The Great Misdirect
UG Team, on november 03, 2009 8 of 8 people found this review helpful
Sound: Let's not make it an elephant in this room this album will be compared to Colors', the album that catapulted Between The Buried And Me into a whole new stratosphere of experimentation and exposure. Saliva-drenched CD players are being turned on as we speak, with each listener confident that the band will take the exact direction which suits their tastes best. The Backtrack'-meets-Viridian' crowd-pleaser Mirrors' only builds this anticipation, but getting into the meat of the disc requires a couple of precursory listens so that pants can be soiled and saliva can dry.
So rather than starting with first impressions, it's best to start with something more analytical. Fundamentally similar to Colors', The Great Misdirect' runs on the fuel of riffs; fast, slow, long, short, dissonant, diatonic...riffs of all shapes and sizes. Complete mismatches, you'd think but these constantly morphing counts and keys do somehow make sense. On Colors', most of the music seemed to be a continuous, natural progression of whatever happened to flow out of the sessions but on this one, the madness seems very calculated. Alarming, considering the amount of wacky' fun to be found on Fossil Genera' or Swim To The Moon', but this certainly is an accomplished effort. Blake Richardson's drumming seems more secure within this framework; rather than drumming to keep up with the creative flurry of ideas, he drums to signal them.
At its most extreme (the beginning of Disease, Injury, Madness', for example) it becomes more difficult to discern who the focus is supposed to be on, but the soft moments which follow those climaxes thrive on that balance. The exception is Desert Of Song', where Richardson and bassist Dan Briggs take a back seat, and let the vocal melody work with the bluesy guitars to create a tune that is simple on a basal level yet very much in line with BTBAM's style of harmony and their knack for dynamic coherency. // 9
Lyrics: You'd think a song like Swim To The Moon' would have its fair share of Syd Barrett-esque psychedelia, but The Great Misdirect' is actually far more down-to-earth than its predecessor. No all you can eat trumpets, no funny-tasting teeth and no swollen ankles; due to the erratic nature of the music and Tommy Rogers' delivery over it, the words are completely without structure but they are an awful lot easier to follow this time. Various theories for the betterment of mankind are presented; be it Obfuscation's philosophical wonderings, Disease, Injury, Madness's vicarious diatribe or Swim To The Moon's more personal reflection, The Great Misdirect' is a gripping collection of texts.
Tommy Rogers' vocals are often an underrated factor in the power behind his band's music. Without them, parts of this album would be like a slightly beefed version of Dream Theater, rather than a slightly Dream Theater'd version of beef. His job involves feeding grooves and often giving them a pattern which the listener can trace and he makes it happen without fail. His clean vocals, however are not as vital as they have been in the past, only really coming into their own on Desert Of Song'. That can probably be attributed to where they are used on the album; only the chorus of Swim To The Moon', which acts as an anchor for the song, really gives Rogers a big platform from which to display his singing skill. That said, his screams are as good as they have ever been and moments like the end of Obfuscation' give him more than enough of a soapbox in that department. // 8
Overall Impression: Well written, well arranged, well played, well produced...what else is there to say? Well, what this album is missing that made Colors' so phenomenal is a pour-your-heart-out sense of passion. The band are very much into it' but there's no heart strings being pulled, no emotional rollercoaster to give the whole thing a sense of purpose. Unfortunately, it could be argued that the more coherent' layout may be to blame for this. A couple of cheeky Colors' references are hidden in the woodwork their congruency might suggest deeper connections but at the end of the day the overwhelming scale of that album has made it very difficult for this one to be much more than a victory lap. Still, The Great Misdirect' is a quality album from one of metal's most inventive contemporary bands. // 8
The Great Misdirect
Jamo888, on november 03, 2009 6 of 6 people found this review helpful
Sound: In today's music industry (not to mention today's economy), too many people refrain from taking risks. This is especially true for heavy metal bands.
The funny thing is, the bands that take risks are the one's selling albums. Opeth's "Watershed" made it to number 23 on the US Billboard 200. For a metal band, especially a progressive death metal band, that's a hell of a number. Mastodon's "Crack the Skye," which might be the most audacious major label album of the year, boasting ten and thirteen minute epics, debuted at number 11 on the Billboard 200. These are only two examples in a long line of failures, but it seems agreed upon that too many musicians are fearful to tread outside their comfort zone. Bands that carry the "heavy metal" tag are so quick to take the easy road and they end up going nowhere both musically and commercially because of it.
