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Between The Buried And Me - The Great Misdirect CD (album) cover


Between The Buried And Me


Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

4.09 | 338 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
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.

Dapper~Blueberries | 5/5 |


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