Loudwire.com 2013 Metal Album Of The Year—-Gorguts / Colored Sands

 

Colored Sands

Gorguts is a Canadian technical death metal band from Sherbrooke, Quebec, formed in 1989. The band has been through many personnel changes since its inception, and its only constant member has been guitarist and vocalist Luc Lemay, who remains the primary creative force in the band. To date they have released five full-length albums and one EP. Their most recent release is the EP Pleiades’ Dust, released on May 13, 2016, which consists of a single 33-minute song about the House of Wisdom that once stood in Baghdad. Their latest full-length album Colored Sands was released in 2013 and was nominated for a Juno Award. Musically the band is known for its complex, musically dense form of technical death metal, and has become “one of the most advanced, experimental, and challenging groups in the entire genre.

Colored Sands is the fifth full-length album by technical death metal band Gorguts. It is Gorguts’ first studio album since 2001’s From Wisdom to Hate. The album features the band’s first recordings with guitarist Kevin Hufnagel and bassist Colin Marston, and the band’s only recordings with drummer John Longstreth. It is a concept album based on Tibet. The album was released digitally on August 6, 2013, and the release of the CD and vinyl versions on September 3, 2013.

The Analysis—-

Le Toit Du Monde—-Powerful and driving right from the very first chord, the band delivers a different type of Death Metal than you might expect. I find the sound of the band pretty experimental…but still technically sound in the genre. The vocal is so distorted it is hard to catch a single vowel…but the music is huge and powerful…..propelling you onward and then crashing you down with a slight pleasant interlude. remarkable.

An Ocean Of Wisdom—-Little in the way of introduction, the band manages to create a literal wall of sound that wraps around your head and threatens to snap your neck. The power and the venom that is produced is just incredible. I wish the vocal was a bit more moved to he front…it seems like the drums have the spotlight….but never the less…this is huge in sound…great with tempo changes and delivered with pure brilliance.

Forgotten Arrows—-Brilliant right from the onset…clear and bright high hats on the drums….soaring guitars and an actual melody you can sink your teeth into. the vocal is as usual it seems, pushed to the very back of the mix….but musically…this track is stellar. It has a huge epic feel without the typical orchestration and string effects…..brilliant.

Colored Sands—-An actual introduction ushers in this track…..clear guitars and the lack of heavy drums form the melody line of the song that raises it’s head throughout. The song takes a bit to get going…sounding plodding and Sabbath inspired…..this track is epic…..I find no fault here…this is brilliance.

The Battle Of Chamdo—-With a marching upbeat almost orchestrated intro to the song, you wonder immediately where this is all going to go. The instrumentation is fantastic…I love the jaunty feel of the song as it progresses….the swirls of strings…the melody that sounds like a classic movie soundtrack…..this is incredible…where did all this come from?

Enemies Of Compassion—-With a full and proper return to the brutality of the band, this tracks kicks you in the fuckin face from the first chord. The rhythm section of the band is incredible…the drums and the bass line are epic. There is so much sound here….my head wants to explode….instead I just sit back and smile.

Ember’s Voice—-Continuing in an almost identical vein, this sounds like a brilliant extension of the song that was previous with added breaks. The vocal enters with possibly the most violent and aggressive moment of the release so far. I literally want to jump up and punch something…I get such energy from the music. This makes me really feel…..I love this record!!!

Absconders—-Again powerful but with a nice structure to the melody line that runs underneath all of the mayhem. This is epic in sound….the wall of noise that is created just brings a huge smile to my face…the sharp bursts of guitars….the muted disgusting vocals add to the dirtiness of it all. This is so deep and dank…but somehow so bright and fantastic. The purest form of healthy aggression.

Reduced To Silence—-I almost hate to hear this release end…but of course you can listen again and again and again. This is explosive yet pleasant…giving a nice mix of everything of the album thus far but a nice slight tempo change to bring everything to a close. When the entire band really kicks in…so do your teeth….jaw and facial bones. This is fantastic!!!

