Between The Buried and Me
I have received the last three albums by Between the Buried and Me not once, but twice each. They just keep piling up on my shelves. I saw them open for Bleeding Through a couple of years back, wasn’t impressed, and so the CDs have all stayed in their cases until now. With Colors, the North Carolina band’s fifth release, I decided to take another shot at these guys.
What blew out of my speakers astounded me for not only did they sound nothing like what I remembered, but they actually sounded good. And when they sound good, they sound damn good, but I must add a footnote to that statement.
BTBAM have cultivated a sound that is both heavy on the prog rock side, and steeped deep in the murky earth of death metal. At their best they sound like Pink Floyd meets Sepultura. From early on in the disc’s journey the band segues from the death heavy “(B)The Decade of Statues” into the slow building thrash drum feast of “Informal Gluttony.” In the prior song, vocalist Tommy Rogers sinks into a Maynard Keenan voice, but then plows on back into a guttural yell; no problem. It’s halfway through the lengthy latter track that the band slips on the musical banana peel. You know where this is going, because it’s the most common trap that the new metal bands are throwing themselves into these days: going from heavy, angry, yells to the soft, whiney singing voice that just kills it.
Why, guys, WHY?!!!
The very next song is an 11-minute epic (“Sun of Nothing”) in the most Pink Floyd sense of the word. Here Rogers sings as well, in between the various vignettes of aggression, and it’s beautiful. It’s not that he shouldn’t sing, he just shouldn’t whine! There’s a difference and it’s huge!
After a pair of masturbatory guitar prog tunes, the band ends on a heavy 14-minute explosion called “White Walls” that ends in a very Faith No More “Epic” piano moment. I can almost see the fish flapping on the concrete.
If this young band can iron out the small kinks in Rogers’ schizophrenic singing techniques they could actually be an important metal band for the 21st Century.
Between the Buried and Me: www.betweentheburiedandme.com