Monday, October 15, 2012

Album Review: Between The Buried and Me-The Parallax II: Future Sequence

I'm the first to admit that I'm a Between The Buried and Me fanboy. At the same time, That fanboy status has well been well-earned due to the quality of music they have released for the duration of their career (Especially since the current lineup came together on Alaska). They are just an incredibly original and cutting-edge band that always writes music that challenges the listener and that's what I love about them. Unsurprisingly, The Parallax II: Future Sequence is another landmark album for Between The Buried and Me.

The Parallax II is exactly what I've come to expect from Between The Buried and Me: You don't what to expect. That sense of not knowing what your getting into, even within the same song is the main reason that Between The Buried and Me is such a exciting and special band. Parallax II did however remind of their 2007 fan favorite record Colors because of how well the whole album flows together. Everything from the piano-driven intro "Goodbye to Everything" (which is also the closer in the form of a slightly different and longer reprise) to the weird, noisy interludes in "Autumn" and "Parallax" to the long, large-scale epics that they have become known for, Not one second of this album doesn't flow together and it's best experienced listening to in it's entirety. The grand-scale epics happen to be the best songs in my opinion on this album. "Lay Your Ghosts to Rest" with it's punishing breakdown intro, random short bursts of unusual guitarwork, and soaring vocal work from Tommy Rodgers made this song an instant BTBAM classic. The previously released "Telos" and "Slient Flight Parliament" also impressed the hell out of me. "Telos" has an absolutely stunning and memorable progressive section with just a mellow guitar riff and synth allowing Tommy Rodgers's vocals to take center stage. "Slient Flight Parliament" has the best guitarwork/solo of the album and it's probably the most progressive and definitely one of the best songs on the record. The most unexpected and experimental song on here though has to be "Bloom". The song is even bizarre for Between The Buried and Me. The beginning sounds like Faith No More with Rodgers vaguely sounding like Mike Patton doing a vocal style that he has never used before then it descends into full-on screaming then a catchy and fucking chilling chorus accompanied by some dynamite riffing from Paul Waggoner. The song is a roller-coaster ride and how they were able to fit that many effective tempo changes in a 3 and a-half minute song is beyond impressive even for a band that has mastered the art of tempo changes like BTBAM.

The Parallax II is another flawless and endlessly creative album from Between The Buried and Me. The amount of talent, originality, and consistency this band has never ceases to amaze me. The seemingly endless amount of quality material they have produced thus far is staggering and I don't see it coming to an end anytime soon After three listens, I can't say if this is better than The Great Misdirect or Colors, but it's definitely close and could possibly top them upon future listens and reflection. I will that this is definitely their most experimental material to date and their heaviest since at least Alaska or maybe even The Silent Circus. Parallax II is without a doubt the best album I've heard this year by far and they have further cemented themselves as one of the most innovative and unique bands in metal history.

5/5 Stars
Standout Tracks
1.Lay Your Ghosts to Rest


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