***** out of 5

 

 

 

Loudwire.com 2012 Metal Album Of The Year—-Between The Buried And Me / The Parallax II: Future Sequence

The Parallax II: Future Sequence

The Parallax II: Future Sequence is the seventh studio album by American progressive metal band Between the Buried and Me, released on October 9, 2012. The album’s concept is the continuation of the band’s 2011 EP The Parallax: Hypersleep Dialogues. Paul Waggoner and Dustie Waring (guitars) described it as being their favorite release up to now, being mature, dynamic, and with various metal influences from 1970’s progressive rock, to jazz and fusion. It is their longest running studio album to date.

The Analysis—-

Goodbye To Everything—-Sweeping in with a beautiful short interlude full of harmonies and melodies leads us directly into….

Astral Bodies—-The magnificent and powerful guitar chords that open up the song are like a huge wall of perpetual notion. The strains of pure Progressive Metal are all over the melody line that runs through the song. This is airy, spacey and full of an underlying aggression supplied by the bass line. The drums hit hard….the guitars are magical short bursts…then the vocal smacks you in the head with aggression and brutality. A journey all in itself…bolstered by the intermittent prog rock and clean vocals. Magnificent!

Lay Your Ghosts To Rest—-With no proper introduction, this track kicks off with a brand new aggression that still carries a bit of a prog sound thanks to the higher tuned guitars. The drums and the crunching bass line keeps everything legitimate though. This has many movements…often reminding me of the things System Of A Down did with their music. The bright and clean vocals changes the landscape…then we dive back down again….just magnificent.

Autumn—-A bit of an odd intro, as the song takes shape very slowly…all part of the ‘concept’ I suppose. The odd effects and background static are annoying after a bit….and then we magically evolve into….

Extremophile Elite—-And we are returned to the proggish feel of earlier tracks as the music hits you from all angles. The dueling vocals are intense…screaming coming at your eardrums from all directions. This is huge…aggressive….dark…..but somehow magically shiny and fresh. I truly love the clean vocal interludes……such beauty and contrast.

Parallax—-Falling back into a melodic and beautiful acoustic guitar with a spoken word intro, this interlude serves to further whatever the concept revolving around this release is all about. We are then introduced to….

Telos—-I really hate the clear lack of song separation but I suppose that is the right of the band. This may very well be the most aggressive and hard hitting track on this release. The music and the vocal are unrelenting as you get hit over the head wave after wave of aggressive explosions. Clocking in at 10 minutes in length, I feel my attention dispersing to other things. There is a sameness that I can’t escape…..but wonderfully, at times when I find myself bored to tears there are nice chord changes that snap me back and make me pay attention again.

Bloom—-With one huge sweeping movement we are right into this track….the clean vocals coming at you in a staccato fashion that brings you back to the prog feel of earlier tracks and then burst wide open again with deep screaming from the other vocalist. There is so much going on…..I can’t imagine the genius it must take to construct and apply ideas like this.

Melting City—-Everything on this release melds together from one song to the other and leaves me confused sometimes as to where I am at with the whole experience. At the onset, this offers little new to the listening experience…all seeming like a long track…the clean vocals are well placed though…breaking up the monotony and offering much needed variance.

Silent Flight Parliament—-Kicking off with huge sweeping grandiose movements, the bass guitar literally crunches in the back drop of the song. The higher tuned guitars over lay and send the track soaring up into the stratosphere with clear and crisp sounds. The entrance of the vocal brings Roger Waters to my mind…..swirling with the story and then stomped on by the screams of brutal singing that steers most of this release…but this is mixed nicely with the play of clean vocals…a favorite track of mine.

Goodbye To Everything Reprise—-And then it is all delivered in a package full circle. I don’t hate this……but I won’t listen on a habitual level to this band.

*** out of 5

 

Loudwire.com 2011 Metal Album Of The Year—-Septicflesh / The Great Mass

The Great Mass

Septicflesh (formerly known as Septic Flesh) are a Greek death metal band from Athens, founded in 1990.

The Great Mass is the eighth studio album by Greek death metal band Septicflesh. It was recorded between July–September 2010 in Devasoundz (Greece) and The Abyss (Sweden) and produced by Peter Tägtgren. The orchestration was written by Christos Antoniou and recorded by the Prague Philharmonic Orchestra. Upon release, the album received critical acclaim.

