Review Summary: A memorable experience through all types of metal, and it even delves into some sections of rock also.
Between the Buried and Me – The Silent Circus
Walking through the woods, just taking random paths to see where they lead, a very refreshing and interesting experience. Embarking on these unplanned journeys can often lead to relaxation or surprise, whether the surprise element is good or bad, you still have a story to tell afterwards. A musical piece could theoretically give one a very similar experience, but it would need to flow with ease and keep the listener attached and on the edge of their seat. Since an adventure through the woods this random would also probably lead you to memorable locations, the music would need to have sections in which the quality is so top-notch, so addictive and excellent that those sections, or perhaps the entire album, would be implanted in your memory forever. One could call Between the Buried and Me’s “The Silent Circus” a long random journey through the winter woods.
From “Lost Perfection” to the ridiculous hidden track, it would be a crime not to at least call this album memorable. It will take you through the heaviest extreme metal has to offer, to the softest acoustic rock has to offer, and it all flows seamlessly from one song to the next. The heaviest song off the album is probably “Camilla Rhodes,” which includes an incredibly droning and weird-sounding guitar riff around the one minute and thirty second mark. The softest part of the album is probably “(Shevanel Take 2),” which is basically an acoustic rock passage, devoid of anything metal, filled with clean vocals. One then begins to think to themselves, “How does one album do all of this and flow so well"” Well you see, Between the Buried and Me has this incredible knack for making tasteful song transitions, often combining multiple tracks to make one song.
The main example of this is displayed in a series of three songs (although “Colors” is one long song): “Mordecai,” “Reaction” and “(Shevanel Take 2).” These three tracks transition into each other perfectly, while also displaying Between the Buried and Me’s excellent musical range. While the same could be said about “Lost Perfection,” that is just one track split into to two parts. “Mordecai” or “Ad a Dglgmut” pretty much sum up the whole album in one song, as they both feature clean singing sections, sweeping solos, and epic build-ups. “Mordecai” is also the most powerful song, beginning with crushing brutality, which all eventually leads into the famous second half of the song. This includes a beautiful solo from Paul Waggoner and a slow-burning outro which transitions into “Reaction.”
Paul Waggoner’s guitar work is obviously the most impressive element of the album’s elements, but Tommy Rogers writes some pretty impressive lyrics, filled with metaphors and poetry depicting a multitude of different topics:
“Why should I sit in your chairs and satisfy your standards.
I've done it all before and I've confused myself a thousand times.
The tragic day that I call morality just doesn't do it for me anymore.
The day will turn black and I will have neither lived or died.
Asleep mid-sentence- my words fall to the ground.
Swept into this dreamland.
But happiness has its place.
Justice will not lie in your corner.
Throw myself in the corner
We have nothing to complain about here.
Tragic day seems too peaceful to most,
spoiled ambitions turned my heart to black, black.”
Taken from the song “Mordecai,” these lyrics relate to an angry, depressed man, whom has given up on society and is tired of how everything in his life falls apart. Simply put, this song is very depressing, and has a strong impact if you can actually understand the lyrical meaning. While Rogers creates some great lyrics, he also delivers them quite well. He ranges from deep death growls, high-pitched maniacal screeches, to entrancing clean singing, and he does all of these well enough and gets the job done.
This album is a staple in the neck of metalcore, giving a hated genre hope for redemption. Between the Buried and Me have not only created an amazing sophomore release, they have also molded a definitive album, showcasing progressive metalcore at it’s best. “The Silent Circus” is an unrelenting journey through all metal has to offer, as well as displaying certain elements of rock, melding together to create a masterpiece. Next time you break your legs and can’t take that wonderful trip through the woods, you know what album to place in your stereo.
Top Five Tracks:
2. “Ad a Dglgmut”
3. “Lost Perfection”
5. “Destructo Spin”