Which brings this review to Between the Buried and Me's new full length "The Great Misdirect," an album so full of imagination, variation, and color, it makes other albums seem gray by comparison. It's scary, beautiful, indulgent and familiar, often all at the same time. There's bluesy 12/8 passages, spaced out keyboard-laden pieces, warped Mike Patton-style polka, jazzy guitar jams, acoustic folk and absolutely sublime vocal harmonies side-by-side with crushing death metal as if they were cut from the same, demented cloth. Now this might sound like useless genre-exercising on paper, but it coalesces so magnificently, that it's an absolute treat to listen to from front to back.
Every song has a section that will make even the most jaded music fan excited. The swinging guitar breakdown that occurs about 8 and a half minutes into "Disease, Injury, Madness" will make people stop in their tracks. The strings that show up 9 and a half minutes into the regrettably titled "Fossil Genera - A Feed from Cloud Mountain," don't just make an appearance and go away. They stick around, adding both a creepy atmosphere and a sense of playfulness to the whole proceeding. One part in the middle of "Swim to the Moon" sounds like it's from an old, forgotten Blaxploitation film from the 70's. When listened to together, "Mirrors," with its jazzy chords and subdued, peaceful vocals and "Obfuscation," with juxtaposing melodic and atonal death metal riffs and growls sound almost like a statement of purpose and intent.
Blake Richardson and his drums get a starring role in "Swim to the Moon," hammering out a solo in the style of Black Sabbath's "Rat Salad" or Led Zeppelin's "Moby Dick". Paul Waggoner and Dustie Waring aren't afraid to prove they can shred but they're also unafraid to show off their more subtle and varied chops. They can write killer riffs, too.
The bass playing by Dan Briggs is superb throughout the album, so much so that he deserves a special mention. In this mostly guitar-focused band, he stands out by taking over the quiet passages with such understated grace, never taking away the power of the other instruments or the overall mood, instead enhancing it even when he's soloing.
Every now and then (when the music calls for it) singer/keyboardist Tommy Rogers throws piano, organ and various spacey and squiggly sounds into the mix. He's actually quite good on the keyboards.
The production on this album is Between the Buried and Me's finest yet, letting all the instruments breathe. The guitars don't sound like they blend in with the drum cymbals anymore. "Desert of Song" and the 18-minute closer "Swim to the Moon" sound like their respective titles.
However, this album isn't perfect (well, not quite). The sprawling nature of the songs will put off many listeners, as will the unmelodic death metal portions. Death metal purists will be offended by the jazz, acoustic guitars, and polka mixed in with the brutality. But it is precisely these moments that make Between the Buried and Me and "The Great Misdirect" such an exciting band and album to listen to. It feels as though they can do anything. This band is on top of the heavy metal pile creatively, whether casual observers know this or not. // 9
Lyrics: The lyrics are unintelligible during the moments of growling/screaming, so it's hard to tell what's going on without a lyric sheet. From what can be heard (usually in the cleanly-sung moments) it sounds as though it's business as usual in the BTBAM camp: Cryptic and poetic musings about real life, with some sly social commentary thrown in. "The throat can't start singing/The scarecrow is watching" sounds like an outtake from an Orwellian novel.
Tommy Rogers is still in top form as far as his David Gilmour-inspired falsetto clean vocals and his guttural growls are concerned, but they do kind of blend into the background. The best vocal hook of the album is in the closer "Swim to the Moon": "Slide into the water/become one with the sea/life seems so much smaller/swim to the moon". // 7
Overall Impression: So will this album sell as many copies as either Mastodon or Opeth's latest releases? Probably not. The music is too "out there" for many people, even (or perhaps especially) heavy metal fans.
Reiterating the point at the beginning of this review, this is a band unafraid to take chances, and the result is their best album yet and what might be the best album of the year. There's more to discover on "The Great Misdirect" than any album (metal or otherwise) so far released in 2009. More happens over the course of this album than one review can describe.
If there is one problem with the album, it is that despite it's nearly hour-long running time, it's over much too quickly. But, if the worst thing you can say about an album is that you wish it kept going, the band must be doing something right.
