Fourteen years after the release of their acclaimed concept album Colors, Between the Buried and Me unleash the sequel, and though sequels to concept albums don't always work, in this case, the progressive extreme metal act have knocked it out of the park once again. Since Colors, the band haven't shied away from concept pieces, Coma Ecliptic and the two part Automata just a couple of the extended works this band have released since 2007. With this sequel to Colors, BtBaM revisit some of the lyrical & music themes, but it's subtle, so much so that Colors II really stands on its own. Over the years, the band have gotten more complex in their arrangements, heavier in their riffing, and Tommy Giles Rogers' vocals more confident, whether it be his growls or his clean melodic delivery.
As with the original Colors, there is a mixture of shorter and longer tracks, but the whole of Colors II is best listened to from start to finish. Some of the more standout sections include the monstrous & quite progressive "Revolution in Limbo", the crushing "The Double Helix of Extinction", the big band jazz meets carnival music of "Fix the Error", and the blitzkrieg smash of "Never Seen/Future Shock", which despite its pummeling intensity even throws in some wild Jethro Tull styled prog for good measure. Fans who love the proggy side to BtBaM will have plenty to sink their teeth into here, especially on "Prehistory" and "Bad Habits", but the real highlight of course is the 15-minute closer "Human Is Hell (Another One with Love)", which, is the true heir to "White Walls" from Colors, and is jam packed with excitement, brutality, and majesty. Just a killer, killer piece of music.
With Colors II, Between the Buried and Me have come full circle, delivering another 5 star classic in a discography of absolutely perfect or near perfect releases. How do they top this one? Time will tell, but for now, enjoy all the riches of this masterpiece.
The Double Helix of Extinction6:16
Revolution in Limbo9:13
Fix the Error5:01
Never Seen / Future Shock11:42
Stare Into the Abyss3:54
The Future Is Behind Us5:22
Human Is Hell (Another One With Love)15:08