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Between the Buried and Me - Coma Ecliptic Award winner

Between the Buried and Me
Coma Ecliptic
by Matt "Wolverine" Johnson at 29 July 2015, 9:15 PM

Glancing at their Facebook page, you might notice that under the genre column, BETWEEN THE BURIED AND ME have the answer simply as "music." Pandora Internet Radio labels them in the description as "a thinking man's hardcore outfit." When I saw this band for the first time in 2008, I had little idea about who they even were, all I knew is that they were extreme in some way. The time has come full-circle and now I am more than just an average fan, willing to travel out of state to see this band perform. And as of July 10, 2015, they have released an album called "Coma Ecliptic" to the awaiting skulls of intellectuals and Prog lovers everywhere.

Sticking to their guns, Tommy Giles and the crew have manufactured this series of jigsaw puzzle-esque tunes, calling on their well known, historically present attributes to add those beautiful perplexities to the music which leaves us mouth-agape at times. All the sonic nuances, twists, and turns that helped propel this band from more of a gimmicky extreme band to one of the most popular acts in Modern Metal are ready in full force for the listening enjoyment and intellectual stimulation that those who are familiar with BTBAM would expect. Let me elaborate.

The full and wondrous use of synths of all kinds produce effects that, not only accompany the other instrumentation nicely, but also confound the ear-to-brain interface with the audible enigmas. The song structures required engineering degrees, the guitar leads, courtesy of Paul Waggoner surely required some classical training from Juilliard, and the production of it all makes the prospect of herding a bunch of cats seem like an easy endeavor by comparison. The lyrics, as is common for this band, are highly metaphorical and yes, you might need that Philosophy degree to decipher the meaning behind the words here.

The glorious blend of melodies with the aggression this band brings to the table creates an extremely flavorful contrast, and often times, even as someone experienced enough to know what to expect in Metal music, I was left amazed at how surprised I was while listening to the album. From the epic symphonic moments to the open-chord staccato of the "djenty" guitar riffs, to the fierceness of the harsh vocals, this album is a complete work of art and possesses elements that almost any Metal fan could appreciate.

With "Node" as the appropriate introduction, my favorite song, "The Coma Machine", quickly followed, as perhaps, the flagship track of the album. From there, the ending of one song became the beginning of the next, flowing excellently in sequence, as electronic grooves turned from "Dim Ignition" to "Famine Wolf." "King Redeem/Queen Serene" breaks that chain and seems as if it were chosen to stand on its own, as the intentional ballad of the album, and though it turns into a heavier piece after the two-minute mark, it finishes off on an emotionally melodic composition. There's a lovely Progressive feel to "Rapid Calm" and "Memory Palace" is a monster that includes a few PINK FLOYD-style stanzas near the eight-minute mark.  "Option Oblivion" is a technical piece, and "Life in Velvet" finishes up the album on a steady, heavy, and colorful note.

This is the album I have been hoping for since I learned last year that BETWEEN THE BURIED AND ME had a new one in the works. I believe "Coma Ecliptic" has earned all of the acclaim it has gotten and serves as a definite must-have of 2015!

4 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. Node
2. The Coma Machine
3. Dim Ignition
4. Famine Wolf
5. King Redeem/Queen Serene
6. Turn on the Darkness
7. The Ectopic Stroll
8. Rapid Calm
9. Memory Palace
10. Option Oblivion
11. Life in Velvet
Lineup:
Dan Briggs - Bass
Blake Richardson - Drums, Percussion
Tommy Giles Rogers - Vocals, Keyboards
Paul Waggoner - Guitars, Vocals on "Turn on the Darkness"
Dustie Waring - Guitars
Record Label: Metal Blade Records
     


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