Review Summary: Without any articulate concepts or comprehensible structures, The Great Misdirect fails to clearly emphasize it’s significance and instead sounds like a whirlwind of garbled ideas.
It seems that Between the Buried and Me have created a passionate divide amongst their fans as of late: there are those that abide by their earlier work, which was more metalcore in nature, and there are those that swear by their newest work, which is way more progressive and grandiose. I happen to really enjoy Between the Buried and Me’s older work, as I found their previous effort, Colors
, to be too meandering and gimmicky. Their new effort, The Great Misdirect
, seems to continue the same grand progressive scheme that Colors
initiated, but does Between the Buried and Me go back to a more concise structure, or do they continue their sprawling, restless style?
It’s very easy to see why people like The Great Misdirect
, as Between the Buried and Me are obviously extremely talented at their instruments, and they can write great, heavy, progressive songs. The Great Misdirect
is nothing short of a fantastic effort, as the monumental and progressive concept of the album is completely unique and proves to be extremely skillful. Where the The Great Misdirect
divides people, akin to what Colors
did before, however, is how the album’s sprawling, progressive nature is conceived. I, for one, don't really care for the long, meandering structures and lengths. I just can't dig them. If this type of music was cut into smaller, 4/5/6 minute snippets and were more punctual and focused, like the stuff found on Alaska and Silent Circus, I could really enjoy it. But when I listen to it, I just can't help feel like the music has no point
to it. The music obviously isn't boring, but I find it boring because the songs lack character for me.
”Mirrors” serves as an intro to the album, and it’s my easily my favourite song of The Great Misdirect
. It’s a subdued, tasteful slower song with a salsa-feel to it, and it really helps soothe the listener and builds a great atmosphere before the chaos begins. “Obfuscation” kicks in shortly thereafter, and this is where the true character of The Great Misdirect
begins: long songs with beefy progressions, frantic leads and ever-changing riffs and structures. Like any fan that’s indifferent to this kind of style, I just sit and wonder what the hell is exactly going on. The breakdown at 1:43 is sweet, 3:40-4:17 is a cool mellow part, 6:47 houses another great riff, but that’s all the merit I can take out of the 9:15 length. For me, it seems like they just start a new riff every 30 seconds or so and I just stop caring about the song after a while.
“Disease, Injury, Madness” really suffers from a lack of momentum due its clumsy progressions. I enjoy the beginning and the mathy breakdown at 1:27, but then the song clams down into an extended quiet part, then it jumps back into heavier riffs, then they turn into Dream Theater at 6:38, then it swells down again, then they jump back in with a cheesy riff at 8:40 and then the song ends in chaos. Again, with few parts that I enjoy in a song that clocks in at eleven minutes, I find myself being pleasantly bored most of the time.
”Fossil Genera” starts with some trademark BTBAM quirkiness, and I enjoy the riffs at 2:40 and 5:55, but that’s the most of it from the song’s twelve minutes. “Desert Song” is another mellow break from the noise, but it’s not as tasteful or creative as “Mirrors”, and thus does little for the album. “Swim To The Moon”, the album’s whopping eighteen minute closer, actually captivates me for the first five minutes with it’s building atmosphere and interesting progressions, but then the song wanders off into a collection of typical BTBAM-style solos and guitar leads for an extended period of time. They quiet down and start up again several times before ending the song with a string of average riffs. Although I do like pieces of the song, I don’t really feel compelled to sit through an eighteen minute song so I can hear a cool twenty second riff here and there. The song is filled with impressive great riffs and guitar leads and breakdowns, but if you can't coherently or concisely screw the pieces together, than what good are they to someone like me?
In the end, this album is very impressive, but when I listen to it, I can’t help but be bored. I find the long song lengths and the constantly changing riffs to be awfully tactless, as the music ends up sounding overly complex and extremely muddled. Being a fan of more concise structures and cohesive progressions, I can’t seem to find any character in this album, as The Great Misdirect
sounds like a collection of riffs that were randomly pieced together. The content of the album is outstanding, but without any articulate concepts or comprehensible structures, the The Great Misdirect
fails to clearly emphasize it’s significance and instead sounds like a whirlwind of garbled ideas.