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4.28 | 28 ratings | 4 reviews
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EP · 2011


1. Specular Reflection (11:21)
2. Augment of Rebirth (10:19)
3. Lunar Wilderness (08:22)

Total Time: 30:02


- Tommy Giles Rogers / vocals, keyboards
- Paul Waggoner / guitars
- Dan Briggs / bass
- Dustie Waring / guitars
- Blake Richardson / drums, percussion

About this release

Metal Blade Records (14999), 12th of April, 2011

Thanks to andyman1125 for the addition and UMUR, Bosh66 for the updates


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North Carolina's Between the Buried and Me have been on quite a bit of a hot streak lately, releasing a long line of successful albums over the last few years. 2007's Colors and 2009's The Great Misdirect are particularly well regarded in the prog and metal communities - and with good reason. Both albums are shining examples that progressive metal and metalcore can work together productively, and have frequently been regarded as masterpieces by fans of either genre. With The Parallax: Hypersleep Dialogues, the band's latest EP and first outing on Metal Blade Records, they've begun an ambitious concept, to which this EP serves as part one. The concept here deals with two humans that are separated by several million light years, and how they both face similar issues in their life that they must resolve. It'll be interesting to hear how the band continues this intriguing concept with the next installment. As this 30-minute, three-song EP currently stands, it's yet another fantastic release in Between the Buried and Me's already excellent discography, and an essential purchase to all fans of the band. Although not quite as great as their previous full-lengths (in my opinion, at least), The Parallax: Hypersleep Dialogues is a more-than-worthy EP to add to your collection. These guys simply show no sign of slowing down, and it'll definitely be interesting to hear how they follow this one up!

The music on The Parallax: Hypersleep Dialogues is unquestionably Between the Buried and Me's distinct blend of metalcore and progressive metal, but possibly a bit more brutal and eclectic than their previous album. There seems to be a large focus on dissonance on this EP - something present on the band's previous efforts, but not quite as prominent as it is here. Melodic sections and quirky instrumentals do creep up quite a bit, though, and keep the music from ever growing stale. Compositionally, the album is extremely strong, and features some of the band's finest material to date. The first track, "Specular Reflection", opens up The Parallax: Hypersleep Dialogues in full form. This epic, 11 and a half minute opus highlights Between the Buried and Me's more dissonant side, while also showcasing melodic sections with clean vocals as well as a very progressive song structure. "Augment of Rebirth" is a bit more of a heavy track, sporting plenty of brutal technicalities and harsh vocals. A few weird, almost circus-sounding sections also present here - "eclectic" is a fair word to describe this track, I guess. "Lunar Wilderness", while still quite heavy in parts, is the softest song on the EP. Plenty of beautiful melodies and warm arrangements make this an excellent closing track.

Of course, as we're used to from Between the Buried and Me, the musicianship is professional and spectacular across the board. These guys are technical behemoths, so certainly no complaints are warranted in that department. I do have an issue with how The Parallax: Hypersleep Dialogues is produced, however. It's mixed way too loudly and sounds quite sterile and lifeless, especially during the heavier sections. It really lacks warmth and depth, if you ask me.

Despite my complaint regarding the production, The Parallax: Hypersleep Dialogues is overall a very successful effort from Between the Buried and Me. This isn't the best entry point into their discography, but it's an exceptional EP that serves as an essential purchase to all established fans of the band. 4 stars are very well deserved here. If super-technical, super-brutal, super-complex, and super-original progressive extreme metal is what you're looking for, then I can't recommend this one highly enough. Between the Buried and Me are considered one of the forerunners of modern metal, and this EP is even more proof that they've wholeheartedly earned that title!
Between the Buried and Me have established themselves well with their proggy metalcore influence starting with Colors (which I personally enjoy). So what stands out about this album?

Nothing really.

Everything heard on this EP has pretty much done before by this band, which kinda worries me because that would mean that they are running out of ideas. The ideas here could have easily been found on Colors and probably The Great Misdirect.

I felt that the first two songs just went in one ear and out the other. The chaotic, weirdly structured song works were tried on me with Deathspell Omega's Paracletus and they didn't work. The same idea didn't work here for me either. "Lunar Wilderness" is easily the best track here because it's the easiest to follow even if it still has elements of the aforementioned formula.

I don't necessarily hate this EP, but it seems extremely lacking. Just get their full lengths instead.
Wow! With every new release these guys continue to awe and suprise me.

