Review Summary: Shitty, pretentious, and incoherent, this is a pathetic excuse for a metal record.
Hype is a big thing in music. Most bands like to generate hype around their new record, to make the album sell a lot of copies in advance due to pre-orders and the like. Between the Buried and Me did the same thing with their new release, Colors. Hyped as the next best thing in metal, the best album released this year, and whatnot, jawdropping musicianship, all the superlatives were used to describe the band. But on the whole, this is a completely unjustified decision.
Which is because this album is, for a lack of a better word, absolutely mind-boggingly terrible. I don't know what the members were on, it must have been some bad mix of crack and heroine, but hardly is this the best album of the year. In fact, it may just be the worst. Let's start with what people praise the most about this band: musicianship. There is no doubt at least three of the band members have super skill with their instruments (I'm talking about both guitarists and the drummer). They churn out many many complex riffs and drum patterns. But what they seem to forget that for an album to be good, the songs must be coherent and they must fit together.
This is not the case on this album. It's been hailed as one giant song, but that makes more of a mess of it than it already was. In fact, the only reason it could be called a giant song is because there are no borderlines on any musical themes or melodies or riffs that are repeated and break up the album into pieces. It's just one big meandering endless collection of riffs, melodies, and more, occasionally drifting off into useless circus interludes, polka breaks, and more quotations that do not at all fit with the sound of the album. It just never, ever seems to end and there is no bit where you can say "they were consistently good" during the album.
Furthermore for every good riff there are ten bad ones on the album. For every good musical idea, there are 20 ***ty ones. Between the Buried and Me seem like they're onto something with the intro of Prequel to the Sequel, with some nice good chugging and fierce drums. But they then suddenly wander off into a variety of musical directions, each of them more aimless than the previous, and never do they come back to the brilliant beginning of the song. It's like this, 8 TIMES OVER. Every song has a 30 second highlight and the rest is filler, or even worse, absolute bull***. Most of it actually sounds like the cast-offs from a drunken Meshuggah jam session.
If you thought Between the Buried and Me wasn't bad enough instrumentally, don't get an earful of the vocals. Tommy Rogers needs to be fired from the band, PRONTO. His harsh vocals are weak and hoarse and can never cut it. They lack fire, inspiration, meaning, they don't serve as a contrast or an augmentation of anything, he just spits out lyrics without any passion or love. It all just never comes together and he really ruins whatever good instrumental parts there are left going on in the background.
His clean voice isn't much better. He has an annoying high falsetto warble, which reminds me of Steven Wilson, but with less honesty, skill and soul and more autotune. He never sounds authentic or real or organic: they processed or effected each and every of his clean vocal lines to make it sound better in some way. This absolutely disgusts me because if you can't sing, at least be honest about it and don't pretend you can by just Protooling or using other electronical effects to cover up for the inadequacies of your voice.
This album is therefore probably the most criminal waste of talent I have ever seen. It has no direction or purpose. It has no aim, no feel, no meaning, and it is so haphazardly thrown together that it becomes an utterly pretentious work of bile in the end. The fact one indulges in technicality and complexity doesn't excuse that person from immunity to write a good, coherent song. Between the Buried and Me need to learn that lesson, and hire a new singer and write some good, coherent pieces of music next time. The worst part actually is that they are probably able to do it.