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Between The Buried And Me – Colors II

Between The Buried And Me
Colors II
by Dave "That Metal Guy" Campbell at 04 September 2021, 10:07 AM

BETWEEN THE BURIED AND ME, often abbreviated as BTBAM, is an American Progressive Metal band from Raleigh, North Carolina. Formed in 2000, the band is a longtime staple in the industry, with over 300,000 followers on Facebook, nine studio albums, and a pedigree that challenges many contemporary bands in the genre. Being a Progressive Metal fan, but only a casual fan of this band (I look overseas for most of my Metal…sue me), taking on their tenth studio album for review seems like a nice challenge. “Colors II” contains twelve tracks.

“Monochrome” leads off the album. It’s a short, three-minute opening track, with melancholy piano notes opening the song, followed by keys and clean vocals. A heavier groove develops a bit later, along with some harsh vocals. It segues into “The Double Helix,” where the punishing sound continues. Amidst the chaos comes some clean vocals, but the harsh vocals take over the sound, along with some darker passages and audible bass notes. It ends on clean guitars with a murky edge. “Revolution in Limbo” is a near-ten-minute track. Heavy accents dominate the landscape, but they song is really all over the place. Multiple soundtracks emerge, making it hard to keep up with the central theme of the music. They attack and retreat, like a rattlesnake awoke early from his hibernation. Unable to really think clearly, he lashes out at times, and remains quite and still other times. A fun and circus-like interlude develops after the half-way point, as the music takes on a THE DEER HUNTER vibe, and it ends with a bit of melody.

“Fix the Error” begins with dancing bass notes and some nifty rhythm shifting. The sheer amount of diverse sounds they present so far is impressive. Did I step back in time? The guitar work is absolutely fantastic here…these guys are hard to beat as far as musicianship. “Staring into the Abyss” is a shorter song where the band takes you to a special place in the universe, where you can see everything…all of mankind, past and future, every place you have ever imagined, and they do it with sweet melodies and a penchant for the grandiose. “Prehistory” is another short song, full of meter changes and some high-level dexterity. The music here is odd, as the band puts on a display of “who can possibly do it better than us?”

“Bad Habits” is another nine-minute opus, full of twists and turns. Just when the melody starts to take shape, they shift to another sound, unconcerned about where it might leave the listener. This is perhaps the biggest problem I have with the song, and the album as a whole. This is seriously hard to keep up with. “The Future is Behind us” is the leading single on the album. It begins with some staccato notes and some meter temperance, along with some ethereal melodies that are given time to develop. From there, it is like a mad scientist, toying with every sound the genre has to offer. Segueing into “Turbulent,” with keys leading the charge. This is another song where the melodies really shine.

“Human is Hell” closes the album…a fifteen-minute beast. You have to ask yourself, would any other ending suffice? The track grazes the surface of many different sounds here, enough to fill your plate and then some. It so chocked full of diversity that you cannot really hear a central theme in the music. At times Jazzy and playful, while other times somber and brutal, it really runs the extremes as well as everything in between. Slowing at the half way mark to let some ambient tones develop, you wonder if you are listening to the same song? Gathering steam towards the end, it fades out with a sense of wonder.

One thing I can say for the quintet here is that they are obviously very talented. They stop and start on a dime, chugging away with heavy, Progressive rhythms and a backdrop of nefarious electronic sounds. You have to marvel at the speed in which the band pulls of transitions, but also wonder at what expense? In other words, does the music suffer due to their talent? I will have to leave it up to the listener to answer this question. For me, it was just a little over the top…the time changes and the transitions did not always make sense to me. But, the melodies were quite tasty. This is quintessential BTBAM.

Songwriting: 8
Musicianship: 10
Memorability: 6
Production: 9

4 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. Monochrome
2. The Double Helix
3. Revolution in Limbo
4. Fix the Error
5. Never Seen
6. Staring into the Abyss
7. Prehistory
8. Bad Habits
9. The Future Behind us
10. Turbulent
11. Sfumato
12. Human is Hell
Lineup:
Tommy Giles Rogers – Lead Vocals, Keyboards
Paul Waggoner – Lead Guitar, Backing Vocals, Additional Lead Vocals
Dustie Waring – Rhythm Guitar, Additional Lead Guitar
Dan Briggs – Bass, Keyboards, Backing Vocals
Blake Richardson – Drums
Record Label: Sumerian Records
     


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