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Between The Buried And Me - "The Parallax: Hypersleep Dialogues" (CD)

Between The Buried And Me - "The Parallax: Hypersleep Dialogues" CD cover image

"The Parallax: Hypersleep Dialogues" track listing:

1. Specular Reflection (11:21)
2. Augment of Rebirth (10:19)
3. Lunar Wilderness (8:22)

Reviewed by on April 11, 2011

"By removing all the shorter cuts and ancillary side trips, Between The Buried And Me has made a subtly cohesive album..."

Between The Buried And Me is somewhat of a paradox: a deathcore band that loves King Crimson style jams, a troo band with a name inspired by the Counting Crows, and the vocalist has a solo album that is softer than a triple-pillow-topped mattress. But even with those conflicting things, Between The Buried And Me has managed to make some sweet music through the previous six studio albums, and new release “The Parallax: Hypersleep Dialogues” is no different. While it may be Between The Buried And Me’s most challenging album to date, it is also, paradoxically, the band’s most focused.

Through time Between The Buried And Me has been driving closer and closer to what makes the group different, and as many also insist, great. The first three studio albums were solid progcore, and while the songs trended into the six-to-seven minute range fairly often, they still played as a collection of individual songs. After cover album “The Anatomy Of,” Between The Buried And Me started to get more varied, with songs ranging from two to fourteen minutes on the band’s next two albums. But now with “The Parallax: Hypersleep Dialogues” Between The Buried And Me has cut out all the chaff and focused on three dense, twisting progcore anthems.

Clocking in at 30 minutes for only three songs, this album may technically be an EP, although at three times longer than some grind LPs it is easily a fully fleshed piece of work. “Specular Reflection” drifts between Katatonia choruses, Yes noodling and hardcore riffing and yelling, ultimately searching for, but never finding, the golden nugget of true fist-pumpery. Dan Briggs and his bass stand out here though, as his lines are the one solid-ground constant among the floating, twisted trees. “Augment of Rebirth” is much more technical, with Dustie Waring and Paul Waggoner loading the machine gun full of chug bullets, and the trigger is firmly pulled the entire time. Here it is Blake Richardson’s drumming that provides the grounding – his polyrhythms are both whirlingly complex and head-bangingly obvious. “Lunar Wilderness” is the most spartan cut here, if an eight-minute space-jam could ever be called that. And not surprisingly it is also the most straightforward, as the guitar-strum-and-bass-noodle jams ride easily on cosmic rays, interrupted only by hook-laden choruses.

None of these three songs are easy. At first spin, and maybe the dozen after that, they are dense, claustrophobic (except the expansive “Lunar Wilderness”) and confusing journeys into various progressive deathcore labyrinths. The most important bit to note is that each of the three tracks is a complete prog piece, and the entire album is a suite of sorts. By removing all the shorter cuts and ancillary side trips, Between The Buried And Me has made a subtly cohesive album, with parts of each track interlocking together, focused on leading us through the maze with brains intact. And once you’ve finally found your way through the labyrinth without the help of a spool of thread, “The Parallax: Hypersleep Dialogues” becomes a place you can visit repeatedly with no need for a map, because only the troo few know how to get inside.

Highs: “Lunar Wilderness” combines expansive space jams and hardcore riffing for a fantastic counterpoint.

Lows: Tommy Rogers’ vocals are not as strong as on previous efforts.

Bottom line: Progcore vets cut the chaff and focus on what makes them different, and great.

Rated 4 out of 5 skulls
4 out of 5 skulls

Rating Description
Rated 5 out of 5 skulls Perfection. (No discernable flaws; one of the reviewer's all-time favorites)
Rated 4.5 out of 5 skulls Near Perfection. (An instant classic with some minor imperfections)
Rated 4 out of 5 skulls Excellent. (An excellent effort worth picking up)
Rated 3.5 out of 5 skulls Good. (A good effort, worth checking out or picking up)
Rated 3 out of 5 skulls Decent. (A decent effort worth checking out if the style fits your tastes)
Rated 2.5 out of 5 skulls Average. (Nothing special; worth checking out if the style fits your taste)
Rated 2 out of 5 skulls Fair. (There is better metal out there)
< 2 skulls Pretty Bad. (Don't bother)