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.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.
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.
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.