The Analysis—-

The Vampire From Nazareth—-If you really enjoy the grandiosity of Symphonic Death Metal, the opening strains of this are right up your alley. This has a lot of ‘classical’ elements, but once the band and the vocal kicks in, you know this is not pretty. Brutal…full of blasting beats and incredibly dark vocals all riding over a huge grand orchestration makes for a stellar kick off.

A Great Mass Of Death—-Coming out from a fog, the music rears and smacks you right in the head as this track begins. This is huge,,,with epic strings in the background…all the while wrapped in a short circuited electric blanket that shocks your senses with the contrast of violence and beauty. Every track is a journey! The variance in the vocal…including a female back drop singer keeps things interesting and epic.

Pyramid God—-Very listener friendly right from the onset, the under lying melody line is addictive and pleasant. The vocal enters and sounds like a perverted Rammstein. The power of the instrumentation is fantastic….I love how the original melody line never leaves the song…you can always hear it playing underneath the mayhem that intermittently occurs. This is epic!

Five-Pointed Star—-You can tell…..as the intro to the song enters that this is gonna be incredible. I wish I cold catch some more of the lyrics…but that is a slight complaint to the love that I have for this record. The intensity is never underwhelmed by the slight grand sounds that play underneath the instruments. This is aggressive yet remarkably accessible to even a casual fan. A landmark recording.

Oceans Of Grey—-Almost wispy and beautiful at the onset the strings give way to the death knell and the blast of the instruments. The drums beat you upside the head…and the slight breaks in the music allow you to realize the orchestration remains through out. The song has ‘movements’ taking you here and there….female vocal interludes…but always brings you back to the power and the aggression.

The Undead Keep Dreaming—-Little in the way of orchestration at the onset, this track is a bit different than most of the tracks heard thus far. The vocal is odd…going from a groveling whisper to an accessible mantra the song leaves me a bit underwhelmed. I like the power chords of the track though….there is so much swirling around your head. This is nice…not my favorite…but by no means a waste of space.

Rising—-at the onset, this has brighter tones to the music. The lead guitars seem to move much faster and gives a melody line that is easy to follow and become addicted to. The intermittent clean vocal seems to make it even more accessible. This is a stellar track….I like the play between different styles all rolled together in one nice package. Fantastic!!!

Apocalypse—-Chaotic at the beginning…but suddenly falling away to give room to a rather nice pleasant and epic introduction to the track. The power…the huge symphonic elements are so addictive and pleasant…you can’t get the melodies out of your brain. This is incredibly well constructed music….giving you so many different elements in each song…a really talented bunch of musicians.

Mad Architect—-Sharp bursts of piano and swirls of strings introduce the song….making it all seem like a movie soundtrack. The vocal enters accompanied by a marching bass line that turns this into a battlefield scene in my brain. This is huge….magnificently built and really well delivered.

Theriantropy—-I really hate to hear this all come to an end….but you can always push replay!!! The clean vocal that introduces the track just sets us up for the onslaught that is beautifully constructed and delivered. This could have all sounded like one repetitive song…but the band constructed such a well put together release…every track is epic and it’s own adventure. A fantastic listen!

***** out of 5

 

 

Loudwire.com 2010 Metal Album Of The Year—-Ghost / Opus Eponymous

Opus Eponymous

 

Ghost is a Swedish heavy metal band that was formed in Linköping in 2008. In 2010, they released a 3-track demo followed by a 7″ vinyl titled “Elizabeth“, and later their debut full-length album Opus Eponymous. The Grammis-nominated album was widely praised and increased their popularity significantly. Their second album and major label debut Infestissumam was released in 2013, debuted at number one in Sweden, and won the Grammis Award for Best Hard Rock/Metal Album. The band released their third studio album, Meliora, in 2015, to much critical acclaim and high record sales, reaching number one in their home country of Sweden and number eight in the United States. Its lead single, “Cirice“, earned them the 2016 Grammy Award for Best Metal Performance.

Ghost is easily recognizable because of its eccentric on-stage presence. Five of the group’s six members wear virtually identical, face-concealing costumes. The most distinguishable member is the vocalist, who wears a prosthetic face with skull face paint, appearing as what can be described as a “demonic anti-Pope”. Each album cycle has brought about a change in the band’s appearance. The vocalist is always portrayed as the same archetype character, but has slight appearance changes and even personality traits are altered from former versions. The band members’ true identities are kept anonymous, as their actual names have not been publicly disclosed. The vocalist calls himself Papa Emeritus, and the musicians are referred to only as Nameless Ghouls.