I remember being told about this release by my brother. At first I thought it was an album, and was very excited, and shocked because it wasn't too long since their last release, and then I heard it was an e.p, and my excitement turned into meh...cause are good and all, but hey you can't beat a full length release...or can you.

This release really didn't need to be longer...3 epics roled on to a 30 minute cd...that's enough to be honest. Any more of this, and I may blush to death.

Now being a fan of these guys for a while, I wouldn't say I'm their biggest fanatic. I like them and all, it's just listening to them for long periods of time can make you confused...which is why this e.p is perfect. I think one of the things that keeps me from loving them is that the whole musicianship and technicality of their material can be a bit overbearing at times. I think when it comes to technicality, the Dream Theater method, of having contemporary amazing musicianship is more listenable. Although I have to admit, they are getting more pleasurable with each listen.

This e.p really has 3 mammoth songs....and each I have given a you will see if you continue to read on.

Their seems to a concept present, but from what I gather, its about God, the creation of the universe and dreams...that's what I get from it, maybe I'm wrong who knows. But the flowing linked concept really does make it interesting, and gives a reason behind the rather sporadic instrumental work. The songs really do flow into each other well and all the sections do work together in harmony. I prefer their song structures on Colours to be honest, but Colours will always be my personal favourite of theirs, but after a first listen of this, I may be wrong.

I've heard that their is a follow up e.p. or album to this, and to be honest I can't wait, cause this really suprised all of their releases do...damn tricky technical metalheads.

1. Specular Reflection - THE PROGGY ASTRAL ROLLERCOASTER. Very chaotic, yet their is a sense of orderliness about it. Full of never ending exciting twists and turns. You can hear a progression in Tommy's vocals, showing alot more experimental moments...making their future releases really interesting to hear what he will do more with his vocals. Great chorus. 10/10

2. Augment Of Rebirth - THE CHAOTIC SPORADIC MOMENT - Probabbly my favourite song on the ep. Again very chaotic with alot of mood and tempo changes. Great lyrics. The technical ability is flawless and pheonomonal. I love the dark and atmospheric ending. 10/10

3. Lunar Wilderness - THE CALM BEFORE THE DARK STORM - Starts off very calm and turns into a dark beast of a song. Again very chaotic, and quite beautiful in an odd and sick way. 10/10

CONCLUSION: It's just perfect really, and for a first listen...this doesn't happen alot to albums I listen to.
With The Great Misdirect a year and a half back, it seems that Between the Buried and Me stumbled upon a gripping story concept worthy of presenting to the world. Wanting to give the fans a taste before the full-blown release comes out, the band threw out part 1 of the concept, in the form of the EP called "The Parallax: Hypersleep Dialogues". And it was glorious.

In stark contrast to the very melodic Great Misdirect, Hypersleep calls back to their heavy music, mostly reminiscent of the darker and more death metal oriented elements found in Alaska. It mixes this with the more epic songwriting of Colors, to create three long-form songs that stand out, in true BTBAM form, as progressive metalcore milestones.

One thing that can be said about the EP is it is a lot more chaotic than their other releases, especially when compared to their latest output. The opener, "Specular Reflection" starts off with dissonant orchestration until bursting into some bizarrely odd timed metal riffs (using complex times even compared to most BTBAM works). "Augment of Rebirth" starts similarly, with a motif reminiscent of the opening shredding of "Ants of the Sky". Overall, the songs change far more drastically and chaotically than they have in the past.

Of course, the standard BTBAM elements are all here. Tons of off time riffs, dual leads with Paul Waggoner and Dustie playing off each other as smooth as butter. Tommy's vocals transition as per usual between the loud hardcore growling and the very alternative-sounding clean vocals. And, to be expected, there's a few leaps into a couple other genres, though it may be best to leave that as a surprise.

All three tracks work best to build the EP. "Specular Reflection", as stated, starts off with a bang and continues to build and build tension with a wide array of heavy and dissonant riffs punctuated with beautiful clean vocal refrains. "Augment of Rebirth" is similar to the previous song, and builds its tension masterfully, and eventually progresses into some proggy genre-hopping weirdness. "Augment of Rebirth" is hands down one of BTBAM's most gorgeous songs, opening with some beautiful jazzy instrumental interplay, featuring an emotional solo by Waggoner, though this time very calm and introspective, unlike the anthemic or bombastic solos in "Selkies" or "White Walls".

Overall, this EP is a bit of a change of style to the darkest BTBAM available. Lots of chaos, lots of dissonance. There's not as much eclecticism as before, but BTBAM fans will love it regardless. If part two sounds anything like this, we have a lot to look forward too. Highly recommended!

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