Review Summary: Reaching back to their roots in "Colors", Between The Buried And Me are the best they've ever been. Improved in spots where you thought they couldn't get any better, this band never ceases to amaze.
Could this band get any better?! I think notsies.
This little (yes, 30 minutes and 3 songs is 'little') EP surprised the crap out of me when I first picked it up. Not only has Between The Buried And Me
dug back to their roots in Colors, but they have tightened up parts of their songwriting that you would not have noticed in their previous material. The transitions are better. MUCH better. Between The Buried And Me has always been a band striving to break the mould by fusing different genres of music together, and all of their albums do just that, but in The Parallax: Hypersleep Dialogues, the transitions between each section of styles has become much smoother and less noticeable, whereas in Colors and The Great Misdirect, things seemed to be a little like "Hey, here's the metal part. And now here's the jazzy part. Look at this fancy jazz part!".
To kick of the album, the song "Specular Reflection" introduces things with a strange, and frankly, a bit foreboding piano and orchestra section. Low-pitched piano notes, layered with cellos and dissonant voices makes for a bit scary, but nonetheless, great way to start the album. There is a sense of "Oh God, here it comes" that is strung throughout this intro. Finally, this part builds up, and explodes into classic BTBAM-style metal which makes the listener wish they had an extra pair of pants. This is probably the most "catchy" song on this EP, since the chorus is downright amazing. Between The Buried And Me seems to have started a little repetition in this song, which is nice, because it ties the sections together better, and reminds the listener that this is still the same, coherent song.
The second track on the EP is called "Augment Of Rebirth". I've been hearing that this song isn't as splendid at the other two tracks, but I beg to differ. It begins with an in-your-face dueling guitar riff, reminiscent of "Ants Of The Sky"; a Between The Buried And Me classic. Most of this little (once again, 10:19 minutes is 'little') ditty is just brutal and relentless. Even as the metal continues, the addition of some jazzy organ and Tommy's vocals just make this song a mini-masterpiece. After about 6 and a half minutes, they then delve into an Indian-inspired sitar and accordion-fusion section. Epic guitars layer over this and Tommy's clean singing finally tie this part together in perfect harmony. After more scary guitar sounds and brutal effects, this song leads into "Lunar Wilderness".
"Lunar Wilderness" is said to be the best song off the EP, and I think it might live up to that title. Being about 8 minutes long, it's the shortest song, but I feel like BTBAM put the most effort into the perfection of this song. EVERY note and chord is thought out precisely, and you can tell. The song begins with a clean, reverby, and overall amazing soft section. This then leads in an epic guitar solo and vocal harmony. Thomas Giles seriously knows how to make a damn catchy chorus. This flows into a heart-stopping jazzy blues section with Mr. Waggoner practically breathing out an amazing guitar solo over the soothing base and jazz-influenced drums. Then, as smoothly as ever, the beauty stops, and dives into a fast-paced brutal section of heavy guitar and classic BTBAM timings, topped off with Tommy's delicious growls. Sounds like a cake. Some organ-type effects are added to this, and the guitars get even more crazy. Seriously, it just keeps on coming. A much needed breakdown soon follows, letting the listener "whip their heads" back and forth. The breakdown reminds me a little bit of "Disease, Injury, Madness", but a little more coherent and well-played. After all of this, the guitars and vocals become soothing, and relaxing. A chorus of stand-out bass, singing, and harmonized guitars soon enters with quite an entrance. To end the song, this all fades with some odd effects ending the EP.
I'm telling you, this stuff sounds like Colors, and this stuff is GOOD.