least this song kept my attention. (8.75/10)

10. "Turbulent" (5:57) from long "Tom Sawyer"-like intro to SAGA "Turn Me Loose" like and then Thomas Dolby/Peter Murphy, we get a real smattering of old sounds and melodies in this one--though still anchored in rapid-fire bass pedal play and occasional bursts of growl vocals. Interesting! A top three song for me. (8.75/10)

11. "Sfumato" (1:09) an instrumental interlude/intro that could have come from any one of several dozen modern prog rock artists. Nice. (4.5/5)

12. "Human Is Hell (Another One with Love)" (15:08) opens with machine gun guitar, bass, and drum riffing before collapsing into a fairly melodic standard 80s metal sound structure. But then the growl vocals enter and everything goes grey/static/white noise. The first five minutes give me very little to hang on to, but then at 4:19 Tommy Rogers' voice turns human and I can finally latch onto something. But, this is short-lived. The next metal section that ensues varies only in the effects used on the lead guitar's rapid-fire riffing. In the seventh minute the music tries to go toward Dick Dale island, but then turns back--until 7:25 when a new meaty rock riff and structure is established--giving way to a little more Math Rock/Crimsonian weave at 7:53--which is then slowed down for some sensitive, spacious whole band interplay. I like this! Vocals (with harmonizing b vox!) join in. Then David Torn-like guitar solos. This is really cool music! At the ten minute mark we switch again, a kind of "Mr. Roboto" keyboard one note bass-line is established over which various unusual computer percussive sounds are woven with keyboard until LINKIN PARK vocal and growls are intermixed, side by side, one over the other, while the rhythm section play with odd syncopations and staccato playing. Overall, an odd song that, for me, puts on display the band members' rock roots and contrasts and melds them with their extreme metal explorations (and preferences?) (26.5/30)

Total Time 78:48

Despite the technical proficiency of this band, I find very little enjoyment from listening to this music. As much as I try, the head-banger supposedly laying latent within me has never emerged. It's even difficult for me to find musics/bands/songs to compare with music like this because my neurological and DNA makeup have been so resistant to picking up the supposed nuances in this music--and the sounds and styles that make each band and song distinctive from one another. All I hear is very competent musicianship, no melody, one rhythm/speed (rapid fire/machine gun), and, of course, due to my learning disability, no message--other than the underlying angst and anger. Sorry! Sometimes I think I should recuse myself from reviewing bands like these because I am so rarely able to find pleasure/enjoyment or connection to their music, but, hey, we're all here to share our opinions--which are inevitably coloured by our likes and dislikes.

B/four stars; an interesting addition to any prog lover's music collection and one that more eclectic, prog metal lovers will certainly enjoy.

BrufordFreak | 4/5 |


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