This is a band that has almost made stepping out of its comfort zone a genre unto itself. Comparisons to Dillinger Escape Plan and Mike Patton are inevitable, but the fact is, Between the Buried and Me sound like no one but themselves. It is albums like this, albums that make you believe anything is possible, that are the reason this reviewer ever got into music in the first place. Buy this album, support this band. // 9
The Great Misdirect
CherryWaves631, on november 03, 2009 5 of 10 people found this review helpful
Sound: Let's start with a big fat HOLY CRAP. Between The Buried And Me have proven themselves to be one of the tightest, most accomplished musical acts around today. They are easily my favorite band, and this new album only adds greatly to that fact. The sound of the album varies, in that this one the band decided to open up all of there musical ability even MORESO with the use of unusually percussion, a whole bunch of different acoustic instrument sounds, and just a boat load of unheard of creativity. Before my ears were privileged with listening to this, Colors was my favorite album of all time, and The Great Misdirect either ties it or takes the lead. This album still holds the Between The Buried And Me brutality that all of there diehard fans have come to love, and still contains some of the most beautiful sounds I've ever heard. I am huge progressive fan, but really can't stand literally ANY of the vocalists that front any modern day progressive bands (i.e. Dream Theater, Outworld), however my other favorite types of music are either extremely chill and ambient, and the most brutal you can get with breakdowns and fast riffs and such. So you see why I love the album so much, BTBAM has literally answered my personal musically prayers. I feel that everyone should at least give it a listen because it is absolutely mind-blowing. // 10
Lyrics: Well, the lyrically content is nothing short of astounding. Not only does it compliment the mood of the music perfectly, but the lyrics in all the songs coincide with society as a whole today. For example, "Fossil Genera: A Feed From Cloud Mountain" discusses a secret society of people who rule the world behind the scenes and are basically making there vision into a reality, and using people for experimental purposes. AKA The Illuminati, which rules literally everything you see in the world today. Tommy, the singer, is singing about truth and what our society is in store for as these people "discuss our future". If that isn't intense enough, "Desert of Song" is about music being banned in society as we know it, and a group of people go into the desert to write music to continue on with it's beauty. The other songs are all related by essentially describing the downfall of society, and "Swim To The Moon" can be interpreted as one not being able to deal with the pressure of society and escaping via "swimming to the moon". It is intense beyond belief, and just as colors did for me, it paints a picture just as vivid as a world renowned artist. The actual vocal performance is untouchable, as Tommy incorporates more range and singing mixed in with his anomalous screaming techniques. The guitarist Paul actually does some incredible singing on "Desert of Song" as well, and it really adds to the mood of that song. // 10
Overall Impression: I'll begin with fact that nothing disappointed me whatsoever on the entire album. The music is absolutely breathtaking, as is the lyrically content. I honestly can't pick a favorite song at all, but I will give you a short overview on each track. The opener, "Mirrors," is a very tripped out song, with very odd timings and just one hell of a listen. "Obfuscation" does not disappoint, as it flows directly from "Mirrors," and starts with a bang. It continues on to include some insane guitar work which is incredible. "Disease, Injury, Madness" is the song I would say is most comparable to older BTBAM, as it is straight forward metal and chill throughout, with a very cool rockin' interlude. "Fossil Genera" has the most unexpected BTBAM intro, and it continues on to be an insanely dark song, with some of the most unique parts I've ever heard. The next track "Desert of Song" takes a trip down a different road for BTBAM, being all acoustic. Shevanel (take 2) was incredible on The Silent Circus, but this one is different. It features the guitarist Paul singing, and his voice along with Tommy's mix incredibly well. Such a great, emotionally driven song with a fantastic meaning. The album's closer "Swim To The Moon" may be the best song ever created, with so many different types of parts. With the song clocking in at 17:54, there is not one second that is boring. It just continues straight until the end with the most intense bombardment of musical originality ever. It's a mind blowing album and is a much welcomed next step in the process of Between The Buried And Me's growth as progressive musicians. Must own for any prog lover, metalhead, and anyone who appreciates music for the talent and presentation aspect of it. // 10
The Great Misdirect
eetfuk58, on february 02, 2010 2 of 3 people found this review helpful
Sound: Between The Buried And Me are easily one of the most instrumentally accomplished groups of musicians ever assembled. Virtuosity flows throughout their music like blood from a freshly severed vein. I am not just talking about sheer speed or the near impossibility of mastering one of their songs on any given instrument, I am talking about their brilliant ability to intertwine any and every genre of music imaginable to create a cohesive work of art. Their newest album "The Great Misdirect" is a prime example of their unusual style and ability to combine utterly different flavors of music to create something far more beautiful and unique than the vast majority of today's music. // 10