Opus Eponymous (Latin for the self-titled work) is the debut studio album by the Swedish heavy metal band Ghost. It was released on October 18, 2010, on the independent record label Rise Above. It was released in North America on January 18, 2011, and in Japan on April 6, 2011. The album was recorded in the band’s hometown and produced by Gene Walker. Opus Eponymous was nominated for a Grammis Award. The Japanese release contains an additional bonus track: a cover of the Beatles‘ “Here Comes the Sun“.

The Analysis—-

Deus Culpa—-A huge grand entrance from the band…full of organ style Church music that takes you back to the early Sunday Mornings where you found yourself where you did not want to be….grand and inspired.

Con Clavi Con Dio—-Moving from one mood to the other, I was not quite sure what I was listening to when I first heard this band. It is always grouped in the ‘Heavy Metal’ genre, but falls in to so many other groups as well. The bass lines throughout this track are incredible…the vocal is almost too pleasant as you hear very scary lyrics set to a damn pleasant back set. This is a contradiction….but a pretty damn pleasant one.

Ritual—-Delivering a stronger musical backbone at the onset, the vocal enters and is so damn nice you almost are taken aback…..the lyrics themselves…filled with dark imagery….but delivered with a harmony and pleasant style. This is such a contradiction to all of my senses….but having grown along with the band…I realize now it was nothing surprising…this is classic Ghost…..brilliant.

Elizabeth—-Beginning a bit more aggressive, with a nice heavy bass line, the vocal belies all understanding. This is so pleasant and acceptable to my senses, I instantly fall in love with this all over gain. This is brilliant in construction, delivery and composition. One of my very favorite bands….it is sometimes difficult to take the dark lyrics seriously with the nice delivery….but in a way that makes it all the darker.

Stand By Him—-Really nice drums and percussion kick this off…the vocal enters and has a slight evil tinge to it that I rather like. The words that are delivered are crystal clear and perfect in comprehension. This is huge…I love the almost choir of voices that accompany the song….the tempo changes that lead to a slight mania…then the instant decline…..this is magical.

Satan Prayer—-As we have come to accept and embrace this band in the US, we realize they are never going to become the definition of proper Heavy Metal…..but if you study the lyrical content of the band…they are more Metal than most bands out there today. This song is brilliant….somewhat pleasant and sedate in instrumentation, the words paint such a contrasting picture that you wonder where all of these ideas come from. This is brilliant! I love this song….I like to listen to it very, very loud.

Death Knell—-A bit ominous at the onset…the drums seem to be so in the front of the mix. The vocal enters with words that can’t even be found on a King Diamond record…but delivered in a style that would land them on Top Of The Pops…..[Imagine That!!!!]. The slow and seductive quality to the song is instantly attractive. I love this….the world was turned on its head by this band.

Prime Mover—-Sounding really crisp at the onset, the guitars are bright and loaded with a bit of aggression not yet heard. The drums come out of the din at you…followed by a huge finessed bass line that gives body to the whole thing. This is spectacular. The vocal is bright and sunny….delivered in a sing song type of way that makes you feel nice unless you really listen to the words. This is just a brilliant band….a brilliant concept.

Genesis—-An odd intro introduces the final track on the proper release…but what else would you expect. The sounds come at you and grow and grow…with intermittent crashes of bass guitar and heavy drums. This has a huge buildup….and then everything seems to come together in a perfect synchronicity of majesty……this is brilliant. Melodic….contagious and so damn pleasant….you want to start the entire journey all over again. Just incredible.

Here Comes The Sun [Japaneses Pressing ]—-By now….famous for the cover versions they are always releasing, this does nothing to fall short of the majesty and brilliance of the band. This is huge…well constructed and delivered…perfect harmonies fill the space…and I want to hear The Beatles…this is just fantastic.

