Between the Buried and Me
Coma Ecliptic


4.0
excellent

Review

by Insurrection CONTRIBUTOR (111 Reviews)
July 6th, 2015 | 555 replies


Release Date: 07/10/2015 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Between the Buried and Me continues down the progressive route, this time with less awkward transitions and lots more singing.

Love them or hate them, you can’t deny Between the Buried and Me are one of the most fascinating metal bands active today. Their music is polarizing, unpredictable and eclectic, often melding six or more unrelated genres into a single song with little to no warning between them. The real kicker is the band is so darn talented they pull off every style – whether it’s polka, death metal, post-rock, or bossa nova – with elegance and ease. It’s essentially an A.D.D. supplement for the metal community and it can be downright addictive. The band’s seventh full-length, Coma Ecliptic, is no different, except this time it sounds a bit more like Dream Theater. Whether that’s a good thing is up to you, but Between the Buried and Me fans won’t be disappointed and haters will have yet another reason to hate. It’s a win-win.

Between the Buried and Me have hinted they have a penchant for circus music from their sophomore album The Silent Circus to the eerie medleys that close Alaska’s ‘Roboturner’ and ‘The Primer’, even going so far as to write a circus metal space epic titled ‘Fossil Genera – A Feed from Cloud Mountain’. Coma Ecliptic includes these outlandish elements in practically every track but as a subtle backdrop, sans ‘The Ectopic Stroll’ which is an inferior version of ‘Fossil Genera’ anyway. Spastic riff barrages are replaced by controlled mid-tempo grooves and metalcore influences are completely dropped in favor of proggy synth leads and plenty of harmonized falsetto. In fact, Coma Ecliptic’s foundation lies almost entirely on frontman Tommy Rogers’ synth and vocal work. It’s a risk for the band to put so much emphasis on the vocals (the bass especially taking a backseat here) seeing as how technically and musically proficient the rhythm section continuously proves to be. But even though Rogers has already proved himself a capable solo artist, on Coma Ecliptic he proves he is just as much a crucial part of Between the Buried and Me.

Are there awkward transitions" Of course, it’s Between the Buried and Me, but unlike the constant genre-shifting of Colors or Future Sequence, Coma Ecliptic sounds like chaos tamed and controlled. This works to the band’s advantage on album highlights ‘King Redeem/Queen Serene’ and ‘Turn on the Darkness’ where they’re structurally coherent enough to be catchy yet throw enough curve balls to keep you invested for the full 7+ minutes. Tracks like ‘The Coma Machine’ and ‘Famine Wolf’ are impressive on all fronts, and others such as ‘Node’ and ‘Dim Ignition’ are basically Thomas Giles songs featuring Blake Richardson on drums. Even so, they fit like a glove as pieces of the album’s puzzle and still sound undeniably like BtBaM.

Coma Ecliptic ultimately suffers from its excess. It’s over an hour long with seven of its eleven tracks at or above the 7-minute mark. ‘The Ectopic Stroll’ has a cool off-kilter piano riff and a refreshingly uplifting chorus but the majority of the song is sterile, gratuitous, and occasionally grating. ‘Rapid Calm’ and ‘Memory Palace’ are Between the Buried and Me on autopilot and do absolutely nothing to warrant their highly generous runtimes. Thankfully, BtBaM on autopilot is a less obnoxious version of Dream Theater so it never becomes completely unlistenable, but the fact remains: we know they can do so much better.

Still, Coma Ecliptic is by and large a welcome addition to Between the Buried and Me’s catalog. It’s the band at their most progressive and focused, leaving forced transitions by the wayside (for the most part). Quality-wise, it’s probably in the lower end of their discography but it certainly isn’t a notable leap in either direction. Haters will still hate; fans will eat it up like a big ol’ circus lollipop. Its only defining characteristic is the largely increased presence of Tommy Rogers, which begs the question: now that they’ve traversed the vocal-driven prog route, will the band gear their next album toward discordance and unabashed insanity (it’s slightly hinted at in ‘Life in Velvet’)" Who knows, but with a track record like BtBaM’s, it’s hard to question the band’s judgment. They’ve pumped out enough winners to earn our trust; let’s keep the streak going, boys.