Lyrics: The lyrics are never the high point of any BTBAM album. I am not saying the lyrics are bad by any means, but usually the listener is much more interested in what will happen next in the song musically than what Tommy is saying. I must say I do love the simple lyrics of "Mirrors" the opening track. They are short but get straight to the point. Once "Obfuscation" starts the lyrics all go straight out the window and the intense musical journey begins. I wont run through the songs, because that will spoil all of the fun of the BTBAM experience. Once you start listening to the album you should be nailed to your seat wondering what will happen next. Metal? Polka? Soft Rock? Screaming? Tender Singing? Piano Solo? Bass Solo? Guitar Solo? // 9
Overall Impression: The meticulously composed album has more depth than the average listener can probably handle. I can understand why it may be hard at first to enjoy a BTBAM album, the long song lengths (up to 17 mins on this album) and seemingly random arrangement of the songs are anything but a normal listening experience for most ears. But once you get past the original shock BTBAM manages to age like fine wine; I can't name an album that gets better with every listen than this one does. It's the accumulation of small details and subtle articulations that really make this album a diamond in the rough. // 9
The Great Misdirect
jollyjolly, on november 03, 2009 1 of 2 people found this review helpful
Sound: This album was by far my most anticipated album of 2009, and I'm sure others agree. Following 2007's "Colors" album Btbam has become an underground progressive phenomenon. The Great Misdirect is made up of beautiful soundscapes whether playing metal, jazz, bluegrass, trip-hop or any of the other genres they fuse into their sound they play to extreme proficiency and virtuosity. The album opens up with "Mirrors" & "Obfuscation" the latter being the first released song off the album. This song starts with a gorgeous opening with an odd catchy rythm. Then busting into obfuscation with a similar rhythm only extremely heavy and melodic, without listening to this album it is very hard to explain. Tommy Rogers' vocals on the album jump around a lot from bellowing screams to melodic ambient belts. Paul Waggoner really upped the anty on this album, tons of off-time thrashy movements into spiraling instrumental tangents. The rhythm section really stands out on this album, the little bass solos looming in the background done by Dan Briggs(Orbs) and the grind-jazz drumming of Black Richardson(Glass Casket) really make for a funky bottom end while the searing guitar riffs and vocals/synth dominate the forefront. This is my #1 album of 2009! I highly recommend everyone to purchase it and give it a real listen! // 10
Lyrics: The Lyrics on this albums are completely unique and well-thought out. "Fossil Genera-A Feed From Cloud Mountain" referrs to aliens and their pre-determined apocalypse of the human race. The songs like "The Desert Of Song" speak of a time where music is outlawed and people have to sneak to the desert to play. A lot of the lyrics discuss the universes' connection with the mind and Other worldly knowledge. The vocals on this album are very unique and jump around constantly making for the classic Btbam sound. // 10
Overall Impression: This is honestly one of my favorite albums. I still find it hard to grasp it all sometimes this band has so much going on at once you have to listen to it multiple times just to catch on to some of the spontaneous off-time rhythms. Definately a favorite band of many musicians they keep raising the stakes and proving that they can just make music, and it doesn't have to have a particular genre or scene, it can just be beautifully structured music. If I lost this album I would refer to my back-up copies:). The stand out track on this album for me is "Disease, Injury, Madness." You just need to hear it to experience this song! Overall... Perfection // 10
The Great Misdirect
Panasonic3, on november 03, 2009 1 of 2 people found this review helpful
Sound: It's finally here! One of the most anticipated albums of the year in the heavy metal scene is the fifth installment by prog giants Between the Buried and Me. After their critically acclaimed masterpiece "Colors" was released in 2007, many wondered if they could top, or even come closed to, the epic of all genres. Well, in this (biased) reviewers eyes, the boys have done it again. Creating beautiful, lush soundscapes woven into dreary passages of sadness, surrounded by intense riffage, super heavy chugs, complex time signatures, and the most bombin solos since never. The album is split colse to even with clean and distorted work, but thats not to say a distorted part isn't light and airy while the clean parts could be horrible (in a good way) and desolate. If "Colors" was their senior project, then "The Great Misdirect" is the work produced by a seasoned professional who knows his carrer path and job responsibilities. This is serious music made by serious musicians, and should be taken as such. // 10
Lyrics: While I don't have a lyrics sheet (didn't come with the torrent), they are obviously written the same style since the beginning. Rather vague, but the songs have a theme and create a story, and some phrases pop up in multiple tracks. Tommy's vocals are solid and consistent, and he doesn't sound like a bitch when he goes clean. On the bright side, his voice sounds much richer and emotional. His screams and growls were a little dry and mundane in "Colors," and not that it isn't skillfully heavy and intense, it could just be more creative. However, none of this gets in the way of the music experience. There's even other vocalalists in the last two songs. // 9
Overall Impression: A six song masterpiece created by masters of their craft. Definatly their most inspired album.
