Wow....taking a deep breath now. If you've followed Between The Buried And Me at all over the course of their short but meteoric four album career, you've known about the tremendous potential they have shown and demonstrated. Now, on their fifth release Colors, the band have fully embraced their prog-rock lineage, taking their influences ranging from King Crimson, Tool, Pink Floyd, Radiohead, Dream Theater, and Mastodon, throwing in their classy brand of hardcore, and the results are an astounding work that should launch them to the pantheon of todays progressive metal elite. Colors is an album full of beauty, complexity, brutality, and sophistication, as Between The Buried And Me jerk the listener back and forth between lush prog rock, jazz fusion, brutal metalcore, and insanely complex progressive metal. Amazingly melodic, Colors is instantly accessible, yet at the same time overwhelmingly complex, enough so that you will have to give it multiple listens for everything to fully sink in completely.
From the opening piano/synth heart-tugger "Foam Born: The Backtrack", a sort of head-on-collision between Pink Floyd, Mars Volta, and Strapping Young Lad, the band never lets up keeping the listener on the edge of their seat. Brutal death metal rears its head on the rampaging "Foam Born: The Decade of Statues", a track filled with crushing riffs, insane drum blasts, and hate-filled death growls. Despite all this ferocity, the band also throws in some nifty keys and clean vocals throughout the song, keeping the textures flowing at all times. Tribal drums & percussion kick off "Informal Gluttony", followed by some Middle Eastern guitar patterns, heavy rhythms, growls, and punishing riffs. Expect lots of complex interplay on this one, as well as bouts of symphonic keys, haunting clean vocal passages, and just all out insanity. "Sun of Nothing" starts off as a brutal, relentless, and complex metalcore workout, then turns into a weaving, metallic, Crimson-meets-Tool inpsired prog rock freakout. Blinding guitar leads, intricate drum patterns, stabbing synths, waves of atmosphere, and plenty of brutality all make up "Ants of the Sky", and the instrumental parts of "Prequel to the Sequel" could have easily come from the latest Dream Theater or Symphony X CD's, save for the killer death growls of course. Weaving guitar and bass passages permeate the lush prog of "Veridian", supported by some gorgeous keyboard soundscapes, and the crushing "White Walls" is the album closer and probably most mind-blowing number. Complex and brutal is the best way to describe this piece, but there are moments of stark beauty as well. Kudos to guitarists Paul Waggoner & Dustie Waring on this one, as the two young axe grinders really pull out some mesmerizing stuff here.
I don't want to leave out the excellent contributions from singer/keyboard player Tommy Rogers, drummer Blake Richardson, and bassist Dan Briggs, who all play their asses off on Colors. This is top shelf stuff here, progressive metal that is sure to change the way we look at the genre. Extreme metal for the thinking man? Perhaps, but whatever you want to label it as, it's progressive, it's brutal, and it's quite gorgeous. Highly recommended!
1. Foam Born: The Backtrack
2. Foam Born: The Decade of Statues
3. Informal Gluttony
4. Sun of Nothing
5. Ants of the Sky
6. Prequel to the Sequel
8. White Walls