Between the Buried and Me
Alaska


5.0
classic

Review

by James Eugene USER (3 Reviews)
September 21st, 2011 | 23 replies


Release Date: 2005 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Between the Buried and Me return with a new and improved line up, and an album that far transcends their previous effort.

Between the Buried and Me return with a new line up. Adding Dustie Waring on guitar, Dan Briggs on bass, and Blake Richardson on drums, is probably one of the best things to happen to this band. I'm not saying they wouldn't have been good with their old lineup, I'm just saying that the new members sound like they work better together. The result is a masterpiece of an album. Between the Buried and Me have been one of my favorite bands for the past couple of years. The only band I enjoy more is The Dear Hunter. But in terms of "Metal" music, BTBAM is far ahead of the pack of simple and rehashed bands that recycle the same riffs and ideas. Between the Buried and Me are not afraid to cross the fine line between "safe" and "different". When most bands cross this line we usually get an album of jumbled ideas and incoherent music. Which leaves us wondering "What the fuck did I just listen to?" BTBAM, on the other hand, cross this line with such grace and prowess it makes me wonder if they have any musical boundaries. Sure, there is no musician that has "boundaries", but few musicians realize their true potential like BTBAM.

1. All Bodies - 9.5/10: A strong song from start to finish. Mainly consisting of the heavy metal riffing BTBAM is known for, but they throw in a few orchestral sections in there. The beautifully sung chorus by frontman Tommy Rogers is incredible.

2. Alaska - 9/10: Probably their most famous song. However, despite the fact that the intro is fantastically written (one of the most memorable moments in the bands discography) the rest of the song fails to live up to it's bold introduction. Still a great song to jam to though.

3. Croakies and Boatshoes - 8/10: Ehhhhhhh...this song could have been so much more than what it is. Granted it is a fun song to listen to, and it shows how heavy this band can be, I just feel that it was left incomplete.

4. Selkies: The Endless Obsession - 10/10: The landmark track on the album. Another fan favorite, and for good reason. This is the first song on the album where Paul and Dustie really shine in the "clean" section of the song. During the beautiful solo, Dustie plays a series of very melodic chords, meanwhile Paul is playing and unbelievable guitar solo. Everything about this song, whether it's the fantastic guitar work from Paul and Dustie, the catchy motif of the keyboard, the beautiful singing, or Tommy screaming "Goddamn television God!" truly makes it a masterpiece.

5. Breathe In, Breathe Out - 8.5/10: A pretty instrumental song featuring only guitar. Normally, I would say that this song is too short for my liking. However, I feel that the abruptness of the song adds to it's beautiful quality. I usually think of this song as the guy that makes an appearance to a party and everyone's happy to see him, then when he leaves you're left saying, "Well that was a nice surprise, I'm glad he could make it."

6. Roboturner - 9/10: A great heavy song. This is the "headbanger" on the album. Great riffs throughout, and a really fun bass line a couple of minutes in (which makes an appearance at the end of the song as well). However, as incredible as the last section of this song is (constantly building momentum and heaviness even thought it's slowing down) I feel that this is the guy who shows up to the party, and everyone wants him to leave, everyone's thinking, "Why is he still here? Shouldn't he have left like a half hour ago?" Despite the lingering effect of the last section, it is still fun to listen to, and it's an interesting moment on the album.

7. Backwards Marathon - 10/10: My absolute favorite song by the band. The first two minutes literally kick you in the balls with it's tenacious heaviness and tight guitar riffs. Tommy's growls rattle my jowls amongst the chaos that envelops the first two minutes. Then, we are greeted with the warm and cozy welcome of the beautiful clean section that carries us comfortably along, as if preparing us for the chaos that lurks ahead. Dan makes a notable appearance in the clean section with a great bass line. Tommy also gets the notable appearance for coining one of the most hauntingly gorgeous singing I have heard from a metal band. The last notable moment: Tommy's high note. At the very end of the clean section that occupies most of the song Tommy lets out this ethereal shriek of goodness. Still gives me the chills.

8. Medicine Wheel - 9/10: Another instrumental, but this song incorporates all the instruments. The song carries out the rain effect that closed out the latter. This song has a great guitar riff, that is covered by the warm blanket of the beautiful melody. This song just makes me feel as if I am where I am supposed to be with my life. It's the reassurance I need to make my next big decision. BTBAM has yet to write an instrumental that hasn't had a strong emotional effect on me. Bravo BTBAM.

9. The Primer - 9.5/10: My jam-to song on the album. Once again, the song starts with the sound effect that closed out the latter. Fading into a "Pirate-like" riff that just gets ya moving. Tommy gives this riff it's full effect with his epic shriek. Followed by the heavy riffs and blast beats. Next come the head-scratching effect of the technical riffs that ensue. Then it's back to the intro riff. Building up to it's epic climax, then abruptly falling back to earth. More specifically at a carnival. The closing riff of this song is very catchy and has a circus quality to it.

