Not many bands have been adventurous enough to release concept albums over the course of their careers, let alone release a two-part concept album. The North Carolina based progressive metal band, Between the Buried and Me have bucked the trend and done just that with their latest release, “The Parallax II: Future Sequence”. The full length album is the companion to last year’s EP, “The Parallax: Hypersleep Dialogues”, and a continuation of the story that began on the EP.
The band, made up of lead singer Tommy Rogers, guitarists Paul Waggoner and Dustie Warring, along with Dan Briggs on bass and Blake Richardson on drums, have always pushed the envelope a bit farther with each release in their career. With each successive album release, the progressive metal band has taken on new challenges, and with these challenges, it has continued to see the band evolve into the intricate, and well oiled machine that they are now.
The storyline for album, which was established on the EP, is based around the plight of two characters, Prospect I and Prospect II. Men who are separated by millions of light years, existing without knowledge of one another and are connected by one soul, a fairly deep plot for a movie or a novel, let alone a metal album. But, with flawless effort, Between the Buried and Me bring the story alive with their music and lyrics.
The album opens with the melodic and very moody track, “Goodbye to Everything”, an almost Pink Floyd-esque type track, before launching into the hard hitting and very epic guitar riffs of the track, “Astral Body”. The song itself can pretty much can stand alone as a single, which can be hard to do when you take the entire work as one piece of music, which is true of any concept album. Rogers’ screaming vocals blending with the amazing guitar gymnastics of Waggoner and Warring, who are the true standouts of this album, make the track a very catching and attention getting song that would make any metal fan stand up and pay attention to this album.
On other tracks like, “Telos”, the band gives a more traditional hard core metal performance, with fast guitar power chords, growling vocals and a hard hitting bass line. The vocals on this track reflect the two characters portrayed in the narrative, as Rogers’ sings in two different styles to highlight the inner conflict of the characters.
The album, which can be considered uneven at times, but is still brilliantly executed and takes the listener on a 72 minute long voyage into a tale about space, time, man, and the conflicts of the human soul.
The band is currently touring Europe, Japan and Australia with plans to announce a North American tour in early 2013. For more details check out the band at www.facebook.com/BTBAMofficial, www.metalblade.com/btbam, or follow their updates at www.twitter.com/btbamofficial.
Written by Christina Lawler
OurVinyl | Contributor