Tuesday, 17 November 2015

Between the Buried and Me - "Coma Ecliptic" (Album Review)

By: Jez Feral Williams

Album Type: Full Length
Date Released: 07/07/2015
Label:  Metal Blade


Memory Palace" is just shy of ten minutes, but is delectably technical; the song takes you with them as you hear all of the members brilliantly playing their instruments, unrestrained with everything on the table, indeed for me only BTBAM can juxtapose melodic sentiment against a backdrop of brutality, and overall the record is so masterfully orchestrated.

“Coma Ecliptic” CD//DD//LP track listing:

1. Node
2. The Coma Machine
3. Dim Ignition
4. Famine Wolf
5. King Redeem - Queen Serene
6. Turn on the Darkness
7. The Ectopic Stroll
8. Rapid Calm
9. Memory Palace
10. Option Oblivion
11. Life in Velvet

The Review

I remember working on Sunday's at a retail store. Employees were allowed to choose whatever they wanted to play, except on Sunday's. On Sunday we were supposed to keep it light for the church crowd. Me and the assistant manager would say "Fuck that," because we’d usually be hung over, or just not in the mood to deal with people. So we would put on Alaska and The Silent Circus, because it was heavy as fuck, distracted customers from coming in, which meant having little work to do. Plus, we thought it was funny.

 It is these memories that remind me of my first introduction to Between the Buried And Me, with "Selkies: The Endless Obsession,"  "Shevanel Cut a Flip" and "Colors" being particularly notable songs in my opinion.  Since releasing their debut in 2002, they have released seven full length albums, an EP, covers album and 2 live albums in the past thirteen years. “Coma Ecliptic” their latest, has eleven intense, technical and brilliant songs.

When I started listening to “Coma Ecliptic”, I thought lead vocalist Tommy Rogers was just going for a melodic approach vocally. I listened through the melodic sounds of "Node" and then about two minutes into "The Coma Machine," I was reminded why I love the Between the Buried and Me, Tommy Rogers owns when he mixes up his vocal delivery, interspersing between a clean and growled tone.

Indeed the aggression is short lived upon his return to clean singing again; he’s ably backed up by Paul Waggoner and rhythm guitarist Dustie Waring in the breakdown of the track. "The Coma Machine" doesn't stop or break off. It goes straight into “Dim Ignition” as if it's the tail end of one song adjoining the other.  What is noticeable from the outset, is that there is lot more keyboards incorporated into this record too

"Famine Wolf" starts out with Paul Waggoner leading the way with a killer solo that goes on to make Tommy's vocals soar.   Upon the introduction of Dustie joining  on rhythm,  Tommy Rogers is brutal on vocals with clean singing switch ups, with his signature melody blending well with heavy guitars and furious drums that are neatly brutalising, set on time and technical in their delivery, as is the whole band it must be said. Setting a beat on the keyboards, Tommy attempts a different technique that I have not heard him do before. It almost reminds me of Mike Patton and as heavy as Between the Buried and Me are, they can bring in melodic brilliance beneath heavy riffs.

Just like their covers album “The Anatomy Of”, this record is definitely softer and exhibits their delicacy as well as their amazing ability, which in the case of the latter provided a unique showcase of their talents and an exceptional take on the covers they chose for the record. Despite exhibiting more restraint at times, this is not a weakness and they soon return to their provocative and aggressive best, with "King Redeem - Queen Serene" which is arguably the heaviest song on the album. "Turn on the Darkness" is eerie in its approach with acoustic guitars backing up Tommy's sinister but soft vocals, until the riffs hit hard. Paul really shines in this song with his solo abilities and talent.

"The Ectopic Stroll" starts out with almost childlike keyboards as an introduction to the song and as the track unfolds, there emerges an ominous tone, but always consistently progressive.  It becomes bluesy with classic piano and guitar over a still atmosphere, with rhythm guitars interjecting, as the song assumes a heavy tone throughout the ending. "Rapid Calm" has a beautiful cessation midway through. I've never heard the band work this hard on a song. It's as if they put all of themselves into this song and left no reserves. "Memory Palace" is just shy of ten minutes, but is delectably technical; the song takes you on a journey with them as you hear all of the members brilliantly playing their instruments, unrestrained with everything on the table, indeed for me only BTBAM can juxtapose melodic sentiment against a backdrop of brutality.  On the one hand you have the fury of Blake Richardson on drums, flowing into a melodic haze, that makes you want to sing along and know the lyrics.

All in all, this album is a beautifully crafted and executed record, the tracks flowing into each other seamlessly and it is so masterfully orchestrated, with "King Redeem - Queen Serene" the overall stand out track.  

“Coma Ecilptic” is out now


Band info: official | facebook

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