Yeah, Emyay's right on the money. The Great Misdirect took the whole idea of Colors, and revisioned it entirely. Think about the structural similarities, for starters; both album intros are soothing, but descend into heaviness after a couple minutes. However, "Mirrors" grabbed me so much more than "The Backtrack" ever did. I mean, I'm sometimes on the verge of tears when I listen to "Mirrors," just because of how beautiful the instrumentation is. When it goes into "Obfuscation," it does feel a little formulaic I suppose, like the group were adhering to the Colors structure, but on the second try everything fell into place so much more cohesively. "Obfuscation" remains my favorite song from these guys, and even "Fossil Genera," a song destined to be inconsistent (I mean, dat intro lol) some-the-fuck-how ends up being surprisingly logically structured. Whereas in Colors, around that part you'd have "Ants of the Sky" maybe, which is fantastic but still lacked that stellar compositional quality - its heavier moments killed the momentum created by the progressive moments.
The comparisons continue even further. "Desert of Song" takes place where "Viridian" was on Colors, except it's much more fleshed out this time around. It's a veritable oasis between mammoth tracks (sound familiar?) and is just as soothing as its predecessor was, and maybe even more fulfilling. Although "Viridian" was fantastic. "Disease, Injury, Madness" is also a prime example of the heaviness the group strives for in the first third of their album, carrying out the task when "Obfuscation" passes the torch. And it's a little sloppy in the heavier parts, but it's got great breakdowns, an incredibly tightly-knit soft section (improvement over "Sun of Nothing" in that regard,) and a great change of pace in the last half with the blues influence.
And yeah, the group aims to please its audience a little too much with the last track on each album. "White Walls," while impressive, lacks the organization necessary to make a profound statement, and "Swim to the Moon" is even less sensibly arranged. I mean, they kick the song off with, like, a 30-second transition? Then the first vocals are from the mediocre MERCH DUDE? Doesn't make much sense in retrospect, does it?
But overall, I left this absurdly long comment just to highlight the (MANY) comparisons between Colors and The Great Misdirect. Judging from all of this, it's never made an ounce of sense to me while somebody would dislike TGM more than Colors, since it's essentially a continuation of the same style but without the sometimes shoddy metalcore moments on Colors.