03. Disease, Injury, Madness
04. Fossil Genera: A Feed From Cloud Mountain
05. Desert of Song
06. Swim to the Moon (18 minutes!)
All of the songs stand out in their own way, each with its own unique sound and journey. "Disease, Injury, Madness" would be my favorite. It seems like the most fun song to play. But every song is awesome. (Better be, only six of them)
Compared to their other albums, it kind of sounds like they are getting back to their roots, but supercharged. It is not one continuous piece of music as "Colors" is, which leads toward more individual and complete songs. With clever sound effects, hugely layered nuances, MORE bass solos, and just staright up fretwork, "The Great Misdirect" is a no-frills, mega prog BTBAM. Drums are killer as before, but I can't remember a single blast beat :( but anything I slightly dislike about this album is greatly overshadowed by everything else. Because it is sweet.
I got the album early, but I will also be in line at midnight to buy it. Because it's that good. I look at "Colors" as the band trying to do everything they could in one piece of music and doing it well, entertaining a jack-of-all-trades approach. Now that they have all that "other stuff" out of the way, they can focus on what's really important: making incredibly beautiful progressive death metal. "The Great Misdirect" is the next step in Between the Buried and Me's journey of epic proportions. I'm really excited to listen to this entire album for 1000 times just like that last four, and I know they will never dissapoint. // 10
The Great Misdirect
mywar013, on november 03, 2009 1 of 2 people found this review helpful
Sound: Overall Between the Buried and Me has always had a fairly unique sound. Over the years they have progressed heavily from their self titled to their newest release "The Great Misdirect". From progressive death metal, to melodic breaks, and even going in and out of jazz or salsa tunes, BTBAM always keeps you guessing. This album is just another step forward for the band that is defining progressive metal and progessive music in general.
"Colors", their last album was one of the best albums I have ever heard in my life. From start to finish it was an onslaught of amazing musicianship and songwriting ability. Although they said they would out do Colors in the Great Misdirect, I believe as opposed to out doing it they instead established their style as a band and made an album that can stand next to Colors proudly.
The album starts out with a melodic intro similar to that of colors and then goes into 3 following songs that are composed of scary scales, beautiful transitions, and the occasional intimidating composure that BTBAM is often known for. The album takes a quick break on track 5, "Desert of Song", in which they play a southern blues-esq tune that even though does not fit the style of progressive metal still sounds like BTBAM. They then end the album with a 17 minute tune that smacks you in the face, takes a quick breather and then comes back at you twice as hard. // 10
Lyrics: I haven't taken a good look at the lyrics but I would be surprised if they didn't share any resemblence to lyrics on any of their previous albums. Tommy Rogers is known for singing about people watching (ants of the sky), dreams he has had (Lost Perfection), or the music between the buried and me has made in general (white walls, ad a dglgmut). He tends to stick with prose lyric writing but they are always inticing and thought provoking.
