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

COLORS II

Between The Buried And Me

 

Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

4.13 | 134 ratings

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siLLy puPPy
Special Collaborator
PSIKE, JRF/Canterbury, P Metal, Eclectic
4 stars PROGRESSIVE METALCORE IN FULL COLOR!

As time goes on and the world sallies forth at an ever quickened pace, i have to admit that i like most suffer from a shortened attention span and therefore when i hear about an album that is getting lots of attention that is close to 80 minutes long, i'm a little hesitant to devote so much time to an album that i may or may not like. I could listen to TWO OTHER albums during that same timespan! However when the artist in question is an all time favorite like BETWEEN THE BURIED AND ME i feel obligated to check it out especially when the album is somewhat of a sequel of their all time classic "Colors" which was their fourth album and remains their most successful and popular of all.

After a year of grinding to a halt due to the pandemic of 2020, BTBAM had time to reflect on where they had drifted ever since "Colors" hit the scene back in 2007. As it turns out with every subsequent album the band had slowly but surely tamped down the metalcore angst and instead ramped up the progressive rock attributes which while still in fine form seemed to have lost something in the shedding of all those core values that made the band stand out in the first place. Arriving in 2021, the band has released its tenth studio album titled COLORS II which sort of goes back in time and picks up where the first "Colors" left off.

Shockingly for a 21st century extreme metal band BETWEEN THE BURIED AND ME has kept the same exact lineup for a very long time and that means that the same musicians who played on the original "Colors" album are back to take things to the next level. These guys have had plenty of time to hone every detail in a glimmering sheen and COLORS II finds the band returning to past glories in surprisingly good form. Guitarist Paul Waggoner has stated that "Colors" was the result of a do or die statement where the band had to shit or get off the pot that meaning it needed to find its own sound and fast to remain relevant in a crowded metal market. A similar moment of reflection occurred during the pandemic where BTBAM took a moment to see where they had steered their musical vessel in the decade and a half since their lauded breakthrough. The band decided it was time to revisit some long lost moments.

COLORS II was designed to flow like a sequel and in many ways it does just that. The album starts off with a non-metal intro and slowly builds momentum until the jarring metalcore rampages of the past shine through once again and like the previous "Colors" allows non-metal musical genres to intermingle and punctuate the cacophonous din in most unexpected ways. The progressive elements such as time signature changes and extended running times are in full regalia on COLORS II. Three of the eight tracks sally forth beyond the ten minute mark with the final epic "Human Is Hell (Another One With Love) " inching past the 15-minute mark. The stated intent of COLORS II was to create a metal album with an underpinning gospel vibe of all things and although the sounds of gospel are heard from time to time, it would be impossible to discern this motive by listening to the music alone. When all is said and done, this really does sound like the phantom album that followed the original "Colors" that in some alternative universe would have emerged in place of where we experienced "The Great Misdirect."

Usually i avoid so-called comeback sequels like the plague. The track record in the metal world hasn't been too positive for these perceived schemes of reviving past glories for profit's sake. Just a few failed attempts that come to mind are Queenryche's "Operation: Mindcrime II," Alice Cooper's "Welcome 2 My Nightmare" and the plethora of bands that "secretly" revisit an older style without blatantly recycling an album title, i.e. Pantera's "Reinventing The Steel" amongst many. However despite my trepidation and hesitancy to finally check out COLORS II, i'm pleasantly surprised that it surpasses any expectations and proves that BTBAM still had plenty of proggy metalcore mojo stored up from the "Colors" era which obviously needed to be expressed and finally 14 years later has come to fruition. It's also not a surprise that BTBAM has a fetish for double dipping into concept albums. After all COLORS II emerges just three years after the two album set for "Automata" and lest we forget the excellent "Parallax" EP and album set.

OK, COLORS II turns out to be no waste of time.

THE GOOD. This is yet another competent album by a band that continues to churn out one innovative and excellent progressive extreme metal album after another. The band shows no sign of burning out and COLORS II allows the unresolved extras of the original "Colors" era to finally emerge. The musicianship is top notch as always and the creativity is firing on all pistons. The band remain absolute masters of juxtaposing everything from jazz funk and polka music to straight on rock with the gnarliest metalcore there is to be heard.

THE BAD. As good as this album is, it does reek of a been here done that before vibe. It's in all regards a retro album but at least BTBAM are mining their own past and not another artist's. There's nothing substantially different from the original "Colors" to really differentiate in the bigger picture save a few new sounds and effects that pop up from time to time. COLORS II at its core is exactly what the title suggests, the second coming. Whether another dose of "Colors" is what scratches the itch or not is a personal decision really but for my tastes COLORS II passes with, well flying COLORS!

Granted almost 80 minutes is a lengthy commitment and will surely prevent many newbies from taking the plunge but for those already indoctrinated into the cult of BETWEEN THE BURIED AND ME, this is yet another release that while not quite living up to its namesake of yore still rises to be a worthy successor.

siLLy puPPy | 4/5 |

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