Between the Buried and Me
Automata I


4.0
excellent

Review

by InFiction USER (24 Reviews)
March 15th, 2018 | 35 replies


Release Date: 2018 | Tracklist

Review Summary: An impressive first half, and even more impressive return to form for North Carolina's Between The Buried And Me.

After the band's rock opera affair in Coma Ecliptic, which was good (if a little dense at around 70-minutes) the band announced their signing with Sumerian Records, who have shown to champion many progressive metal acts in recent years, and with it, the announcement of the band's first two-part album; Automata.

'Condemned To The Gallows' opens with ominous guitar picking and keyboard whirrs before kicking things up to eleven less than a minute in with Tommy Rogers signature screams and growls making a triumphant return after having been reigned in on previous releases. Automata may showcase Rogers at his most versatile - 'Yellow Eyes' stands tall as a project highlight, slick riffs dance as Rogers croons "Yellooowww", accentuated by the record's spiralling forward momentum which could all fit quite snugly amidst The Great Misdirect era of their career.

Despite their recent progressive leanings, Between The Buried And Me have always had a firm foot planted in the world of the heavy, yet it certainly feels like they've doubled down in this regard. To describe Paul Waggoner's riffs as sounding heavier is likely a faux pas, but; meatier? Gutsier perhaps? It feels as if the band has caught themselves in midst of a creative updraft, so while there are many uplifting guitar solos similar to those that escalated the likes of Colors into more progressive numbers, truthfully it feels like the band has returned to their roots somewhat.

Despite aforementioned sonic heaviness, there's just as much in the way of experimentation as there is restraint demonstrated here. 'Millions' takes a more fastidious melodic approach to the band's song structure whereas 'Blot' is the signature progressive powerhouse of the album before it deliberately pulls the plug right as it hits its climax. It's hard not to draw parallel to when the band celebrated their jump from Victory Records to Metal Blade with their first ever EP, which would go on to be a precursor to the band's monstrous Future Sequence album, their longest record to date. This known, it can be hard to judge a BTBAM project with a subsequent piece missing.

Moreover, veterans might feel a little short-changed at just 36 minutes, especially considering just how lengthy some of the group's previous work can be. It feels a little gimmicky to divide up what would be the normal length of a band's studio album into two shorter halves, but most of the band's work comes highly conceptual, so if anything, this should appeal to those looking for a more accessible foray into their catalogue.

Regardless, Automata I is an exceptional return to form - especially for those that found their previous full-lengths to be a little too bombastic and overwhelming. It's perhaps not as exploratory as some of the band's older efforts, but there's plenty of effortless sounding technical wonder that's sure to satiate fans appetite until we get to hear the concluding instalment. Between The Buried And Me are certainly no strangers when it comes to stretching their canvas - only this time, they've sawed it in half.

Dre’s Top Three:

Condemned To The Gallows
Yellow Eyes
Millions



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user ratings (695)
3.6
great
other reviews of this album
Insurrection (4)
Stylistically polished and musically fresh, Automata I is yet another winner from Between the Buried...



Comments:Add a Comment 
bgillesp
March 15th 2018


7913 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I don't see how this is a return to form when Coma was better

Iamthe Nightstars
March 15th 2018


2903 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Blot and House Organ are the only songs I liked all the way through here.

Doctuses
March 15th 2018


1914 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0 | Sound Off

Pos, but this album is GA.

Doctuses
March 15th 2018


1914 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0 | Sound Off

don't tempt me



Tundra
March 15th 2018


6495 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

"when Coma was better"

My man, respect for the Coma love

pos'd

Digging: Owane & Jack Gardiner - Chapter One: Shredemption

Djang0
March 17th 2018


665 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Hardly a return to form, kind of just expanding on Coma with a more subdued and mature approach and a little more core.

rudy4u51
March 18th 2018


57 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5 | Sound Off

Nice review. Looking forward to part 2.

Titan
May 10th 2020


23005 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

no where near as good as part II, but still a great listen all the way through

FabiusPictor202
March 8th 2021


1978 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

this automata stuff is definitely the weakest in their discography.

Titan
March 8th 2021


23005 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Proverbial Bellow is one of the best songs they ever wrote

FabiusPictor202
March 14th 2021


1978 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

if by best you mean not best then yes

twlight
March 20th 2021


5588 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0 | Sound Off

They're playing this live on twitch right now

Digging: Steely Dan - Northeast Corridor: Steely Dan Live!

Tundra
March 20th 2021


6495 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

watching meow

FabiusPictor202
April 5th 2021


1978 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

Worst thing btbam has put out by a wide margin. Part 2 a diff story.

Tundra
April 5th 2021


6495 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

nope

FabiusPictor202
April 5th 2021


1978 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

I mean you have the worst taste on sput so

Tundra
April 5th 2021


6495 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

sure it's one of the lesser btbam albums but that's just because the rest of their work has been so great, it's certainly not a bad album, and I feel bad for you for not being able to see the greatness in it

FabiusPictor202
April 5th 2021


1978 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

do you really feel bad for me hunny?

Tundra
April 5th 2021


6495 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

"I mean you have the worst taste on sput so"

you've 4.5'd parallax II so you must have an equally horrible taste, considering that's my favorite album of all time

FabiusPictor202
April 5th 2021


1978 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

*perhaps*



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