As for his singing/screaming abilities, he is one of the best out there. If you cannot tell by his clear and fully ranged singing or aggressive growls and screams from any of BTBAM's songs, you can certainly find him out doing himself in their cover album "Anatomy Of" in which he sucsessfully covers a Queen song which is no easy feat. // 10
Overall Impression: Between the Buried and Me made a large step forward when they came out with Colors. Not to say their other albums aren't great (which they are), but Colors and The Great Misdirect show where Between the Buried and Me are heading in music overall. Both these albums have broken away from not only their previous releases, but they have out done any progressive metal band in my opinion.
For those of us who are extreme BTBAM fans (like myself), you know it is near impossible to pick a favorite song from any of their albums. The song that I think most clearly depicts what you will get from this album is probably "Swim to the Moon", but I would never say go download just that song. As most of their albums you need to listen to this one all the way through to get the proper feel for it.
I love the fact that they have been able to keep up with their previous releases especially after having one of the greatest albums ever put out two years ago. Nothing is wrong with this album, and it has alot of surprises within it that even the most diehard BTBAM fan would not be able to guess would lie within it.
I would buy this album no matter how many times it was stolen from me. Any fan of metal, progressive, or music in general needs to pick up this album... no if ands or buts. // 10
The Great Misdirect
Nemesis1156, on november 03, 2009 1 of 1 people found this review helpful
Sound: The Great Misdirect is the long awaited follow up to Between the Buried and Me's genre defying album, Colors. I know that a lot of people didn't believe that the band could actually out do Colors, many being skeptical that it would even be good. Your worries can be put to rest. The album is impeccable. A step in a new direction as well. With only 6 songs on the album, I was extremely interested in what I would find. What we have are 6 beautiful, well arranged masterpieces. The more progressive direction the band took might turn a few fans off of the album, complaining that the band strayed from their more "core" sound, but BTBAM are all about evolution. Just listen to the difference between the self titled and The Silent Circus. Two amazing albums, but two totally different sounds coming out of them. All in all, they grew on this album, creating a work of art. But obviously it has it's few flaws.
For example, while every song did feel very complete and awesome, I felt that maybe they could have included one more song. Seven just seems like a good number. Second, I found Pauls leads to be, overall, a little more emotionless than we're used too hearing. I didn't hear anything as epic as the ending of Selkies, or as moving as White Walls. This is just an overall look, because he DOES do some fantastic stuff here. Now, this is the Colors purist in me speaking, the album didn't flow as well as Colors. Anyone that listened to the album knows that every song went into the next, giving us the impression that the entire album was one giant song. This isn't the case in The Great Misdirect. Some songs flow, while others end quite abruptly, not really giving us that feeling Colors did.
Some honourable mentions are the slow part and rodeo breakdown in Disease, Injury, Madness, the slow, epic ending of Fossil Genera, the musical excellency showed off in Swim to the Moon, and my biggest surprise, Desert of Song. This song shows a real melodic side to the band that hasn't really been touched upon throughout their career. // 9
Lyrics: Tommy Rogers brings the reckoning with his vocals this time around. His clean vocals are sounding amazing, and his growl has never been more menacing. The lyrics are also of typical BTBAM style, being dark, mysterious and full of crazy metaphors and allegories. Some of my favourite are found in Swim to the Moon: "Glide Into the Water/Become On with The Sea/Life Feels So Much Smaller/ Swim To The Moon."
It's that kind of stuff I expect out of the band, and they delivered. Nothing we haven't seen before, but still something that was very well done on the album. // 8
Overall Impression: Overall, The Great Misdirect won't disappoint. While it might not be Colors to some, it's something even bigger to others. One thing we cannot deny is just how consistent these guys are. Their music just keeps evolving and stays fresh in a world today where just so many bands sound as bland and unoriginal as the others, so hearing such great music is really a breath of fresh air. Kudos to the rhythm section as well on really stepping it up a notch this album. Blake's drumming has gotten to be quite unique and captivating, and Dan's bass lines are juicier than ever. Not to say the other guys stayed the same though! I just felt that they really got better and really complimented the album with their awesome sounding fills.
