May 25, 2012

Between the Buried and Me - Colors (2007)

(Today we have a lovely contribution from fellow blogger unugeorge, who basically encompasses both Marco and I into one single indie-loving headbanging mutant, rendering our whole schtick pretty damn useless. You can check him out at Pandas in the Throne Room, where he reviews lots of chillwave and electro pop bands I've never heard of, as well as dabbling into progressive metal. It's good shit. Below you can read his review on Between the Buried and Me's Colors, which is great because we haven't had time to write anything today. Thanks for saving our asses, buddy!) 

So a while ago, Chester asked me to write a guest review on this blog. I obviously accepted, while experiencing the weirdest boner ever. After thinking for a while, I decided I shall review Between the Buried and Me, which is one of my favorite bands. So, without further addo, here it is - the review for Colors.
BTBAM was founded in early 2000, and it's probably the best thing that ever came out of South Carolina, really. Their first LP was released in 2002, awesomely blending hardcore and progressive metal (I'm a bit afraid to use the term metalcore, because nowadays it is often used to describe acts like Asking Alexandria or Bullet For My Valentine.)
When we grow up, we wanna be like BTBAM!!!1
I mean, the early 2000's were prolific in terms of metal records - Gojira's first release, Terra Incognita, Mastodon's Remission, Meshuggah's Nothing, and so on. But BTBAM made a name for themselves pretty quickly, getting known for infusing their music with a broad spectrum of genres - blues, punk, melodeath, jazz, power metal and even motherfucking pop - in an obvious tongue-in-cheek manner. And that's just scratching the surface.
2007 saw the release of Colors, their most appreciated album to date. After they released Alaska in 2005, everyone thought "That's it. They can't top Alaska - it's impossible."  And we can't blame them. Alaska is a monster of an album. But, surprisingly, they topped it.
This is, arguably, their most technical and complex album to date, encompassing elaborate sweeps, pinch harmonics, chicken picking and other things that us, mere mortals, cannot do with an electric guitar. But hey, it's alright. I'm totally okay with playing Wonderwall for the rest of my life.
Vocals are ranging from harsh RAWRARAWRAR to soft and peaceful, lullaby-like melodies - Tommy Rogers does a great job on this one, finally perfecting his vocal style. While I don't find the growls very impressive, the soft falsetto bits are really catchy, and his voice fits in very well. It's really hard to keep up with a band like this one, but Tommy sure does his job nicely. (By the way, he has a side-project going on, a cool mix of electronic and upbeat rock, you should also check that out.)
The lyrics don't have a general theme, but usually they range from we're all mindless drones (present on Informal Gluttony) to I'M BATSHIT CRAZY:
My teeth taste funny today...they seem more jagged than normal.
I've been told, I've been told, I've been told, that I have been grinding them like the gears during my dream hours...
I wonder if it's just my thoughts fusing into one frequent dream...
one which parts with the night.

I saw them dragging the other day.
Scraping their knees and elbows against the bumpy pavement.
Blood tracks have been filling the streets.

I'm gonna give it to them - this album is pretty hard to listen to in one sitting, mainly because of how much stuff they manage to comprise in just a 65-minute record. But it's totally worth it - starting with the piano melody of The Backtrack, and finishing with White Walls, a 14-minute long epic song.
But overall, it's an awesome record, and you won't get bored with it. It even got a few chuckles out of me, especially when I heard a small banjo solo, americana-style. So. Rad.

Okay, enough rambling. Just listen to this, mkay? Kthxbai.

 Oh, and don't forget to check my blog.

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