Between the Buried and Me
Alaska


5.0
classic

Review

by Andrew H. EMERITUS
September 5th, 2005 | 1948 replies


Release Date: 2005 | Tracklist


Between The Buried and Me return in 2005 with the follow up to their 2003 album, The Silent Circus. After releasing two earlier albums, Alaska builds upon the success the band has already had. With a new lineup and new ideas, Alaska is set to be one of the best metal albums of 2005.

Between The Buried and Me
Tommy Rogers - Vocals, Keyboards
Paul Waggoner - Guitar
Dan Briggs - Bass
Dusty Waring - Guitar
Blake Richardson - Drums

With the loss of three members of Between The Buried and Me, fans were concerned as to whether Alaska would be up to the standard of previous releases. With new members from Glass Casket, Between The Buried and Me have not only outdone previous efforts, they have proven that the core of the band consists of Tommy and Paul, the band's founders. Fans worried about the presence of new members can put all fears to rest. The bass has much more grove than ever and a much nicer tone in both clean and heavy sections. The drums are far tighter than ever seen before with Between The Buried and Me. The guitars are simply amazing. Brilliant riffs fly all over the shop while beautifully executed pops and squeals run through every song. Tommy has also added a lot more synth work to the band and it is used to great effect.Alaska walks into the territory that the band's first two albums covered and goes further. Along with all of the death metal, hardcore, metalcore, emo etc styles that were covered by the first two albums, Between The Buried and Me expand on the ambient and progressive metal that was hinted on in the first two records. The intro to the album's title track sounds like it could have been ripped out of a Dream Theatre song, as does the opening guitar riffs to "Selkies: The Endless Obsession". The vocals that first appear in "Selkies" sound like they could have been pulled straight out of a clean Blackwater Park era Opeth song. As well as expanding on previously hinted at styles, the band introduce new influences and play parts that represent black and doom metal. The aforementioned "Selkies: The Endless Obession", one of the highlights of the disc even has a Cynic, "robot vocals" style part in a breakdown. The new sounding Between The Buried and Me is a change from the music heard on The Silent Circus. Instead of the acoustic songs like "Shevanel (Take 2)", the clean songs on the album are generally ambient songs, hinted at in "Reaction" from The Silent Circus and Rogers' side project Giles.

As a band, Between The Buried and Me are at their tightest. The instrument work is at it's best, the transitions are at their smoothest and the vocals are at their most proficent. Everything that makes them so good is in full swing on this album. The uplifting (without being cheesy) shredding, the vocal acrobatics of Tommy Rogers (from growling to singing to robot vocals to screaming to power metal falsettos), the jaw dropping technicality and the incredible transitions make welcome appearances. It's rare for a metal band to make such heavy and extreme music that can be so uplifting. But things like the guitar leads at the end of "Selkies" prove that this is possible and that Between The Buried and Me are more than capable of handling it. Essentially, Between The Buried and Me have taken their sound, built on it, added new influences/sounds and made a totally different record. It's what any fan of previous work would have hoped for. It's impossible to list all of the different styles that run through the first couple of tracks alone. There is grind, death metal, hardcore/metalcore, Dimmu Borgir style black metal, progressive metal and ambient to name a few. The last track of the album starts as a pretty acoustic instrumental and morphs into an actual jazz song. It was near impossible to imagine, but Between The Buried and Me have actually outdone previous efforts with this record. While there are obvious highlights, not one song is out of place. Brutal and beautiful, this is a strong contender for album of the year.

Pros
The new band members are incredibly good and well suited
Tommy's vocals and keyboards
Tighter music and transitions - the band have stepped far forward

Cons
Takes a few listens to get used to and to distinguish between songs
Softer parts are arguably weaker (but it's more that they are different) than on previous releases

Reccomended Tracks
Selkies: The Endless Obession
Backwards Marathon
The Primer

FINAL RATING: 5/5



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  • Ponds (2.5)
    Frustratingly inconsistent, this album has it's good moments. Yet it also has an extremely...

    James Eugene (5)
    Between the Buried and Me return with a new and improved line up, and an album that far tr...

    Willem Hattingh (5)
    Heaviest BTBAM album by far...

    Wheelah (5)
    Alaska is an aural roller coaster through the cold and punishing, yet also startlingly bea...

  • Ryan Lizotte (4)
    Between the Buried and Me delivers a solid album that perfectly marked their transition in...

    chimera908 (4.5)
    Heavy, chaotic, progressive metalcore/death metal. Like nothing you've ever heard before. ...

