It has been a little over two years since their last album, The Great Misdirect, but Between the Buried and Me are back with something a little different – a three track EP.
The Raleigh, North Carolina based progressive metal band known simply by the acronym BTBAM, found just enough time last year between touring with Mastodon and Cynic to get into the studio. They kept their new creation quiet, only releasing short YouTube videos of their studio sessions.
After months of teasers, the band shared a song on Myspace and informed their audience that the latest creation entitled The Parallax: Hypersleep Dialogues would be a three track EP. It's their first album with Metal Blade Records, after announcing they had left Victory Records back in February. BTBAM have made a name for themselves thanks to their almost obsessive devotion to the technical aspect of their music. They have continued to evolve their sound, whether it is powerful, yet catchy guitar rifts, wacky comedic background noise or breakdowns that come almost on key, BTBAM has something to offer for any type of metal head.
The three track, 31 minute long album has everything fans have come to love in the past. It is some of their heaviest music to date but also mixes in several softer moments as they get back to the sound from their early days. There is virtually no fluff or filler in the album as the opening song, Specular Reflection kicks the album off with a brief piano instrumental opening that leads straight into a breakdown.
The track has an infectious mixture of lyrics and strong guitar rifts that help carry the song through to the ending. However, there is a small portion of high pitched singing near the middle of the song that leaves it feeling less like a metal song and more like a rock ballad. Vocalist Tommy Rogers has always been good at mixing in this sort of thing but it just doesn't work too well for the track.
This leads right into the second track, Augment of Rebirth – arguably the best of the three songs. This is BTBAM at their finest! It begins with an awesome guitar rift from Paul Waggoner and just continues to increase it's drum tempo with each passing minute, while mixing in a synthesizer for a nice added accent. The lyrics match up with the instruments perfectly. Rogers shows that he can play the keyboard and hit those notes vocally at the same time. For what the opening track lacked, this song certainly makes up for it.
Finishing off the EP is the shortest song, a just over eight minute calm instrumental turned wild rifter entitled Lunar Wilderness. The rhythmic guitar opening is similar to the end of Selkies: The Endless Obsession and before you know it you are up to your ears in catchy rifts, heavy bass and drums that will leave any person pounding away on the closest object. The final two minutes have to be arguably the best of the album. The drums are constant and the matching guitar leads way to soft melodic vocals, which end the EP and leaving the listener begging for just one more track.
As the album finishes, it leaves a little disappointment in the fact that two years could not produce a more complete, longer album. The Parallax: Hypersleep Dialogues certainly has the quality and technicality BTBAM has always been able to offer. It only gets better after a few listens but don't be fooled, it will never replace Alaska or the 62 minute triumph, Colors on your play list.
The Parallax: Hypersleep Dialogues hits stores April 12. We've also got a kickass guitar giveaway from BTBAM ! This one is worth some serious loot and features new music from the band. Check it out.
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