Between the Buried and Me – The Parallax II: Future Sequence

Since 2007, everything the North Carolina progressive metal band Between the Buried and Me released has been compared to what is considered their opus, Colors. The follow up, The Great Misdirect was extremely solid, but the only thing keeping it from Colors status was its lack of cohesion.

In 2011, Between the Buried and Me decided to start a two-part epic concept album with the release of their EP, The Parallax: Hypersleep Dialogues. For the most part, Hypersleep was BTBAM as usual, except there were a lot more ‘spacey’ elements on it, which made sense due to the concept.

The sequel to Hypersleep Dialogues, entitled The Parallax II: Future Sequence retains those spacey elements and brings The Parallax’s story to a close. The story is actually quite deep and grandiose, and while that’s great, that’s not what you came for is it? You came for technicality, genre bending, and the occasional blastbeat.

Anyone coming looking for those three will be pleased, that’s for sure. Incredible guitar licks, soaring clean vocals, brutal growls, and time signatures as static as Megadeth’s lineup  fill this album’s 72 minutes.

You get a few references to part one of the Parallax, the most obvious one is in “Extremophile Elite”, where the band plays and sings part of “Specular Reflection”.

Between the Buried and Me decided to try something new on this record: They decided to put in separate  tracks between the epic songs to serve as spaces between the music and to give some narrative to the story.

Musically, the band seems to get stronger and stronger, and while they’ve always been compared to Dream Theater, this album really shows that Dream Theater are their biggest influence. The addition of more of Tommy Rogers’ keyboards and their song structures are similar to when Jordan Rudess joined Dream Theater and the music became more keyboard heavy (and longer).

I don’t want to spoil the surprise of what genres Between the Buried and Me spastically incorporate into their songs, but I will say that Bloom is tons of fun to listen to.

But the question remains, is it better than Colors? As one of the biggest fans of Colors, I’m excited to say yes. It really shows off where Between the Buried and Me are musically in 2012. The songs are there, the spaces are there, the awesome keyboards are there, and most importantly, the cohesion is there.

My first scored review is a

5/5

Good way to start.

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