Between the Buried and Me
Colors


4.5
superb

Review

by Mark Campbell USER (14 Reviews)
September 14th, 2007 | 70 replies


Release Date: 2007 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Between The Buried And Me step up to the next level of prog-metal heavyweights with Colors, destroying any and all challengers with this nearly peerless masterpiece.

Between The Buried And Me (henceforth designated BTBAM) have made quite the mark in the world of metal. In a genre known more for its rehashed been-there-done-that formulas, hilarious D&D machismo B.S., and tendencies to jerk off copiously on their guitars, BTBAM is a daisy in a field of gnarly weeds, proving that unmatched virtuosity and melodic, innovative songwriting can coexist with crushing heaviness in a genre long devoid of originality.

Colors (and BTBAM in general) is an amalgam of virtually every breed of metal in existence - power metal, death metal, thrash, black metal, you name it - along with a healthy dose of progressive rock a'la Pink Floyd and King Crimson, some dramatic pop sensibilities (think Queen) and a penchant for experimentation and weirdness not unlike Mr. Bungle (or any typical Mike Patton record). Their schizophrenic nature of throwing everything (including the kitchen sink) imaginable into their music blender allows them to go from a crazy 200-bpm blast beat to a smooth jazz/polka part to a country hoe-down (!) into a poppy power metal verse, which is utterly ridiculous in the fact that it actually works - seamlessly, in fact - without sounding like they're smoking mad amounts of rocks or shamelessly masturbating to their incredible talent.

Basically a huge 64-minute song separated by tracks, Colors transitions its songs together without any real breaks, bombarding you with BTBAM's relentless aesthetic. This record never lets up for a second, the brief respite of "Viridian" being the only track that remains deceptively quiet the whole time. Otherwise, everything is all the way on 11. This album features some of the most insane "holy *** how did they do that?" instrumental moments committed to disc as of yet. Its kind of the understatement of the millennium to say these dudes shred their respective instruments better than 99% of their peers do. The kicker is that they do it tastefully and in an uplifting, catchy way that belies their incredible range of influences. I mean this band put out a cover album where bands like Blind Melon, Depeche Mode, and Counting Crows sat right next to Sepultura, Earth Crisis, and Pantera, giving you an inkling of their impressive devotion to all styles of music. It's this hodge-podge of tastes that give the listener the impression that these guys are having some serious fun playing this stuff. It's very refreshing for a genre like metal, where most of the bands take themselves and the ridiculous nature of their music far too seriously.

But despite their bizarre palette of influences, BTBAM is musically not a band to be screwed with. Tempos spin, switch, stop, and reverse on a dime (see the outro of "The Decade Of Statues") without a break, the guitars slit your throat and squeeze the blood from your body with no mercy, and the bass is astounding in that you can actually HEAR it on a metal album, let alone that it takes spotlight more than a few times without a problem. This time around, the vocals often take a welcome break from the tired death metal grunts into lilting, melodic falsettos and multi-part Floydian harmonies. Did I mention the drumming (insert breathless hyperbole of your choice)? If there's a contender for a modern-day King Crimson or Pink Floyd on PCP, BTBAM takes the cake and eats the baker too. There are some absolutely chilling, crushingly epic moments all over this record that will drop your jaw to the floor in awe at how incredibly easy these guys mix mind-blowing technical workouts with undeniably massive hooks. Just listen to the vintage Floyd chorus of "Sun Of Nothing", the hyperactive meltdown of the intro to "Ants In The Sky", the crushing final denouement of "White Walls", the soul-rending melodic scream in the crescendo of "Prequel To The Sequel", or the ultra-cool Phyrgian riffage in "Informal Gluttony" and try not to completely bow down like the lowly slave you are. It's actually pretty difficult to pick out all of the heart-stopping moments on the disc because Colors is literally throwing them at you every couple of minutes. You simply never know what's coming next.

