"The Parallax: Hypersleep Dialogues"

By Dr. Abner Mality

I guess the Good Doctor was asleep at the wheel when credibility regarding modern tech-metal got handed out, because I've always missed out on Between The Buried And Me until now. Something about the overbearing band name must have put me in a cold sweat fearing pretentious metalcore. I can now say, that was my mistake and I apologize for it. These guys are indeed something special and they've got something going on which many bands in their neck of the woods lack...originality.

Imagine a four way stop with vehicles from all four directions colliding head on at the intersection. The vehicles contain members of The Red Chord, Dream Theater, Tool and Meshuggah. The results of that titanic collision might just sound a little like Between The Buried and Me. But use my feeble comparisons only as a starting point, because there are other elements encapsulated in their sound as well. Suffice to say, BTBAM manage to combine merciless technical death metal and melodic prog metal in a way few could comprehend, much less imitate. "The Parallax: Hypersleep Dialogues" contains just three songs for a concise running time of 30 minutes, But within those thirty minutes are contained some of the most ferocious and over the top extremity you're likely to hear... delivered with smoothness and even accessability. I was suprised just how raging this was, based on what I'd heard about the band. The first two cuts "Specular Reflection" and "Augment of Rebirth" blast most of the way through, with throaty roars, mind-boggling drum runs and full throttle guitar solos sprouting up everywhere. Last cut "Lunar Wilderness" starts with some mild and quite appealing prog fusion before getting wild and medieval on your ass again. There are some very odd diversions throughout, such as the use of xylophone on "Lunar Wilderness", the indescribable alt country twang during "Augment of Rebirth"'s mid-section and the occasional appearance of highly melodic clean singing. The clever use of piano and synth brings a Dream Theater type touch to the record as well.

I was never bored during the long duration of each tune and the transitions are as smooth as silk. That is despite jagged riff-storms that would rival Dillenger Escape Plan. It's all quite listenable and stirs the brain cells pretty well. You've got be a talented and disciplined group of songwriters to make this all palatable and that's just what Between The Buried and Me are. Very entertaining album!