Seems the thing to do these days is record a covers album. Between the Buried and Me follow up 2005's excellent mix of technical progressive metal, hardcore, and death metal that was their Alaska album with an all-covers album called The Anatomy Of. Looking at the track list, it's easy to see how the band was influenced by not only the grunge scene of the 90's, the hair metal & thrash scenes of the 80's, but also 70's prog rock. The band does a good job overall here, offering up new twists on some of these classic songs, while others remain very close to the originals.
Metallica's "Blackened" is given a roaring death metal spin, while Motley Crue's "Kick Start My Heart" sounds amazingly like the Crue themselves. "Day I Tried to Live" by Soundgarden sees Tommy Rogers hitting a vocal close to Chris Cornell on the verses, until the raging death metal chorus, making for a nice take on this melancholic tune. Queen's "Bicycle Race" seemed like an odd choice for a cover, but the band do a decent job here, with Rogers hitting some nice high notes just like Freddie Mercury and the guitar duo of Paul Waggoner & Dusty Waring laying down plenty of layered guitar crunch and tones.
Progressive rock fans will love the bands take on the King Crimson staple "Three of a Perfect Pair", as Between the Buried and Me have already perfected the art of complex time signatures and weaving unison instrumental passages, here taking that talent and applying it to a legendary Crimson song. If that doesn't grab you, then their spacey and dreamlike rendition of Pink Floyd's "Us and Them" sure will, complete with emotional vocals and atmospheric keys.
The alternative and grunge scenes are further covered with Smashing Pumpkins "Geek USA" and Blind Melon's acoustic flavored "Change", two versions that are very much close to the originals. "Forced March" by Earth Crisis is given royal hardcore treatment, with Rogers' growling vocals leading the charge ahead of pummeling guitars and rhythms, and the band tackles the thrash scene with great results on Sepultura's "Territory". Faith No More, who were no doubt a huge influence on the band, see their song "Malpractive" take on new power here, with a mix of growls and clean vocals, spooky keyboards, and crushing guitar work.
Hearing the gothic synth pop of Depeche Mode's "Little 15" is almost a shock, but the band do it justice, as they also do on Pantera's "Cemetary Gates". Tommy's vocals are a little softer than Phil Anselmo's, which adds a slightly different flavor to the song. The bonus track is a moody acoustic rendition of the Counting Crows song "Colorblind", perhaps the least interesting piece on the record.
So there you have it-fourteen songs that influenced an important young band on the metal circuit. Fans of Between the Buried and Me will no doubt want to hear this CD, casual fans would be best checking out their highly impressive 2005 release Alaska first and see what this band is all about, then giving The Anatomy Of a shot. Along with Def Leppard's Yeah! this is a fun covers album that should make for fine accompaniment to your next party.
2. Kickstart My Heart
3. The Day I Tried To Live
4. Bicycle Race
5. Three of A Perfect Pair
6. Us and Them
7. Geek U.S.A.
8. Forced March
12. Little 15
13. Cemetary Gates
14. Colorblind [Bonus Track]