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user ratings (790)
Chart.
3.6
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other reviews of this album
paradox1216 EMERITUS (4.5)
Takes a few listens to sink in, but once it does, it's catchy and captivating....

crashandridemusic (4)
An album to divide them all......

TheMoonchild (2)
BTBAM's very own "Heritage"....

Masthews (2.5)
Mediocrity meets Between the Buried and Me...



Comments:Add a Comment 
Insurrection
Contributing Reviewer
July 6th 2015


24424 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

stream: http://www.spin.com/2015/07/stream-between-the-buried-and-me-coma-ecliptic/



and so it begins

Titan
July 6th 2015


18228 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

'it sounds a bit more like Dream Theater. Whether that’s a good thing is up to you, but Between the Buried and Me fans won’t be disappointed and haters will have yet another reason to hate. It’s a win-win.'



love it! nice write up there Andrew

BigPleb
July 6th 2015


51808 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Great review ins, an album based around Tommy's inconsistent vocals sounds pretty awful so won't be check this.

Valkyrion
July 6th 2015


1161 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

with these guys, I'm not sure if "entertaining" is actually more accurate than "enjoyable". good review though

Gameofmetal
Staff Reviewer
July 6th 2015


10224 Comments


Not really super excited to hear this for some reason but sweet review

beefshoes
July 6th 2015


6908 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Good review.

This record shouldn't have happened imo, and everything about it sounds rushed around composition wise (like the last album). I think they could pull this sound off if they dedicate more energy on trying to write original songs as opposed to going into the process wanting to write another progressive metal album. And for me personally, I couldn't stand the vocals at all on this :/

SonofSnow
July 6th 2015


1690 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0 | Sound Off

Not the worst record of all time. But not BTBAM's greatest.

Digging: White Ward - Futility Report

Arcade
Staff Reviewer
July 6th 2015


8543 Comments


damn fine review

Digging: Maxo Kream - Punken

Comatorium.
July 6th 2015


4801 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

Albums sweet. Good review

BMDrummer
July 6th 2015


14107 Comments


probably horrible

climactic
July 6th 2015


22302 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

rules, and i found the last one super boring for the most part. nice to hear them finally trying something different for the first time since colors

climactic
July 6th 2015


22302 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

oh and good review yada yada

ExhaleTheLight
July 6th 2015


336 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

I think if 'Memory Palace' wasn't released as a single, I wouldn't have enjoyed it as much as I do. Good review.

Gyromania
July 6th 2015


23900 Comments


would i like this if i thought their last two albums were mediocre

IAMLEGION
July 6th 2015


257 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

If you can't tell Future Sequence is their best album then just stop.

Arcade
Staff Reviewer
July 6th 2015


8543 Comments


Future Sequence is their best but that's honestly not saying much

Insurrection
Contributing Reviewer
July 6th 2015


24424 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

'would i like this if i thought their last two albums were mediocre'

probably not but it depends why you found them mediocre. if you liked the added prog elements and clean vox then you'd probably enjoy this. if you prefer heavier/spazzy btbam then this will disappoint

Ocean of Noise
July 6th 2015


9872 Comments


Future Sequence was just a more streamlined Colors tbh. Their most interesting albums are the stretch from The Silent Circus to The Great Misdirect.

Digging: La Dispute - Somewhere at the Bottom of the River Between Vega and Altair

wayfaringstranger
July 6th 2015


198 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Great review man. Like the album a lot more than some people here, but most places this is getting really good reception, so idk.

Kole
July 7th 2015


226 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0 | Sound Off

Its pretty good I guess, but some parts are really meh..



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