All and all, it's a definitive buy for any Between the Buried and Me fan, an fans of music alike. (There's a chance that) you won't be disappointed. // 9
The Great Misdirect
thecrowing33, on november 03, 2009 1 of 4 people found this review helpful
Sound: I really am enjoying the Great Misdirect. Mirrors has a very eerie sound to it. Mirrors was definitely a great way to start off the album. I liked how Dan Briggs used a fretless bass for the recording of Mirrors. Obfuscation is great because it sounds like a song that could be put on colors. I really like the dissonant chords used within the song. This is another great song that shows off their musical ability. It has an incredible solo in it close to the end. Disease, Injury, Madness really reminds me of songs from the Silent Circus. It has a softer part that reminds me of Backwards Marathon. I really like the jazzy-bluesy kinda solo during the song. It's cool how it changes from progressive sounding material to chill, bass-filled parts. Fossil Genera - A Feed from Cloud Montain is simply amazing. I will just leave it at that. Desert of Song is great because it is the only track on the album that Paul Waggoner sings on. It really is quite a beautiful song in its entirety. Swim to the Moon has to be my favorite song on the album by far. It opens with a Hawaiian, Caribbean like intro. Then it just goes straight into the prog stuff associated with little breaks of classical acoustic guitar. This song is probably the most complex song they have ever written. The solo parts starting at around 11:00 into the song are jaw-dropping. There's even a keyboard solo. It easily tops White Walls. This album should win album of the year. My least favorite song on the album is Obfuscation. It doesn't have a big amount of catchy parts in it. // 9
Lyrics: The lyrics are great. They are just the typical Tommy Rogers lyrics. They fit very well with the songs. My favorite lyric is:
Slide into the water,
become one with the sea,
life seems so much smaller,
swim to the moon.
I really like when Paul Waggoner did vocals on Desert of Song. // 10
Overall Impression: This is by far my favorite Between the Buried and Me album. The most impressive song on the album are Fossil Genera and Swim to the Moon. I love pretty much everything about it. There wasn't one part I didn't like. You need to get this album if you have not yet. // 10
The Great Misdirect
illuminatiano, on december 09, 2009 1 of 2 people found this review helpful
Sound: Let me start off by saying that as much as some people wanted, this record is NOT Colors 2. Nor should it have been. Between The Buried And Me always strive to improve their sound and tone, evolve as musicians and go into new musical directions. This is a good thing. This doesn't mean that The Great Misdirect is completely something new, it's still very distinctively Between The Buried And Me.
The rhythm section in this album: Blake Richardson on the drums, Dan Briggs on the bass and Dustie Waring on the rhythm guitar, is simply incredible. Everything flow together very nicely and sets the mood of the music to whatever is playing. These are all extremely talented musicians, and it shows. The drum solo in Swim To The Moon is fantastic, the bass solos in Disease, Injury, Madness and Mirrors are incredible, and the guitar solos by Dustie in Swim To The Moon destroy Paul's.
This leads me to the lead section, Paul Waggoner on the lead guitar and Tommy Rogers on the vocals/keyboard. I will talk about the vocals in the lyrics section of this review. The lead guitar playing is really good, sometimes really catchy, sometimes really heavy, sometimes fitting, sometimes not. The guitar solos by Paul Waggoner are really good, but always feel like they could have been better and have better phrasing. The keyboards in this album is very fitting and can be heard more than on their previous records. However, there is one terrible gibberish keyboard solo in Swim To The Moon that just makes me ask myself, why ? But all in all, the tone of all the instruments and the mixing is really great, except for sometimes where the bass cannot be heard. The bass drums are also lost in the mix pretty frequently. // 9
Lyrics: This is the biggest improvement for the vocalist Tommy Rogers, the lyrics. Every song has a theme set to it and the lyrics makes sense and use a lot of imagery and metaphors to bring about their point. The vocals of Tommy Rogers keeps improving in every record and this is also the case in this album, his voice sounds great. However, some clean parts can have too much auto-tune and effects on his voice that I feel are unnecessary. The guest vocals on Swim To The Moon are great and fit really well to the song. // 9
Overall Impression: After an album like Colors, it's hard to live up to that high of a bar of expectancy from your fans. The Great Misdirect is a really good album, even an excellent album, but it's not quite just as good as Colors. This doesn't mean that this record shouldn't be listened to. If you like Colors, you should pick this up and give it a listen, you will enjoy it a lot. If you are one of the BTBAM fans that can only enjoy their first three albums, you won't enjoy most of this album. Rating of every song and explanation :
01. Mirrors: 9.8/10 this song is about as perfect as it could get, everything fits perfectly, it's insanely original and the instruments are great.
