Between the Buried and Me
Metal Blade Records
Release Date: 10 July 2015
Review by Callum Doig
What is there to know about Between the Buried and Me? Other than the fact they’ve had quite a history together as one of Progressive Metal’s most phenomenal acts out there, BTBAM have gone out to wow millions with every record they’ve incarnated and every tour they’ve partaken in. After a long run of touring for acclaimed The Parallax II: Future Sequence record, the band have returned from the studio with their brand new progressive rock opera brainchild, Coma Ecliptic.
Opening track Node starts with Tommy Rogers’ soft tenor range, a calm piano number and a quick heavy section of the track, before launching into a heavier move towards The Coma Machine. The take on Dim Ignition features an odd electronic structure to that of a Depeche Mode sound, with its sequel Famine Wolf producing some intense moments coming from Paul Waggoner and Dustie Waring’s technical finger work on guitar. While the track goes along, Tommy’s growls become as present as his cleans do throughout its near seven minute length.
King Redeem/Queen Serene is a bit of a peculiarly stimulating track, opening with a magic acoustic ballad for a minute and half, developing into a more aggressive sound, with the band shifting from extremity to groovy patterns. The seven minute The Ectopoic Scroll is emphatically, the most diverse track of the record, for its gradual structure and distinctive madcap approach with a somewhat raggedy piano notation, while BTBAM make the most with its approach alongside their traditional sound.
I’ve always been a fan of Between the Buried and Me’s diverse compositions, as every track is executed in its own unique style. The production is gripping and not in the slightest, overbearing. The guitars, bass and drums are all perfectly toned and mixed to the record’s degree, and even a majority of the tracks are really catchy. Though Tommy’s growls are the part of the essence in BTBAM’s music, his clean vocals get almost as much of the spotlight as his growls. This isn’t a bad thing, at all. Matter of fact, it felt really nice to get to know more of the versatile side of Tommy’s cleans in a Between the Buried and Me record.
So, as Between the Buried and Me make a few different changes with Coma Ecliptic, they still manage to create what is definitely an instant contender as one of the best albums of 2015. Between the Buried and Me show that having a diverse range of influences can pay off greatly when it comes to making a record, giving them complete artistic freedom. Coma Ecliptic is the kind of prog record that stands in its prime alongside its originators of the genre from Genesis’s The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway to Pink Floyd’s The Wall.