***** out of 5

 

 

Loudwire.com 2009 Metal Album Of The Year—-Mastodon / Crack The Skye

Crack The Skye

Crack the Skye is the fourth studio album by American heavy metal band Mastodon, released on March 24, 2009 through Reprise Records. The album debuted at number 11 on the Billboard 200, selling 41,000 copies in its first week. In Australia, the album debuted at number 19. It had sold 200,000 copies in the US as of September 2010, making it one of their highest selling albums to date.

According to an interview on the DVD The Making of Crack the Skye, this album represents the element of aether, which is represented by the souls and spirits of all things, a theme closely related to the context of the album. Because the elements of fire, water and earth have already represented by the band’s first three albums Remission, Leviathan and Blood Mountain, respectively, the element of air is the only classical element which has yet to be represented by a Mastodon album, as their follow-up studio albums The Hunter and Once More ‘Round The Sun do not represent an element, nor are they concept albums.

Crack the Skye is the first studio album to feature drummer Brann Dailor as the band’s third lead vocalist.

The Analysis—-

Oblivion—-Slow and trudging at the onset, you can feel the music and the tempo building and building as the song progresses. The sounds seem to come from everywhere….the the track really opens up with a huge bright sound and an incredible vocal. The sound of this track is indeed a bit lighter and airy…..but the intensity and dirty feel of the band is still intact. Really nice.

Divinations—-An odd intro, the song really does not connect with me at first…it is indeed fitting my definition of Stoner Rock. I keep thinking of Ozzy when I hear certain snippets of the vocal….at times the song has an endearing clarity……other times it is off on its own groove….leading me down a less enjoyable path. The melody line is strong though…and always present.

Quintessence—-Right from the onset, this surprises me…the feel is huge….epic and well constructed. I love the sounds that are everywhere. The drums are incredible…the guitars lead a nice pace and the vocal is a nice mix of modern and throwback sounds. really great song….perhaps one of my favorites. The many moods the band can conjure…all in one track.

The Czar : Usurper / Escape / Martyr / Spiral—-Epic is scope at almost 11 minutes in length, you can be sure that you will be led on a journey of sounds and movements as this opus continues to conclusion. The onset is pleasant enough….full of electricity and bright guitars. The drums are very present yet a bit understated. The vocal enters and you feel almost like this is a direct continuation from the previous track that you just heard….there is little variance at the beginning. The track…as you would assume takes us through ‘movements’, mini songs if you will….and the instrumentation does change in tone…but still keeps the melody line that began the whole thing. am I the only person that is reminded of Black Sabbath when I listen to this band. This is brilliant…..

Ghost Of Karelia—-Bright and experimental in sound at the onset, the track grows and grows as it progresses. I like the rhythm section of the song…but this has all taken on the shape of one huge long song for me. The musical themes, if you will, all sound familiar…like it is just one huge long story. I already know that band is brilliant….please surprise me guys….this sounds like the 11 minute song I just listened to!

Crack The Skye—-It seems…..with this track that we come full circle once again…the musical and lyrical themes seem to repeat and conclude. This is a trudging track……but there are bright guitar parts that peak and keep my interest. The vocal is a bit more gruff and electric……interspersed by a clean, melodic voice that threatens to sit in your brain for a bit before it leaves you. This is a really, really nice track….my favorite on this release.

The Last Baron—-Ending the release much as it all began, the movements on this song are really incredible. I like this band the more I experience them…..I have never been a die-hard fan. This has grown on me….by far the band’s most polished and well produced record thus far. I am left with a good taste in my mouth and a slight thirst for more.

**** out of 5

 

 

Loudwire.com 2008 Metal Album Of The Year—-Meshuggah / obZen

ObZen

Meshuggah /məˈʃʊɡə/ is a Swedish extreme metal band from Umeå, formed in 1987. Meshuggah’s line-up consists of founding members vocalist Jens Kidman and lead guitarist Fredrik Thordendal, drummer Tomas Haake, who joined in 1990, rhythm guitarist Mårten Hagström, who joined in 1993 and bassist Dick Lövgren since 2004.

