Review Summary: A step backwards for Between the Buried and Me
I’ll admit, I am one of those people that it takes weeks or even months for an album to fully sink in and for me to realize the brilliance of it. My first “heavy” album, They’re Only Chasing Safety
by Underoath took me two months before it clicked. Forfeit Misfortunes
by Underneath the Gun took about 3 weeks, but my all time record goes to Between the Buried and Me’s Colors
. This album took a astounding four to five months before I realized its genius and it became one of my favorite albums of all time. So when I heard that BTBAM was putting out a new record I was extremely excited. I was hoping that they could match or even top the brilliance of Colors
……sadly this is not the case.
The Great Misdirect
starts out promising enough, with Mirrors setting the mood as a brooding slow song that develops into a jazz fusion type that meanders along and transitions nicely into Obfuscation, which is a brilliant display of the bands technically ability and ability to wow the listener. It is after this song that the problems begin to rear their ugly heads. Disease, Injury, Madness harkens back to the days of The Silent Circus
, but does not have the spark that the songs on that album had. It hits you over the head, but in a unsatisfactory way, and then transitions into a slow down that unlike the slow downs on Colors
, really kind of bored me. I know it might fit in well with the albums concept and idea, but I found myself tuning out at this point. The song doesn’t get interesting until the 6:35 mark where the band transitions into a southern style riff that evokes memories of the same type of instance on Ants of the Sky. This part alone manages to save this track from the depths of musical hell.
Herein lies the biggest problem on The Great Misdirect
. There are only a handful of brilliant moments amidst all the other sludge you must trudge through to get to these moments. Fossil Genera’s intro puts itself up there as one of the band’s most quirky weird moments, and may annoy some listeners after multiple listens. The rest of the song really trudges along, never developing into much, until it slows down toward the end. This is a example of how much of this album goes with the exceptions of Mirrors, Obfuscation and Desert of Song. The latter is probably my favorite song off of The Great Misdirect
. It shows off Paul Waggoner’s decent vocals and couples them with Tommy Roger’s clean vocals in a way that sounds very good. But what does it say about the album if my favorite track is one of two non-metal ones?
It’s not that the band isn’t musically talented, oh no, they are amazing. Paul and Dustie Waring shred like the best of them incorporating styles of all genres and pushing the boundaries on guitar. Dan Briggs creates interesting bass licks and is one of the better bassists in music today, and Blake Richardson eclipses his drumming on Colors
and kicks it up a notch. Even Tommy Rogers throws in more keyboards and has upped his vocals a tad to keep up with the rest of the bands musical progression. So then what is it that makes The Great Misdirect
not as interesting as Colors
In my opinion it is the pace of the album. While Colors
grabbed you from the throat and didn’t let go until the closing bars of White Walls, The Great Misdirect
seems to plod along, and even when the speed is there, it still lacks the catchy hooks to keep the listener coming back to the album time and time again. Another problem may be that it tries to be Colors
2.0. While that album was a new, original output from the band, this album seems to be the slow younger brother, plodding along behind, trying to keep up.
The Great Misdirect
is still a solid metal album though. If you like talent in your music then this is an album for you. If you desire catchy hooks and such, then maybe you should stay away.