Between the Buried and Me
Alaska


5.0
classic

Review

by Jordan Smith USER (16 Reviews)
October 30th, 2006 | 25 replies | 6,285 views


Release Date: 2005 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Between The Buried and Me have created an incredibly diverse album which dips into all realms of human emotion and nature, Alaska is destined to become a classic.

14 of 14 thought this review was well written

Between The Buried and Me-Alaska
In the world of art, it is not uncommon to question just what beauty is. For many music lovers, it is a beautiful soundscape or a catchy vocal melody. For others it is a deep groove, bringing the music to life with a pulsating beat. There is also no denying the pure energy of a violent scream penetrating a grinding rhythmic backdrop of wailing guitars and quaking double bass. Between the Buried and Me seems to fall somewhere in between all of these. Nearly impossible to define and much less categorize, it is unquestionable that Between the Buried and Me creates one of the most pure forms of self expression to be captured on a Compact Disc. If the definition of beauty in art is self expression, then they get full marks. Although their latest release Alaska isn’t always pretty, closer examination of the unbridled rage found in these songs is a testament to the beauty which can be found in anger.

Alaska is more a journey than it is an actual CD, one which encases all the realms of the subconscious and pulls its listener through various emotional rivers. Even in the first song, All Bodies, the listener is pounded with relentless screams and constant time changes. Eventually the brutality gives way to a sing along and uplifting chorus, constantly working towards a climax. The various genres that are touched on this CD are countless, with jazz nods appearing as often as Grindcore rhythms. There are Black Metal sections reminiscent of Emperor(The Primer), and ambient sections that wouldn’t be out of place on an Isis record(Medicine Wheel). The sound is much more diverse and much improved from the days of The Silent Circus, the element of surprise never fades. Even after a year of listening to this CD, there are still sections that make me stop everything I’m doing and pay attention because they are that good. Out of every song on Alaska, Selkies: The Endless Obsession is my personal favorite. It begins with a synth intro, launches into two minutes of Death Metal screaming atop harmonized guitars, however the highlight of the song is the Jazz breakdown which occurs halfway through. Piano and soft acoustics lead into a fabulous clean guitar solo, which then breaks into the most beautiful piece of music on Alaska. In a flurry of harmonized guitar sweeps, Paul Waggoner and Dusty Waring create a vast ocean of technical and melodic guitar which overtakes the listener. Selkies perfectly illustrates Between The Buried and Me’s creativity and versatility.

The musicianship has never been better for Between the Buried and Me and they utilize it perfectly on Alaska. Paul Waggoner firmly establishes himself as one of the most inventive and interesting guitarists of his time with neck breaking riffs, gorgeous sweep patterns, and the occasional perfectly written solo. Dan Briggs and Blake Richardson hold down the rhythm section slamming out moshpit grooves and primal beats that hold the listener even with the varying time signatures. Finally, Tommy Rogers rounds out the lineup with some of the most diverse vocals to grace the music scene in a long time. His scream and roar are fabulous, they are often times decipherable and emotion and tension run high with every throat tearing screech. Also, his clean singing has been perfected since The Silent Circus days, sounding much more mature and full bodied. Gone are the Emo tinged passages liked Shevanel, giving way to better structured and darker clean sections.

Alaska is one of the best CDs to be released in years, crafting a unique sound and mood that requires growth and exploration. Like the actual Alaska, it is full of harsh winds and dangers that give way to beauty. After braving the cold exterior, there is a certain warmth that comes with the journey. Alaska makes no excuses for being rough around the edges, and it doesn’t have to. As far as raw, primal self expression goes, Between the Buried and Me have captured what it means to be human, and through this have made something beautiful. Abstract as it may be, Alaska is a work of art.



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user ratings (3016)
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...

    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...

    Andrew H. EMERITUS (5)
    ...