Meshuggah first attracted international attention with the 1995 release Destroy Erase Improve for its fusion of fast-tempo death metal, thrash metal, progressive metal and jazz fusion elements. Since its 2002 album Nothing, Meshuggah has switched from seven-string to downtuned eight-string guitars. Meshuggah has become known for their innovative musical style, complex, polymetered song structures and polyrhythms. Meshuggah was labelled as one of the ten most important hard rock and heavy metal bands by Rolling Stone and as the most important band in metal by Alternative Press. Meshuggah has found little mainstream success as yet, but is a significant act in extreme underground music. Nevertheless, Meshuggah has begun to gain attention and respect among more mainstream audiences since the late 2000s, having also inspired the djent movement within progressive metal.

Since its formation, Meshuggah has released eight studio albums, six EPs and eight music videos. The band has performed in various international festivals, including Ozzfest and Download, and embarked on the obZen world tour from 2008 to 2010. Meshuggah’s latest studio album, The Violent Sleep of Reason, was released on 7 October 2016. Nothing and the albums that followed have all charted on the Billboard 200. Meshuggah’s most commercially successful album, Koloss, debuted at number 17 in the USA, with first week sales of 18,342 copies. In 2006 and 2009, the band was nominated for a Swedish Grammy Award.

obZen is the sixth album by Swedish metal band Meshuggah. It was released in Europe on March 7, 2008, and in North America on March 11, 2008, through Nuclear BlastTomas Haake made his return as the studio drummer for the record after the Drumkit from Hell drum software was used on Catch Thirtythree. The release of the album was followed by their first world tour. A video was filmed for a shorter version of the song “Bleed”.

The Analysis—-

Combustion—-Deep  and almost funky at the onset, the track takes awhile to really take shape and go anywhere….but you can almost feel the momentum building as you wait. The drums sound really great on this…the guitars scream at you…..the vocal enters and you are off and running down a a dark and terrifying alley of darkness. This is aggressive…but really well constructed.

Electric Red—-Incredibly deep and monstrous in sound, the bass level seem to be turned to 10! The vocal has a way of almost lightening things up a bit as the song progresses…but the deep and intense feel of the music leaves you feeling like you are in the true belly of the beast. There are bright moments…but the song overwhelms me a bit…leaving all of my senses a bit numb.

Bleed—-Blazing with layered aggression coming at you from every direction, the drums are just incredible. The vocal comes at you so fast and rough it is almost impossible to catch a word…..There are these minute magical breaks in the guitar delivery that are spectacular though. This is a nice mixture between Industrial and Speed Metal…..I rather like this.

Lethargica—-With a deeper and more trudging intro, this track takes a bit to hit it’s stride. The monstrous riffs are incredible….the vocal enters and surprisingly, the song seems to slow down even more. This is a deep..marching..bass heavy track with huge dark overtones. Really great delivery.

ObZen—-Brighter in tone and returning to a more Industrialized sound, I almost expect Al Jourgesen to begin the vocal. This is not that far removed from classic sounding Ministry. The vocal is pushed away a bit…but the brutality stands on its own. The drums are stellar….and the Metal is on display…but you keep feeling that rat-a-tat sound of 90’s Industrial bands in the background.

This Spiteful Snake—-There it is!!!! A actual melody line from a guitar or a machine that runs through the underbelly of the song….even the entrance of the vocal can’t take it away from your brain once it has been established. This is well constructed…coming at you in short angry bursts of vocal and bass…but underneath of it all..a hum I can’t escape. Well constructed song.

Pineal Gland Optics—-Right from the onset, there is a groove to the rhythm section of that band that attracts me My ears stand up and I seem to play closer attention. I do wish there was some slight variation in the vocal delivery on this release…it is almost as if he is just singing one very long ranting song. But musically, this is stellar.

Pravus—-Huge Industrial style sounds kick off the song and then they break and fall away to allow a bass line intro….then we are off and running yet again. This is nice…there are some effects underneath the song I rather like. The vocal is predictable….but the instrumentation…is even larger!!!

Dancers To A Discordant System—-Ending the release with a bit of unpredictability, the intro to this song is quite a surprise. The guitars are clear and helpful in establishing the melody line. When everything really kicks in, this is quite a melodic and pleasant song. Even the vocal delivery has some variance at the onset. This was a great way to end the release…leaving a rather satisfied taste in my mouth.

