BETWEEN THE BURIED AND ME — The Parallax II: Future Sequence (review)

BETWEEN THE BURIED AND ME — The Parallax II: Future Sequence album cover Album · 2012 · Progressive Metal Buy this album from MMA partners
4.5/5 ·
voila_la_scorie
This album has been a real treat to listen to and it has remained on my iPhone ever since I brought it home a couple of months ago. I had heard of the band Between the Buried and Me before and at some point I decided to give them a listen. I don’t remember why “The Parallax II: Future Sequence” became the album I checked out on YouTube, but when I gave a quick ear to some random parts and heard the aggressive and technical playing along with the shouted vocals, I figured this was an album to keep for the right time, for when I was ready for it. A year or so later, I found my music preferences leaning towards the extreme metal persuasion, and before long the album finally joined my collection.

I was prepared for the fast and highly technical playing. I was prepared for the heaviness and the brutal vocals. I did not in any way expect the remarkable progressive side of the band. Clean vocals, beautiful melodies, acoustic guitar, synthesizers, and rapidly changing music; it was all such a treat. I almost considered that the album would be better without the emphasis on the aggressive side, but then the progressive side would probably not shine so brightly.

I can’t speak for any other albums by Between the Buried and Me, not just yet anyway, but this album keeps pulling at my attention. There’s so much happening in the songs here, so much creativity and all of it coming at ultra-high paces so that the music keeps changing like a person with hyperactive disorder on speed. If you’re not paying attention, you’ll miss something. The music is mainly divided between the two main approaches of technical metal and progressive rock but there are so many little things that get added that crop up unexpectedly and make the listening experience that much more entertaining.

The opening track, “Goodbye to Everything” features strummed acoustic guitar and clean, melodic vocals. It sounds like a modern British prog band might have come up with this. However, “Astral Body” begins to sound more like something from the Devin Townsend Project, especially once the screamo vocals come in at 1:53. The guitars and drums play some wonderfully complex music like Dream Theater. There’s some clean guitar with a style that makes me think of System of a Down for some reason, even though I’m not so familiar with their music. “Lay Your Ghosts to Rest” is ten minutes long and largely speedy, technical, heavy music with shouted vocals. Catch how from 5:43 to 5:45 the jaunty but brief guitar riff sounds like it’s coming through a transistor radio. After over six minutes of pummeling aggression, the song slows down to a waltz with clean guitar and vocals. “Extremophile Elite” is another long progressive/aggressive technical track which at 4:23 abruptly changes to an orchestral bit that sounds like a score from a Tim Burton movie before going back to the heavy technical music at 4:53. “Autumn”, “Parallax”, and “The Black Box” are all very short tracks that are transitional pieces between the longer tracks.

“Telos”, “Bloom” and “Melting City” form a wonderful suit of three segued tracks that speedily cover such an array of aggressive music but also includes a laid back part that reminds me of Pure Reason Revolution in “Telos” and an rushed technical/progressive take on 50’s twelve-bar blues based rock and roll in “Bloom”. “Melting City” concludes with a wonderful bass-led instrumental section that slowly builds to a climax when the vocals return. These three tracks make up such an amazing display of this bands talent. “Silent Flight Parliament” is the longest track at over 15 minutes and continues to be packed full of head-spinning technical, progressive metal/rock. The album wraps up with “Goodbye to Everything Reprise”, a track with a very suitable slow closeout.

You’ll need to be one to handle the speedy, technical and aggressive side of the album before you can appreciate and enjoy what “The Parallax II: Future Sequence” has to offer. But if you can take that side of the band, then this album will continue to reward after several listens. Prepare yourself by listening to Dream Theater, Devin Townsend, Haken, and maybe just a little uneXpect.
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more than 2 years ago
Thanks, Bosh66. I would like to get Colors but it's more expensive than The Great Misdirect. I will end up with both I'm sure. And the latest one!
Bosh66 wrote:
more than 2 years ago
Yeah, love this album. Your review captures the feel of the album nicely, too. If you want to explore the band's more extreme origins, Colors is a great album and still very progressive. The latest release too is excellent, but moves the band even further away its hardcore roots.

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