10. Autodidact - 9.5/10: Coming in like All Bodies did, this song is a heaviness buffet. Constant bombardment from the onslaught of Paul and Dustie. This song gives me the vision of Paul and Dustie battling each other with riffs. Paul has one, then Dustie returns the favor with a heavier one, then Paul comes back with a technical oddly-timed section. About halfway through the song we get a nifty piano section that gives the effect of an old-style chase scene. Tommy chasing the rest of the band in a very quirky way. Next, bring back the heaviness, I wasn't finished with it. Closing the song with a breakdown of epic proportions.

11. Laser Speed - 9/10: A great acoustic instrumental. Very catchy melodies are found throughout. I envision Paul walking the crowded streets of Mexico jamming on his acoustic in slow motion. Then, somehow, we end up inside a hotel elevator. It's a weird transition, but it works perfectly. An enjoyable end to a masterpiece.

Alaska is in my opinion the best BTBAM album to date. Sure, it's not as technical as ''"Colors, there aren't as many solos as "The Great Misdirect", and the quirky interludes haven't yet come to fruition. But, for this being the first album they wrote with a 3/5 new line up, it is nothing short of amazing.

Pros
-Tommy's vocals are vastly improved from "The Silent Circus"
-Dustie works much better with Paul than Nick did
-The addition of Dan is prominent and noteworthy
-Blake does a spectacular job of upping the technicality
-The lyrics are very well written and thought out
-Keys are used appropriately

Cons
-Croakies and Boatshoes could have been a great track

Recommended tracks
-All Bodies
-Selkies
-Backwards Marathon
-The Primer
-Alaska


user ratings (3067)
Chart.
4.1
excellent
other reviews of this album
1 of
  • Ponds (2.5)
    Frustratingly inconsistent, this album has it's good moments. Yet it also has an extremely...

    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)
    Between The Buried and Me have created an incredibly diverse album which dips into all rea...

    Andrew H. EMERITUS (5)
    ...


Comments:Add a Comment 
porch
September 21st 2011


8459 Comments


Bravo BTBAM.




Trebor.
Contributing Reviewer
September 21st 2011


50606 Comments


I could never get into these guys

Digging: Run the Jewels - Run the Jewels 2

captaincrunch11
September 21st 2011


1231 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

BTBAM LIKE OMGWTFBBQ

MO
September 21st 2011


18867 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

"I could never get into these guys"

Neither could I, Colors to me is boring. This one was ok.

DinoX
September 21st 2011


3582 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

only BTBAM album I like.

Relinquished
September 21st 2011


25219 Comments


track by track review with a 5/5 rating with one song with an 8

MO
September 21st 2011


18867 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

with only 2 a 10

DinoX
September 21st 2011


3582 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

ya review should be a 4.5

Relinquished
September 21st 2011


25219 Comments


THIS ALBUM IS PERFECT 5/5 10/10

except this song is ehhh and this other one is alright...

DinoX
September 21st 2011


3582 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

this album would be my lowest 5 it is like a 9.5/10

ILJ
September 21st 2011


6712 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

You received a pos simply for loving both BTBAM and the Dear Hunter.
Upon further reading, it is also a good review.

Wheelah
September 21st 2011


756 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Had some awkward parts, but I can forgive you because of how utterly amazing this album is. Seriously, Autodidact is my favorite song ever made.

OneMoreRoland
September 21st 2011


1051 Comments


I LOVE crokies!

Apollo
September 21st 2011


10336 Comments

Album Rating: 1.5

what a joke, this album sucks

TechieCore
September 21st 2011


662 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Oh yeah and Thrice is so much better.

Please, bad troll is bad troll.

fellymusicman25
September 21st 2011


6 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Let me just explain my rating a lil bit. This is basically my favorite metal album of all time, and that is why it has a 5/5 rating. That being said, I am also honest enough to realize that there are flaws within it. Therefore, I pointed out what I thought were the flaws, but it's still one of my favorites.

NeutralThunder12
September 21st 2011


8742 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

colors, tsc, tgm and parallax>this


YetAnotherBrick
September 21st 2011


4476 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

fucking love this album, their second best next to Colors imo
the solo in Selkies is my favorite solo ever.

pjquinones747
September 21st 2011


765 Comments


Ok, I love BTBAM as much as the next guy, but Alaska isn't a 5. Plus this review seems fanboyish, and the song-by-song in such a fashion gets old. I did this at one point as well, you too should change things up as did I. Could've been a good review under those flaws.

Digging: Thank You Scientist - Maps of Non-Existent Places

kingjulian
September 22nd 2011


1297 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Pretty good for a first, keep away from track by tracks and yada yada yada. Review really should be a 4.5. 5 basically means "THIS ALBUM IS PERFECT." This album is pretty fantastic. The heaviest songs are the best imo.

Oh and Thrice rules, k?



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