The Future Is Here
Since their humble beginnings in 2000, North Carolina quintet Between The Buried And Me have always sought to push the boundaries of their craft. Across five studio albums, they’ve constantly grown and changed direction, never staying in one place for too long. Now, with the release of The Parallax II: Future Sequence, they’ve fully codified their inimitable sound and compositions, begun on last year’s The Parallax: Hypersleep Dialogues. The band has found their sound, and it is breathtaking.
Opener “Goodbye To Everything” is a beautiful, giant misdirect, utilizing acoustic guitars, synths, and bell-like vocals. The BTBAM that fans have come to love arrives on “Astral Body”, a progged-out, technical tour-de-force showcasing Tommy Rogers’ vocal mastery, effortlessly gliding between gossamer melodies and gut-wrenching growls. “Lay Your Ghosts To Rest” lightly embraces modern metal without succumbing to its excesses, interspersed with demented circus interludes, and soaring passages from the strings. “Extremophile Elite” breaks the tension with an insane xylophone interlude and Tool-esque spoken word ramblings, and even uses a section from “Specular Reflection”, the lead track from The Parallax. “Telos” begins as technical thrash, before slipping into something atmospheric and jazzy, while “Bloom” contains a section of unabashed surf rock, complete with the obligatory “bah dah bop” vocals, and is possibly the most memorable moment of the album. Finally, the marching drive, chaotic transitions, and classical passages of “Silent Flight Parliament” give way to “Goodbye To Everything Reprise”, bringing the album full circle to a satisfying conclusion.
The Parallax II is, without question, the band’s finest work to date, and a serious contender for best record of the year. Between The Buried And Me masterfully traverse so many genres here, with such a deft hand, that any fan of music as a whole can find something they love within its soundscape. If you have ears, you need to pick this up immediately.