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Posts Tagged ‘Between the Buried and Me’

The Parallax II: Future Sequence is Between the Buried and Me’s followup to last year’s The Parallax: Hypersleep Dialogues EP (see review).  In that review, I hailed BtBaM as a metal band deserving of inclusion among the genre’s biggest and best.  And coming off an enjoyable EP with the promise of a full-length sequel, I thought circumstances were shaping up for the band to release a truly epic and defining work.

Sadly, The Future Sequence didn’t live up to my expectations on that end.

It’s hard to fault a band just because they didn’t release a gold-standard record, but when a career surely seems headed in that direction and they essentially release another album of the same stuff, it feels like a car stalling out.

Actually, scratch that – make it a giant battle tank stalling out, because The Future Sequence is a monstrous 73 minute slab of music, which, for a band that has made a career of writing weighty and lengthy pieces, is still almost ten minutes longer than their prior longest effort!  It’s packed full of all the BtBaM trademarks, but it’s near impossible to swallow this thing whole without thinking at some point, “Come on, when are the new ideas gonna be unleashed?!”

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There should be no mistaking that Between The Buried And Me has ascended heavy metal’s mountaintop and claimed a spot as one of the genre’s titans.

They’re less known than the gods in Mastodon and Tool, but they deserve a spot at the progressive metal roundtable nonetheless.

What BtBaM brings to said table is an unflinching brutality that sets them apart from their more mainstream peers.  This makes them a tough but rewarding listen.  They have a new conceptual EP – The Parallax: Hypersleep Dialogues – out now that is a precursor to a full fledged album due out sometime next year.

It picks up stylistically right where their last album, The Great Misdirect, left off, and it’s a perfect way to keep the band in the spotlight until they unleash what is sure to be another slab of vicious metal.

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Generally when magazines or websites have contests designed to choose an unsigned band and provide them with some extra exposure, it’s just an excuse to run subtle advertising for some company, and the band tends to be either thoroughly mediocre at best or downright crappy at worst.

That’s not the case with Iron Thrones, who recently won the Scion No Label Needed Contest that was hosted by MetalInsider.net.  Sure, the contest was an attempt to sell more cars from Scion’s perspective, but that’s fine with me because the winner, for once, is actually pretty good.

As the winners of this contest, Iron Thrones not only got their new 6-song EP, The Wretched Sun, recorded in a professional studio with a well-known producer, but they also met the guys in Shadows Fall in order to get career advice, took part in a professional photo shoot and subsequent press campaign, and received a new website redesign among many other things that bands signed to a big label probably take for granted.

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Mastodon are currently on an awesome tour with Baroness and Between the Buried and Me.  Unfortunately, they were forced to postpone their recent show in Rochester, NY – apparently due to guitarist Bill Kelliher’s hospitalization.  According to MetalSucks, the venue’s website said the postponement was due to “an ongoing illness with Mastodon guitarist Bill Kelliher.”

Obviously, no one can be sure what that ongoing illness is, but it should be remembered that Kelliher suffers from alcoholism and was forced to leave the band’s European Unholy Alliance Chapter III Tour in 2008 when he was hospitalized with an illness related to drinking.  It would be pretty devastating if he fell off the wagon and had to deal with this problem from square one again.  But again, no one really knows why he had to be hospitalized this time.

It seems as if the tour will be trudging on without him, and they will likely get someone to fill in while he’s gone. [UPDATE:  Thanks to MetalSucks, we now know that Peter Adams and John Baizley from Baroness each performed two songs with Mastodon (the first four songs on Crack The Skye).  After that, the band continued on as a three-piece.]

Casual observers may think that Brent Hinds is the guitar wizard of the band, and he is that, don’t get me wrong.  But Kelliher is a monster in his own right.  A lot of people don’t really notice him because he stays off to the side almost in the shadows and doesn’t play many solos, but his rhythm sections are insane.  And anyone who’s seen him play “Seabeast” live knows what I’m talking about.  Get well soon, Bill.

-Sam

Here’s a sampling of some interesting stuff going on in the world of metal:

- Disturbed have entered the studio to begin recording their fifth album.  They plan to release it this summer.

- Godsmack have changed the title to their upcoming album from Saints & Sinners to The Oracle, claiming the former title has “already been done before.”  While no official release date has been set yet, the disc is expected to hit stores in March or April.  Song titles include “Whiskey Hangover”, “Crying Like A Bitch”, “War & Peace”, and “Devil’s Swing.”  Singer Sully Erna said in an interview that with this album ending the band’s two year hiatus, they plan to “get back into it for the next 10 years again and really grind hard.”

- Black Label Society have parted ways with drummer Craig Nunemacher.

- Spin.com has an exclusive stream of the title track off High on Fire’s upcoming album Snakes for the Divine.  It’s pretty damn awesome.

- In other High on Fire news, they just released the dates for their spring headlining tour with Priestess, Black Cobra, and Bison b.c.

- And in what may be the greatest tour of 2010, Mastodon is heading out on a run that will target the secondary markets with support from Baroness, Between the Buried and Me, and Valient Thorr.  Now I know how Andy Samberg felt, because that lineup makes me want to…well, you know.

-Sam