Despite what would appear to be my ass-kissing of the highest "using Preparation H for chapstick" order, Colors isn't completely flawless; the throat-shredding vocals are definitely an acquired taste for some, it can be a beast to get through it in one sitting, and it relies quite a bit on the listener's ability to appreciate wankery (albeit tasteful wankery). Some parts and sections are more than a little reminiscent of their previous works, 2003's The Silent Circus and 2005's Alaska. You're going to get an aural bludgeoning of genres you'd never see in the same zip code, let alone in a single song. You also won't "get" it all in one sitting. And if you haven't figured it out yet, it's an Album that needs some real TLC to appreciate fully. But like any "grower", the reward is undeniably great. It's simultaneously BTBAM's hardest and easiest album to listen to, the former due to it's beastly run-time and lack of traditional song-structure, and the latter, its added melody, amazing cohesiveness, and consistency. There simply aren't any heavy bands out there that mix so many completely opposite styles together with such a mastery of arrangements, skills, melody, and catchy songwriting.

Put bluntly, Colors is completely un***withable, and I have no problem believing it will eventually be considered a modern classic of the highest order down the road. If you listen to one metal album this year, do yourself a favor and grab this the second you can, or you're missing out.

This album releases on September 18, 2007. It can be streamed from BTBAM's Myspace page here: http://profile.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=user.viewprofile&friendID=513 7567



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user ratings (3970)
Chart.
4.2
excellent
other reviews of this album
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Comments:Add a Comment 
mynameischan
Staff Reviewer
September 15th 2007


17944 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

This album is so good I'm not gonna lie

StrizzMatik
September 15th 2007


3220 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I'm a big fan of it. I never really liked BTBAM as much until I heard this. It's undeniably brilliant and more bands should put out albums this great.

Kiran
Emeritus
September 15th 2007


6002 Comments


This review is magnificent.

Digging: Harry Nilsson - Nilsson Schmilsson

StrizzMatik
September 15th 2007


3220 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

It's funny that my two album picks of the year so far (Minus The Bear and BTBAM) have such a pronounced Pink Floyd influence. Old is new, ad infinitum.

JumpTheF**kUp
September 15th 2007


2713 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Review is a bit fanboyish, but it's still very well written.
Ants of the Sky is incredible.

StrizzMatik
September 15th 2007


3220 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

LOL I'm not even a huge fan of BTBAM or most metal in general, really. Words can't do this album justice though and I'm very picky about my music. Thanks for the comments!

Zoo
September 15th 2007


3759 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Informal Gluttony is the only song I can listen to.

Pebster49
September 15th 2007


2993 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0 | Sound Off

4 more days, all I have to say

Fort23
September 15th 2007


2480 Comments


200-bpm blast beat to a smooth jazz/polka part to a country hoe-down (!) into a poppy power metal verse, which is utterly ridiculous in the fact that it actually works - seamlessly, in fact - without sounding like they're smoking mad amounts of rocks or shamelessly masturbating to their incredible talent.

lol. I should realy take a listen then. excellent review.

Thor
September 15th 2007


10202 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

This album slays, as does this review.

The polka break in "Prequel to the Sequel" is so goddamn cool you don't even know.

kalkal50
September 15th 2007


2386 Comments


excellent album, and i found the review quite fascinatingThis Message Edited On 09.15.07

Doppelganger
September 15th 2007


3124 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

My personal favorite moment is the "bawoooom" Mr. Bungle-y section in Sun Of Nothing.

Acre
September 15th 2007


847 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I first knew that this album was epic when I heard what sounded like Sesame Street on crack right in the middle of Sun of Nothing. Since then, this has not left my CD player.

Awesome review, by the way. You're absolutely right, this is going to be a modern classic.

Killtacular
September 15th 2007


1314 Comments


Superbly written review. It flows in a way seldom seen around here. I really, really enjoy the way you write.
Gouts of dog's blood to you, kind sir.This Message Edited On 09.15.07

StrizzMatik
September 15th 2007


3220 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I think that's a bit of a stretch.


In precisely what way is that a stretch? They mix just about everything done in metal together into one cohesive sound, except nu metal, which no one can really call true "metal" anyways.

Iluvatar
Staff Reviewer
September 15th 2007


16089 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Its always a bit of a stretch to make those kind of assumptions. Unwritten rule.

mynameischan
Staff Reviewer
September 15th 2007


17944 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

change it to every good breed of metal in existence

Altmer
September 15th 2007


5652 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0 | Sound Off

ok

i really do have to buy this album

do I

Otisbum
September 15th 2007


1912 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Yes.

Yes you do.

Justanothernimrod
September 15th 2007


478 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

yeah, even non-BTBAM fans can prepare to be amazed.



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