The Year 2012, the band, Between the Buried and Me, the album… Well shit you guys already know that. With music becoming harder not to replicate other bands, it really is hard to be your own band. This is exactly the case with Between the Buried and Me. However there is a twist to this album. You don’t get to hear about that yet.. you get to hear about the history first!
Founded in 2000 in Raleigh, North Carolina by vocalist Thomas Giles Rogers Jr., guitarist Paul Waggoner, drummer Will Goodyear, guitarist Nick Fletcher (formerly of Empire Falls), and bassist Jason King, they have been fighting to make a name for themselves in the music industry. With five Studio albums EP and a Live DVD/CD they are climbing the ranks of the Progressive Metal genera. Taking on some of the bigger names out there like Dream Theatre, and Opeth just to name a couple of bands, so how do they fair 12 years later?
The first time I heard this I was not sold on it, it sounds to complex and to far fetched. It is something that you need to really sit yourself down strap yourself in and just listen… nothing more nothing else… just listen or so I thought, however I still cant get through it fully without wanting to change artists. I did managed to get through it a few times for this review. So here are my thoughts:
Being a Dream Theatre fan I understand where they are coming from, but I’m not sure if they do, even after five albums. However I’m going to give them the benefit of the doubt… they are different and yet the same as the other bands out there.
Does that make sense to some… probably not, so let me explain. Right now hearing them they do have the sound of Dream Theatre in the retrospect of they will keep their songs going for long periods of times and the transitions within the songs can be quite a few, but at the same time really complex, or really simple. The lyrical side of it is more death metal with the growly gruff voice for most of the songs, and sometimes the clear lyrics in other parts… which may or may not work for you in this setting. They are trying to be different by putting the two together; there are some that just doesn’t work.
When you have Death Metal … granted it isn’t a written rule, but usually it is fast paced song that has a lot of lyrics in a very short time. Normally they go for 2 to 3 mins… the longest song on this album is 15:09, NO that isn’t a typo that is the actual time of the song. There are five out of the 12 song set that is over 9:30. That is a lot to hear for gruff and growly lyrics.
Yes they are trying to be different, and I’m sure this has worked for them in the past… but this album should have been separated into more than one long ass album. Actually they talked about it, and since you saw the title this is the second of two albums, the first one was a EP, and they were going to cut this one into two more EP’s which, if you ask me they should have, since this album comes in at a incredible length of 72:33. I know that Dream Theatre comes in on that, but they do have more easy listening to on their songs, growly lyrics are a lot to take in on an album like that. Granted it isnt always growly but there is a good portion of it that is.
How does this album fair? Well it isn’t great but it isn’t bad either, it is mediocre on some and kick ass on other songs! I’m not one for long songs with growly vocals, and then transitioning into something different.. slowing it down, bringing in the same lyrics for 45 seconds then speeding it up to bring it to a climax only to trick you and slow it down or change it up again…. Then transition it into another song (that happens a lot if it wasn’t for the small split second break you hear when it does that I thought it would be one long ass song), but hey that is just me and this is my review on this… you totally can disagree with me on this and I would understand!
Granted this is a long story they are telling, but it is a little TOO long! It seems they started this style back in 2007 with “Colors” where it was eight songs but 63 mins in length. The music samples they toss in there in some of the songs here just don’t fit, granted they can be as little as one second, but just doesn’t fit like you find in “Silent Flight Parliament” which also is the longest song on here at 15:09 as I stated before.
Folks if you like Dream Theatre that met Opeth and gave a baby you will love this album. I understand the style they are going for but it isnt quite for me…
So now it is time for the best and worst on here:
Best song: Well, I have to say “Astral Body” I does set the tone for the album, but it doesn’t do it where you get bored with the song, it has the perfect mix of vocals both growly and clear as well as a good tempo with a good instrumental backing of the song from all the band members.
Worst song: “Bloom” It truly starts of strong, but then goes into obscure, and by the middle of the song you are going WTF?!?! It has a carnival style to it, but maybe that is what it is going for. The song however it all over the place and really you don’t know what direction it is taking… it hits even a 50’s surfer style in there for a bit.
This album is long and confusing but if it wasn’t for the lyrical story behind it, and some amazing instrumental work this one would have been lost on the shelves for sure. I cant say this is a solid album, but as I said before, it isn’t bad, just confused.
I have to give this a very iffy 5/10. It took me a lot to listen to this album because I just couldn’t keep listening to it, I kept going back to other albums and putting off this one. Granted it isn’t quite the style I was expecting.. it is original, but not up to par that keeps me wanting to come back. To much going on in some of the songs that just is an overload for the ears.
This album is being released Oct 9th, and it is the continuation for the EP that came out in April of 2011, so if you have been waiting for this one, your wait is almost over!
For now I’m PK saying ROCK on and we will see you on the next show!
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