**** out of 5

 

Loudwire.com 2007 Metal Album Of The Year—-Between The Buried And Me / Colors

Colors

Between the Buried and Me is an American progressive metal band from Raleigh, North Carolina. Formed in 2000, the band consists of Tommy Giles Rogers, Jr. (lead vocals, keyboards), Paul Waggoner (guitars, backing vocals), Dustie Waring (guitars), Dan Briggs (bass, keyboards), and Blake Richardson (drums).

Their debut eponymous album was released through Lifeforce Records in 2002, shifting to Victory Records for subsequent releases until 2011. Signing to Metal Blade in 2011, Between the Buried and Me released their first extended play, The Parallax: Hypersleep Dialogues in 2011 and its full-length follow-up The Parallax II: Future Sequence the following year. Their eighth studio album, Coma Ecliptic, was released in 2015.

Colors is the fifth studio album by American progressive metal band Between the Buried and Me, released on September 18, 2007 through Victory Records. The group brought out many different influences within the structure of the songs featured on the album. Some of these influences are not even derivative of extreme metal. Examples include jazz, acoustic pop, arena rock, and bluegrass. The album’s sound was described by the band as “adult contemporary progressive death metal”. Although separated in 8 tracks, Colors gives the impression of one continuous song, with transitions between each part.

The Analysis—-

Foam Born [A] The Backtrack—-Beautifully introduced with a forlorn piano melody and sad voice, I am immediately taken in by the construction. The vocal melodies are breath taking…the progressive feel of the music is almost epic. With many different interludes and styles included in each song, to say this release is a journey would be understated. Aggressive at times….stark and beautiful in others…..I am beyond impressed.

(B) The Decade Of Statues—-With the brilliance only displayed by this band, we wonder if we are even listening to the same record. With huge riffs…aggressive and intense guitars….crashing drums and a death knoll from another age, this is literally brilliant. The huge sound comes at you like an intense tidal wave of schizophrenic mood swings…..leaves me on the edge of my seat.

Informal Gluttony—-Slowing things down to a gloomy trudge, the fusion of instruments is just incredible. There are so many influences here. At times the song has a huge Indian flare to the music…with swirls of instruments riding over the top f the pounding kick drum and the electricity of the guitars. The vocal is the same aggressive style as the previous track…leaving you panting for breath as things are amped back up to the highest degree. This is an incredible journey.The middle break in the song in intense as hell…..I love this.

Son Of Nothing—-Just as quickly as we were introduced, we seem to magically move into a new ‘act’ led by the drums and the aggressive vocal delivery that makes you shake your head and wonder where all of these ideas and construction come from. This is brutally delivered…with classic Florida style guitar squeals and an unforgiving tempo to the pace of it all. This is pretty epic. Just when you are steeled into the brutality…you get a surprise interlude that sets you off your pace…..amazing. So many amazing bits to this song…you can’t possibly get it all at once…this is to be savored and treasured.It magically all becomes beautiful again!!!!

Ants Of The Sky—-And again….we are off and running. There is little distinction between the songs…but each one has numerous mood swings and types of music. The guitars here are delivered at the onset in a pure Metal delivery…with the galloping pace reverberating through your spine…suddenly you have breaks and different melodies occurring all at once…leaving you wonder where this is all going to end up…..you go in and out of the journey….with detours and sidetracks…but you are always brought back home. This is incredible.

Prequel To The Sequel—-Beginning with a huge progressive feel that makes me thing of Yes, this has a pace to it that is so damn pleasant. This is definitely the personification of Progressive….the music literally weaves it self around you as you fall into the groove of the song that comes at you from all sides. The vocal re-emerges….in the aggressive Death yell that is consistent throughout the release…but it all fit together in an almost perfect fashion. This is just so good. I hate to say I have owned this release for at least 10 years and never gave it a listen…that is what happens when you collect…so many great bands never get the attention they deserve from your ears. My favorite track from this release!

Viridian—-Beginning so quiet that the sound almost sounds like silence as the song begins to take shape with an intricate acoustic guitar and beautiful keyboards. Stark…naked and incredibly beautiful……such diversity with this band.

White Walls—-Returning to full form to lead us out of the release, the aggression is in full force and blistering in delivery. The different vocal styles always leave you guessing as to what is coming next….a true sign of a great band. I can’t say enough good things about this band or this release….truly a masterpiece to be listened to and savored over and over again.

***** out of 5