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Between The Buried And Me - "Best Of" (Boxed Set)

Between The Buried And Me - "Best Of" Boxed Set cover image

"Best Of" track listing:

Disc 1:
1. Mordecai
2. Ad a Dglgmut
3. Aesthetic
4. Shevanel Take 2
5. Alaska
6. Selkies: The Endless Obsession
7. All Bodies
8. Backwards Marathon
9. Foam Born A: The Backtrack
10. Foam Born B: The Decade of Statues
11. Prequel to the Sequel
12. Viridian
13. White Walls

Disc 2:
1. Mirrors
2. Obfuscation
3. Mordecai (live)
4. Shevanel Cut a Flip (live)
5. Backwards Marathon (live)
6. Ad a Dglgmut (live)
7. Selkies: The Endless Obsession (live)

1. Mordecai (music video)
2. Alaska (music video)
3. Obfuscation (music video)
4. Synesthesia (Colors companion film)

Reviewed by on May 28, 2011

"Why don’t you just pick up one of the albums instead of this compilation?"

Let’s get something out of the way: "Best Of" albums are largely outdated. With the ability to create custom playlists on digital music players, anybody can make their own Best Of of a band’s discography by just moving files around. For a Best Of to really stand out for a metal band, a record label has to give the listener some incentive to buy it and want to buy the previous albums. Otherwise, only new listeners would really have any use for it.

Victory Records released Between the Buried and Me's "Best Of" on March 29th, 2011, just a week or so before the band released "The Parallax: Hypersleep Dialogues" through Metal Blade. Victory opted to put four songs from "The Silent Circus," four songs from "Alaska," five songs from "Colors," and two songs from "The Great Misdirect" on two discs along with five live songs from "Colors Live." Unfortunately, the only reason to get this compilation is that the bonus DVD has a "Colors" film companion entitled "Synesthesia." The music videos beside it on the DVD are already available on YouTube.

Don't get me wrong: the songs are high quality. If this is your first listen to Between the Buried and Me, you'll be introduced to a whirlwind of death metal, bright clean vocals, and the kind of instrument technicality that would make progressive kings King Crimson proud. It's no wonder that the band actually recorded a cover of King Crimson's "Three of a Perfect Pair," on the cover album, "The Anatomy Of," though no songs from that record made it on to this Best Of.

In principle, putting out a compilation album after only five regular releases and one live release is ridiculous if the band is still making music together. Further, Victory's compilation doesn’t even include music from the band's first disc, likely because that album wasn’t released by Victory. Even more, calling it Between The Buried And Me’s "Best Of" is presumptuous. It’s saying, "these are the best songs this band made." With the band pushing forward with new music, one can only assume that Victory records meant this as a "Best of the Victory Years" Between The Buried And Me album.

The packaging of the release comes with some hidden images that you need an included spectral decoder to see, but isn’t noteworthy. This begs the question, "Why don’t you just pick up one of the albums instead of this compilation?" Well… Why don’t you? If you can do without the bonus video, "Synesthesia," you’d be doing yourself a favor. Between the Buried and Me is a band whose music is best taken from start to finish, undivided. The band had nothing to do with this Best Of, so go ahead and look to our reviews of "Colors," "The Great Misdirect," and "The Parallax: Hypersleep Dialogues" if you're looking for an idea of what this band is all about.

Highs: Gives you some of the best songs of the band’s discography up to "The Great Misdirect" on two CDs, along with a bonus DVD.

Lows: Doesn’t include any songs from the band’s first album.

Bottom line: If you have no idea what Between The Buried And Me sounds like or what it's done over the past decade, this is a quality, if lazy, overview of the band's evolution, with a bonus DVD.

Rated 3.5 out of 5 skulls
3.5 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)