One of those bands that have really made an impact on me since I first heard them in concert supporting Lamb Of God in 2010 is Between The Buried And Me. Not being shy about themselves they played a two song set consisting of Fossil Genera from The Great Misdirect and White Walls from Colors, all in all a 30 minutes worth of some of the quirkiest music I had heard in years.
Considering this band's pedigree I had very high expectations on The Parallax: Hypersleep Dialogues, BTBAM's first release on Metal Blade. Being a EP, the record should be seen as a prequel to the next body of work the band presents. But you still get the feel of a proper full length record when listening to The Parallax firstly because you still get 30 minutes of music.
Secondly you get some of the most demanding songs the band has written straight into your skull. For those hoping for the group to return to its earlier style of metalcore, this record must be pure hell to endure. Because this is nothing more than a full on progressive metalassault.
Really continuing on the path set on The Great Misdirect, BTBAM have no fears whatsoever in laying it on thick when it comes to music - beautiful melodic parts, interwoven with grueling riffing and furious drumming, jazzy playing, animal sounds and symphonic music - you sure get your fill of odd things here. And yet there is still the unequivocal feel that the music makes perfect sense. BTBAM is still firmly rooted in metal, but this is not a band that shies away from trying almost anything in their music as long as they feel it will work.
And it sure does - Specular Reflection begins with a symphonic part that really sets the tone for the record in terms of quirkiness - and then hell is unleashed at 0:50. Pairing extremes in this way really is typical of BTBAM's music. The record is structured in the way that all the songs continues into the next one, a nice touch I must say, and I really haven't any doubt that the band would be able to execute the record in this way live either as we're dealing with musicians with some of the finest chops on the planet.
Blake Richardson is in my opinion one of the finest drummers around - and he proves this with every beat on the record - and Tommy Rogers has one of those rare voices that sounds just awesome whatever he does. And the riffmania presented by the axemen Waggoner, Waring and Briggs are as usual excellent.
But the main thing about BTBAM is that they have developed such skills at writing material at such an insane level that you really have to be deaf not to recognize that these guys have talent in such amounts that many bands should be looking around for their shares, because BTBAM just might have been handed those shares as well.
The Parallax: Hypersleep Dialogues has, as you probably might have guessed, fulfilled my ludicrously high expectations - and it's going to be very interesting to see where the band goes from here.
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