Over the last decade or so, who do you think truly defines the progressive metal genre? You could list at least a few dozen bands – Periphery, Meshuggah, Tesseract, Haken, and many more for that metaphorical crown – but on any list, North Carolina’s Between The Buried And Me should rank fairly high. The quality and consistency of their work is certainly something to marvel at, but so too is the many phases they’ve gone through – from the more nuanced and melodic work of Coma Ecliptic to important genre milestones like Alaska and The Great Misdirect, they can never be accused of phoning anything in.
Released on September 18, 2007, their album Colors, which spans just over an hour, flows as essentially one continuous song with transitions in between. Most songs on the album are unpredictable, with “Sun Of Nothing” and “The Decade Of Statues” being among the highlights. If you want to hear vocalist Tommy Rogers at his arguable vocal peak, you’ll find it here – and an awfully impressive drumming performance too. In fact, the whole band is on point throughout the album. Their songwriting skills vault them to the top of modern prog-metal here – having technical skills means little if you can’t write great songs. Culminating in the massive 14 minute finale “White Walls”, the album was highly praised by critics and also fared well commercially, moving over 12,000 units in its first week.
If you’ve somehow never listened to the album before, now is the time. Of further note, their Colors Live DVD is also a treat. Make no mistake, Colors still remains one of the most exciting and forward-thinking progressive metal albums of recent lore. But for Between the Buried and Me, there are plenty more epics to come.