    Kit Brown (4.5)
    Between the Buried and Me pound out their best album to date. Featuring non-conventional s...

    Jordan Smith (5)
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Comments:Add a Comment 
xNerox
September 5th 2005


100 Comments


doesn't this come out tomorrow?

arr... pirate

lol

Dancin' Man
September 5th 2005


719 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

What! No. This doesn't count unless.. it's the 6th in Aussieland. Dammit. UNfair. I'll do mine at midnight.

Anyway, Medicine Wheel sounds like a direct ripoff of the band My Vitriol which is not a bad thing but just a way for me to show off my knowledge of fairly unknown bands.

The opening timing of Selkies is awesome and makes me happy.

Backwards Marathon is excellent, especially the near Mars Volta sound of the transition out of the clean section.

The chorus section of All Bodies is so uplifting and perfect. You hear it coming and then bang, it hits you anyway. Also, the little vocal fill thing around 5:30 is ace.This Message Edited On 09.05.05

br3ad_man
Emeritus
September 5th 2005


2125 Comments


doesn't this come out tomorrow?

arr... pirate

lol


It came out today in Australia, where I live.

We get our cds a day early, you get to pay far less for them than we do. Fair trade (not).

Heldbackbytheday
September 6th 2005


31 Comments


I've heard of this band and I think I will check them out.

SunnyDayAM
September 6th 2005


14 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Beat me to it. It sound sreally good and I'm picking it uo tomorrow for sure.

Shadows
Moderator
September 6th 2005


2530 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

You FUCKER!!!! I was planning on doing this for a month. It happens I guess. I should've wrote one ahaid of time like I did with Opeth. Anyway, great review, this album is incredible. Not 5/5 incredible, but it's damn good.

circleofdeadchildren
September 6th 2005


119 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Ya bought this cd today and it is realy good

br3ad_man
Emeritus
September 7th 2005


2125 Comments


Yah it is. Is it just me or do some parts of this album sound very much like black metal?

Shadows
Moderator
September 7th 2005


2530 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I thought it was progressive in many ways. Songs like Selkies and Backwards Marathon are really long and switch between softer emo-ish parts and death metal. My favorites are All Bodies, The Primer, and Roboturner. I couldn't believe theywould put something this good out after Silent Circus, which was good, but could've been much better.

br3ad_man
Emeritus
September 7th 2005


2125 Comments


Listen in The Primer, after the first power metal section the drummer starts playing blastbeats and the chords change fairly slowly. Then Tommy's vocals cut out for a second and they come back sounding full on black metal.

Edit: It starts about 1 minute into the songThis Message Edited On 09.07.05

SunnyDayAM
September 7th 2005


14 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

I picked this up on Tuesday. It is AMAZING. All Bodies is an incredible great song beong words. Anyone else find it funny that the last track is called Laser Speed yet the song is soft jazzy elevator type instumental?

incubus62086
September 8th 2005


147 Comments


so yea this album is pretty awesom, they did a hell of a job with this one. All Bodies really does it for me

Killtacular
September 8th 2005


1314 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

I heard Selkies on Music Choice Metal the other week. It was great. Now I'm gonna investigate the rest of this.

Toaster
September 10th 2005


343 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Does this album still brandish their emo influence heavily? I always thought they overdid their albums that way. Good review, more spacing would make it easier on the eyes.

Shadows
Moderator
September 10th 2005


2530 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

There is very minimal emo on this. There is still a little left in their longer songs, but it's mostly gone.

I listened to The Primer. You're right, very black metal.

Huber
September 11th 2005


66 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I like this album a ton. Roboturner rocks.

br3ad_man
Emeritus
September 12th 2005


2125 Comments


I loved the emo parts. I actually wish they'd done a lot more of it on here, but that's ok. Basically with this album, they didn't take the direction I wanted them to, but they still made an amazing record.

Apathy
September 12th 2005


645 Comments


I downloaded the title track, and it is far, far better sounding and more clear than "Mordecai". Also, the singer's voice is much improved.

br3ad_man
Emeritus
September 12th 2005


2125 Comments


I'm pretty sure that was the first song they recorded for this album, so you might enjoy some other tracks even more.

Shadows
Moderator
September 12th 2005


2530 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

The title track was the first released song. It's good, but it's so bland and boring compared to all the other songs on the album.



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