Between the Buried and Me

Alaska was my 2005 album of the year, so suffice to say, the follow up, Colors had some pretty high expectations; expectations that are comfortably reached, but not quite shattered, as Colors is exactly what you’d expect from BTBAM; brilliance.

One only need look at the band’s prior cover only album The Anatomy of… to get a grasp of the plethora of musical influences that runs exhaustively through Colors; Pink Floyd, King Crimson, Metallica, Sepultura, Queen, Earth Crisis, The Smashing Pumpkins, Depeche Mode, etc along with the band’s North Carolina metal strains from the members previous and other projects, notably Prayer From Cleansing, Undying and From Here On, to imagine the cacophony of sound that emanates from Colors. However, unlike many of the bands that have aped the band over the last few years since Alaska (Glass Casket, The Human Abstract, The Demonstration, What He Building in There?, Last Chance to Reason to name a few), BTBAM are simply masters of weaving all those seemingly unmixable elements and delivering something stunning.

That being said, even though the first Paul Waggoner arpeggio arrives only a minute or so into the album during the Beatles like intro, “Foam Born (A) The Back Track”, Colors takes a while to seek its brilliance. Whereas Alaska opened with the mighty “All Bodies” and then the amazing title track, Colors, even with the delicate vocal lines of third track “Informal Gluttony” takes about 3 tracks to get going as “(B) The Decade of Statues” and “Informal Gluttony” just don’t seem to have the band firing on all cylinders. However, with the next 4 ultra long tracks (two minute segue “Viridian” not included) are simply breathtaking and easily match and even transcend the likes of “Mordacai” and “Selkies” for the band’s most sublime moments.

Starting with the 11 minute “The Sun of Nothing” and after about 5 minutes of the bands trademark orchestrated chaos and an unusual tangent, Waggoner unleashes one of his simply stunning trademark arpeggios as the song takes a turn into more dreamy, prog rock territory with vocalist Tommy Rogers taking a more relaxed tone. Then comes the album’s unquestionable highlight, the thirteen minute “Ants of the Sky”, is arguably the band’s finest hour ever. Running the gamut from the rollicking opening chords to more of Waggoner’s tear inducing solos, 70’s synth injections, and even a country music tangent leading to a jaw dropping climax. Arguably the most stunning minutes I’ve heard this year, “Ants of the Sky” defines the band and their brilliance. “Prequel to the Sequel” returns to the more jarring, chaotic sounds of the albums early phases, but does it with a more epic scope and catchy vocal variety within its eight- minute length. Closer, the 14-minute “White Walls” while ambitious and delivering all of BTBAM’s trademark elements that were more in depth for the albums two other lengthy expositions, seems to be missing ‘something’, but still delivers album closing satisfaction and peerless virtuosity from all players. And speaking of such, while BTBAM is often considered Rogers and Waggoner’s band, this is a collaborative effort and the complementary players (who perform in Glass Casket as their other job) notably new bassist Dan Briggs (the one not in Glass Casket) should deserve credit for being able to perform and deliver the musical vision of BTBAM seamlessly.

Ultimately, Colors is an exercise in experimental metal brilliance and shows that Between the Buried and Me are quite simply one of the most talented and creative bands in all of music today.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Erik T
September 22nd, 2007


  1. Commented by: Erik Thomas

    amazing album

  2. Commented by: slushhead

    Amazing is right. What an adventure. All cheese and cliche aside, each track really does build upon the next to create an epic journey of emotion. Transition from Track 5 to Track 6 is just invogorating. Album closes very nicely — makes one wish it would play forever. Definitely the band’s best work. Forget “album of the year” lists — this easily makes my Top 10 album of the decade.

    (Which is a good thing, as I’m 2 years late in commenting on it!)

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