Between the Buried and Me
The Great Misdirect


4.0
excellent

Review

by Jacob Royal STAFF
September 26th, 2011 | 21 replies


Release Date: 2009 | Tracklist

Review Summary: We must move on.

Between the Buried and Me interest me so much, because they seem to be one of the most consistently inconsistent bands. It’s easy to pinpoint what exactly could have made each of their releases more powerful. The Silent Circus’ muddy production obstructed its overall potential, Alaska’s tracklist could have done with a little refining (let’s face it, “Croakies and Boatshoes” just sucked), and Colors was indeed a journey, but the endpoint sometimes felt a bit unclear. With The Great Misdirect, the progressive direction evident on Colors is stretched to the brink, and the metalcore sections prevalent on Alaska also surface on this release. Naturally, with these different styles being merged one of the chief concerns would be the transitions, which have caught the band a lot of flack over the years. What’s the point of having a crazy polka breakdown if it doesn’t lead into the next part one bit? These are problems that Between the Buried and Me seem to address on The Great Misdirect, although there certainly still are missteps to be had.

The Great Misdirect is an excellent album. The highlights of this band’s musical catalogue come to mind when considering the highlights of the album, because the band embellishes upon what they have most successfully pulled off in their past. Colors contained many melodic interludes that were honestly strong highlights of the album; Viridian was a pleasant delight. And here we see “Mirrors” start off the band’s latest installment with the greatest song they’ve ever written; in three and a half minutes, Between the Buried and Me seem to accomplish more than all of the noodling in the world could have provided them. It successfully merges logical songwriting with impressive musicianship, and is a very tasteful departure from the usual, one that should at least temporarily hush the critics. “Desert of Song” is a earthy ballad, crooned by guitarist Paul Waggoner; there are certainly pretty moments on the album that provide some well-needed respite from the unrelenting progressive thrills on The Great Misdirect.

It does seem that the progressive feel of the band is done tastefully here, to be fair. “Obfuscation” is another outstanding song to add to the band’s repertoire, and its second half is perhaps the most emotionally charged piece of music Between the Buried and Me have ever written. “Fossil Genera” is the most diverse song on the album, and it also contains moments that are truly breathtaking. From the delightfully fun piano introduction to the entire second half of the song, the band seems to have finally found their footing. Between the momentous refrains of “we must move on” and the lightweight nature of the plucked violins (it’s actually used tastefully; there’s no need to worry), there’s a refreshing sense of urgency that is communicated from the band. Never before has their music felt so important, so imperative to relay than it does in these moments.

However, there are nuances in this album still. Honestly, the metalcore elements of the band still feel underdeveloped, and are uncomfortably slapped into the heart and soul of The Great Misdirect. The band’s biggest problem seems to be bringing the aforementioned vitality into the heavier sections. In “Swim to the Moon” there are parts that just should not be there, and “Disease, Injury, Madness” is also a track that can be quite boring in the heavier parts. It’s frustrating to watch this band that I’ve been a fan of for years keep tripping over the same hurdles. In these parts, it feels as if the only threads to hang onto are Tommy Rogers’ intriguing narratives, which is unfortunate because this brings up the problem of consistency (The concept of a man swimming until he’s out of sight of land is fascinating, but the concept would be much more effective placed in a song that more successfully conveys these emotions.). Also, why does “Fossil Genera” take an absurdly heavy turn about three minutes in? More cohesiveness is simply necessary here; so much of the album is very, very solid, but then we have moments that last maybe three minutes long that extremely squander The Great Misdirect’s overall potential.

However, do not let this deter you from a very pleasant experience. This is a positive direction for Between the Buried and Me, but those that are uniquely proponents of the band’s metalcore leanings likely won’t be pleased with this album. If Tommy Rogers and company can recognize what they need to focus on the most, then their direction will be a positive one; utilizing their immense talent as musicians and attributing it towards meaningful moments is the one step these gentlemen simply have to take in order to have the music match up with the ambition.