Comments:Add a Comment 
JordanS
October 30th 2006



319 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Hey guys, its my first review and its alot harder to review a CD than i thought! I originally wrote it divided into paragraphs(via microsoft word) however now it appears that they have not come out. I'll look into that. It's cool to be part of the site.

mynameischan
Staff Reviewer
October 30th 2006



17920 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Really good first review.

its alot harder to review a CD than i thought

I said the exact same thing after my first review. Unfortunately, it doesn't get any easier.

Thor
October 30th 2006



10176 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Wow, one of the best first reviews I've ever come across.

Jimothy the 33rd
October 30th 2006



3 Comments


Great review for a great album =)

Shadows
Moderator
October 30th 2006



2530 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Definitely a sweet review, especially considering it's your first. Welcome to the site, we can always use more quality reviewers like you.

This album completely floored me when I furst heard it. I had never come across a fusion of genres like Between the Buried and Me before. The effects have partially worn off, but this is still a really good album. All Bodies, Selkies, and Roboturner are quality songs.

JordanS
October 30th 2006



319 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Wow thanks alot for the kind words guys, I didn't really know if it would be any good or not. I'm really happy to finally be writing some stuff for this site because I've been going on it forever. It was from Sputnik that I got into so much music that I've really grown to love. I just sort of impulsively made an account tonight and wrote a review. Glad to be here!

Hatshepsut
October 30th 2006



1997 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Great first review, seriously. This is a great site and i hope you stay. I remember when chan was a noob...

Another 5 star review for this? Damn...I can't find a good enough file to download this and I'm saving my money. :-/

AnyColour74
October 30th 2006



1054 Comments


welcome dude. for a first review, this is excellent. probably the finest first review ive ever read. youve got a bright future ahead of you if you keep reviewing albums to this quality

iamrockzorz
October 30th 2006



1029 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Great review, im going to see them soon. I've been excited to see them for like 4 months now AHHH.

This cd is perfect imho

Unhappy_Dean
October 30th 2006



107 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Keep churnin out the reviews man.

Personally i prefer Silent Circus or self-titled to this but still a great album.

Kid A
October 31st 2006



261 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Good reeeeeview. I like silent circus better thougghhh.

JordanS
October 31st 2006



319 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Thanks alot for being so nice everyone, I'm going on a college scouting trip for the next few days, but when I get back I'll be sure to do another review.

labonza01
November 4th 2006



546 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

i cant get enough of Selkies, the second half is just amazing, i love the clean section with the continuous solo-like guitars, then breathe in, breathe out comes in on the same note as Selkies ended, its rad. great review, i agree with it

Skyler
November 21st 2006



1084 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Backwards Marathon is probably my favorite song ever.This Message Edited On 11.21.06

JordanS
December 10th 2006



319 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I was just on a hockey trip and listened to this at least 7 or 8 times throughout it, it realy re-affirms the brilliance of this CD for me. I normally wouldn't rate something so high, but wow, songs like Backwards Marathon and Selkies are just unbelievable. I can't wait for their new CD, has anyone heard any word of when they will be back in the studio?

Bfhurricane
December 10th 2006



6194 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I didn't hear any news about them doing another cd anytime soon. That would be awesome though - but I'll bet they'll wait til later next year

JordanS
December 10th 2006



319 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Yea I would love that, the cover CD was o.k., but I wanted new material. I don't know if they'll be able to top this or The Silent Circus, but hopefully they will. Hey, was their self titled debut any good? I never really looked into it.

Unlock
December 10th 2006



19 Comments


I love this album (especially "The Primer" and "All Bodies").

How does Alaska compare with their other albums?

Hatshepsut
December 10th 2006



1997 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I listened to the beginning of the first track and moved on to another album...I haven't seriously given this a listen yet :-/

JordanS
December 10th 2006



319 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Hatshepsut, one of the best things about the CD is how the songs change so much. I strongly encourage you to hear the whole thing. At first its a bit hard to absorb, but if you stick with it you'll find some really amazing stuff on Alaska. And Unlock: Alaska is, to me, about one step above The Silent Circus. If you like Alaska definitely pick up The Silent Circus, and if your looking for a song to download checkout Mordecai. The outro is awesome.



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