Between The Buried And Me -- Colors II

Between The Buried And MeColors II

✦✦✦✧ If you’ve never listened to BTBAM before, start with Alaska or Parallax II, but work your way back here.

If you’re already a BTBAManiac, here’s the deal: this is pure fan-service, and you’re going to eat it up. It’s as much a remake as it is a sequel. Fear not: you’re going to love all the many callbacks to Colors I, as well the novel forays into straight-up jazz, flamenco, and… hard rock?


Re: Re: The Arsies: A Reflection

Thank you, my friend! I think the First Listens have had the key effect of keeping my tastes fluid and evolving. I’ll keep that going, as I said, so that I can That, and being in frequent contact with other (younger?) metalheads in my area; these folks are not shy about talking at me about <insert random band or subgenre> at me until I relent and promise to give it a listen with an open mind.

Between The Buried And Me -- Automata II

Between The Buried And MeAutomata II

✦✦✦✧ This is the btbamiest album that BTBAM has ever made. Musically, the band have never been in finer form. But in terms of songwriting, “Automata II” reverses the trend toward self-restraint, and gives over to pure self-indulgence. Whereas the first album broke away from both traditional prog metal and classic prog, this album more blatantly evokes Dream Theater and Boston, for good and for ill.

Between The Buried And Me -- Automata I

Between The Buried And MeAutomata I

✦✦✦✦ This is the biggest level-jump for the band since The Parallax. The album starts out on very familiar territory, with a track that sounds like it could easily fit on either of the band’s last two albums. And then the second track starts, and all of a sudden we have a new sound for BTBAM: heavier, more anthemic, but also less beholden to old prog rock tropes.

Between The Buried And Me -- Coma Ecliptic

Between The Buried And MeComa Ecliptic

★★★★ This is a challenging album, for both band and audience. This is still very recognizably BTBAM, but the music here also expands on the band’s bailiwick in virtually every direction. Indeed, in addition to sly tips of the hat to the band’s previous best works, there are also noticeable borrowings from many other prog metal standard bearers — Opeth, Dream Theater, Porcupine Tree, and Leprous leap immediately to mind — as well as a healthy reverence to classic rock, power metal, and musical theater at large.