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4.09 | 31 ratings | 3 reviews
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Album · 2012


1. Goodbye to Everything (1:39)
2. Astral Body (5:01)
3. Lay Your Ghosts to Rest (10:02)
4. Autumn (1:17)
5. Extremophile Elite (9:58)
6. Parallax (1:15)
7. The Black Box (2:10)
8. Telos (9:45)
9. Bloom (3:29)
10. Melting City (10:19)
11. Silent Flight Parliament (15:09)
12. Goodbye to Everything Reprise (2:29)

Total Time 72:33


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

About this release

Label: Metal Blade Records
Release Date: October 9, 2012

Recorded at The Basement Studios in Winston-Salem, North Carolina.

Thanks to Stooge for the addition and Bosh66 for the updates


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The Parallax II finds Between the Buried and Me plotting a strikingly fresh course after spending their previous few releases engaging in a controlled flip of their sound; whereas Colors had been a metalcore album infused with prog sensibilities, the Future Sequence finds the group putting prog metal first and foremost, with metalcore motifs and textures being merely part of a staggeringly diverse portfolio of tools and techniques available to them. Metalcore purists may feel somewhat left behind, but if you liked the prog elements on Colors you'll be well-served here. Conversely, if in the end you found that Colors wasn't quite to your tastes due to the residual metalcore influence, you may find that The Parallax II is more your speed.
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.
After feeling under-whelmed by The Great Misdirect and being not-to-enthused after listening to the Parallax I EP, BTBAM have definitely got my interest again with Parallax II.

I don't nerd out over concept albums like some music fans, and I couldn't begin to tell you what the theme of the album is despite hearing it several times. More obvious to me is the call-backs made to previous musical themes explored on the album, and other details that serve as meaningful audio connections to provide fluidity. The mellow "Goodbye to Everything" bookends the album (not a conceptual prerequisite, but a nice touch), and a brief bit of so-called alien noise on "Autumn", as well as a narrative (by Amos Williams of Tesseract) on "Parallax" serve as effective bridges.

BTBAM gets tons of credit for being "progressive", and with this album, I'm inclined to both agree and disagree. I listen to the band explore all sorts of terrain and tempos in "Lay Your Ghosts To Rest" and "Silent Flight Parliament". However, it still feels like they've done it all before. After their previous disappointments, that fact bothered me. In this case, no so much. Despite the extended running lengths of the songs making up the core of the album, they come across to me as very organic.

In my opinion, BTBAM live and die by not by their instrumental gymnastics (which are never really lacking), but by their melodic content and willingness to fully commit to the style of music they tackle within a particular section the song. Factors such as this provide some of their freshest and most enduring material since Colors.

Some of my favorite moments:

"Astral Body", which begins with a rather catchy Dream Theater-ish instrumental section, with Tommy Rogers joining the proceedings where he blends both clean and growled vocals to good effect. A highly contagious tune with a strong energy!

The song that got me to shell out my hard-earned cash was "Telos". A track like this gives a good summation of what BTBAM are all about. It begins with the hardcore aggression the band was founded on, gradually changing rhythmic motifs before entering the mellow mid-section that truly caught my ear. A looping keyboard passage acts as the background to a bit of a laid-back, spacy jazz/rock fusion, building it's way towards a heavy but harmonic conclusion.

The midsection to "Melting City" includes a brief but delightful cameo of some flute, and contains not one but two very different but equally memorable solos by guitarist Paul Waggoner. Bassist Dan Briggs (one of my favorites in modern metal) provides magnificent support throughout this song.

As a very strong album that exceeded my expectations, I see no harm in giving Parallax II a 4.5 out of 5.

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