ALBUM REVIEWS

BETWEEN THE BURIED AND ME – “Automata I” (2018)

between-buried-me-automata-2018-review
Written by Jadranka Balaš

BETWEEN THE BURIED AND ME
“Automata I”
Progressive Metal
Sumerian Records

BTBAM is musically in the distant outer space while most of the other bands are firmly stuck to the ground. This band has the incredible ability to somehow always push themselves into exploring new territories, which is more than enough to start this journey without a second thought.

Whenever I listen to this band, I’m always saddened by the fact that they have never been well received in our country. They’ve been on the scene for 18 years, their almost impeccable discography counts eight albums and most importantly, BETWEEN THE BURIED AND ME are a band behind the album “Colors”, one of the best progressive metal albums of our time. Do not call yourself a progressive music fan if you did not listen to this album, and of course, loved it. Technically perfect and always innovative, BTBAM is one of those bands of the future, those who if there was any justice in this world could write pages in the musical history. But it’s easier for us to complain how these bands no longer exist, instead of actually paying attention to them.

Conceptual albums are not an unknown field for BTBAM but this time some things have been done differently. To begin with, they made a double album, “Automata I”, which was presented to us now, while the other part will see the light of day a little later this year. The concept is based on dreams, more precisely on the question how it would look if our dreams were publicly displayed for the purpose of entertainment. The story follows the main actor, or his dream of finding the family he has lost and deals with many of his personal well-being and the things he faces daily, primarily depression. What attracted me the most is that the album concept is at good part inspired by the death of Chris Cornell and trying to answer how a man who seems to have everything can also swim into the dark waters.

The episode of the Black Mirror series turned into a metal album attracts at the very beginning. BTBAM is musically in the distant outer space while most of the other bands are firmly stuck to the ground. This band has the incredible ability to somehow always push themselves into exploring new territories, which is more than enough to start this journey without a second thought. What fans will notice first when they listen to the album is that “Automata I” is a much heavier record compared to the predecessor “Coma Ecliptic” (2015) and if you’re not a fan of a softer, ethereal sound of the band you will be easily embraced by this tougher and darker side. In spite of this, the album is very easy to listen and in its 35 minutes, it does not threaten to smother you. Nothing about this album and this band is boring.

The album opener “Condemned to the Gallows” is a perfect mix of rough and clean vocals, groove and slower sections, enriched with guitar solos. Tommy‘s vocals are a major highlight of the album, with an incredible range and variation of styles that greatly contribute to raising drama to an even higher level, which is especially emphasized in the song “Yellow Eyes”. In contrast to it is “Millions” where the melody is much more direct than in other tracks, free from the complexity they are known for, the track that proves that the band can use a traditional songwriting approach and still sound quite powerful. The crown of the album is definitely “Blot”, a song that resonates remarkably to something that could be found on “Colors”.

The nightmare is intercepted here but the band promised a positive outcome. Now we can only wait for it to be dissolved on the second part. “Automata II” arrives in a few months and I can hardly wait to hear how this concept sounds when listening from start to finish.

Written by Jadranka Balaš

Tracklist:

01. Condemned to the Gallows
02. House Organ
03. Yellow Eyes
04. Millions
05. Gold Distance
06. Blot

About the author

Jadranka Balaš

Editor

Contact
jadranka@hardwiredmagazine.com