Recent reviews by this author
Stolas AllomaternalThe Contortionist Language
Maybeshewill Fair YouthFallujah The Flesh Prevails
Every Time I Die From Parts UnknownBaths Ocean Death
user ratings (2408)
Chart.
3.9
excellent
other reviews of this album
1 of

Comments:Add a Comment 
Omaha
Staff Reviewer
September 26th 2011


10354 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

I also wanted to touch on how much more interesting Blake Richardson's drum parts are, but I couldn't find a place to add it. Let the parlaying begin, my friends...

Parallels
September 26th 2011


6643 Comments


I really think this album and 'Colors' are bogged down by a ton of unnecessary moments. Good review though, Omaha.

kingjulian
September 26th 2011


1298 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Nice review, mang!

RosaParks
September 26th 2011


14951 Comments


gay

Omaha
Staff Reviewer
September 26th 2011


10354 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

Thanks guyses :] and RosaParks especially!!

YetAnotherBrick
September 26th 2011


4504 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I had the hardest time picking between a 4 and a 4.5 for this album. Sometimes it's a 4, sometimes it's a 4.5. I mean, Obsuscation and Desert of Song are probably two of my favorite BTBAM songs, but Swim to the Moon gets really, really wanky.

Wow, is that all I don't like about it in general? Huh, I guess I loved it more than I thought I did. But still....it just doesn't seem like a 4.5.

Digging: Soul Coughing - Ruby Vroom

Omaha
Staff Reviewer
September 26th 2011


10354 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

I know what you mean, man. Mirrors and Obfucation, and also Fossil Genera astound me, but the others aren't really up to that level. I may bump this up someday :] we shall see.

YetAnotherBrick
September 26th 2011


4504 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

The very beginning of Fossil Genera is so awesome, haha

YetAnotherBrick
September 26th 2011


4504 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

^ holy shit man, I bet.

Omaha
Staff Reviewer
September 26th 2011


10354 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

I agree so hard. That song has so many amazing moments- the part at 6:23 really astounded me today. I forgot how great it was.

Omaha
Staff Reviewer
September 26th 2011


10354 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

sehguh, that sounds great! i saw them play in like 2010 i think, it was great. got to see alaska live :3

TechieCore
September 26th 2011


662 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Not my favorite BTBAM album. It's still good, but it's just not as great as Colors or Alaska was.

whywontyoudie
September 26th 2011


3063 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

They played Obfuscation and Swim to the Moon when I saw them, I wish they had played Roboturner, Mordecai, or some other older songs. I would have killed for them to play All Bodies.

Omaha
Staff Reviewer
September 26th 2011


10354 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

I may prefer it to Colors and Alaska- I'm not sure, though. They're hard to compare.
And All Bodies live would be incredible. Have you heard the 8-bit version?

Wheelah
September 26th 2011


756 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

BTBAM's live show is one I won't soon forget, even though it was a year and a half ago. I wish they would've played "Autodidact". That's my favorite song, period.

Omaha
Staff Reviewer
September 27th 2011


10354 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

Oh my goodness, i can only imagine that autodidact would be great live. That ending is insane.

Ire
September 27th 2011


41820 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

yeah man

Omaha
Staff Reviewer
September 27th 2011


10354 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

Ire, from our ratings it's quite obvious that we agree on most things about this album.

MAGNIFICENT
August 29th 2013


191 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Amazing review Jacob, you're a flawless reviewer!
I agree with the review and with your current rating for this album, it's definately a 4.5. And "Swim To The Moon" is one of my favorite songs ever, I really don't see anything in that song that shouldn't be there.

Omaha
Staff Reviewer
August 29th 2013


10354 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

Wow, thanks a ton man! I don't agree with that last part, but I'm glad to hear you've enjoyed what I've contributed.

I like this BTBAM record the most because the progressive elements feel the most authentic here. I do get a bit bored with "Swim to the Moon," because its metalcore moments drag on a bit for me. I guess I wish the instruments sounded as urgent as Tommy's lyrics.



You have to be logged in to post a comment. Login | Create a Profile





FAQ // STAFF & CONTRIBUTORS // SITE FORUM // CONTACT US

Bands: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z


Site Copyright 2005-2014 Sputnikmusic.com
All Album Reviews Displayed With Permission of Authors | Privacy Policy