02. Obfuscation: 8.5/10 this is a really good song aswell, but the guitar solo is not as good as it could be and the same melodies repeat too much. Insanely technical, but my least favorite song on this record.
03. Disease, Injury, Madness: 9.5/10 really heavy song with some exceptional parts, with catchy melodies and an awesome breakdown.
04. Fossil Genera: 9.5/10 a very original song with amusing lyrics and some insane melodies. The lead guitar part is really great and everything fits. Awesome clean section at the end.
05. Desert Of Song: 9/10 a song I didn't like at first, an unfitting intro but grew on me. Great climax and fitting guitar solo and vocals.
06. Swim To The Moon: 9.3/10 this song could have been a 9.8 if it weren't for some really unnecessary parts, a terrible ending for an album ( especially after listening to the end of White Walls ) and one of the worst keyboard solos I have ever heard. However, most of this song is completely insane and there are many memorable moments. This song has the most progressive parts which I love and some incredible drum, bass and guitar work.
This record is heavier than Colors, and is a really great record, but just doesn't get as good as Colors. It will fit somewhere in my top ten this year and let's face it, this is Between The Buried And Me. If you haven't heard of this band by now, you must, and if you don't like them, you won't like this record either. If it was stolen from me, I would buy it again. // 9
The Great Misdirect
unregistered, on may 13, 2010 0 of 0 people found this review helpful
Sound: BTBAM are one of the most talented bands around, and consistently produce good records. Its clear they work very very hard, and put a lot of effort into their music, and it pays off, this album is possibly their best yet. I think every member plays at least two instruments, and the musical integrity is hard to beat. This album is no different, and a few experiments (intro to Fossil Genera... anybody?) are thrown in, making this album an epic in progressive metal terms. I don't like the genre bashing that people like to do nowadays, but this band encompasses just about every feeling, and they do it very well. // 10
Lyrics: Each song is about a different person I believe, and the lyrics provide varying themes, politics to suicide etc as far as I can tell. However, the lyrics are in no way generic, they are fresh and interesting and delivered with such power by Tommy Rogers. The vocals suit the music very well, and this is hard to do with such varied music, not just in one album, but one song! Impressive, however the tiniest thing is the sometimes overpowering musicality, but then I guess this is no bad thing! // 9
Overall Impression: BTBAM have only got better with this album, and colors was hard to beat. The music is more progressive, and each song is perfectly produced and written. As ever, Dusty and Paul are stunning as ever, with Dan providing some much need talent in the world of modern music. Blake is one of the tightest drummers in the business, and Tommy gives one of his best performances yet. This is really impressive stuff. Swim to the moon is perhaps my favoutite song, combining all of the best things of BTBAM in one song. I payed more than I should have for this album (hard to get hold of in Aberystwyth) but I would happily pay it again. // 10
The Great Misdirect
IBuriedPaul, on january 10, 2011 0 of 0 people found this review helpful
Sound: I've been a fan of BTBAM ever since the beginning of my senior year in high school. I was just getting into progressive metal at the time. My friend gave me to album recommendations of theirs, Alaska and Colors. He told me I'd like Colors more because it's more like progressive rock from the 70's, which I happened to be a huge fan of. I listened to both of the albums. I was turned off from Colors because I found it to be a bit wankish at first. Alaska was incredible. Tight, progressive, abrasive yet soothing at times. BTBAM quickly became on of my favorite bands. I was finally able to appreciate Colors with the help of my first girlfriend. The Great Misdirect came out a little over a year ago. I was turned off from it at first because it was even more excessive than Colors to me.
Any who, after one listen I put away the album and didn't listen to it again until about four months ago. I instantly fell in love with the album and kicked myself for passing this album by earlier. Everything about the album was beautiful, from the production quality to the lyrics.
Between the Buried and Me have made a full transition from being just a technical deathcore band to being a full fledged progressive death metal band. Although, it's not fair to call them just one genre. They genre-hop in a very Mr. Bungle-like manner. One minute they are doing a soft jazz-like ballad, the next minute they are fusing ragtime with death metal. These guys are not dumb and know more about music than probably 99% of other metal acts.
The album opens with a great starter entitled "Mirrors". It reminds me a bit of the last track off of Alaska, very soft and haunting. A keyboard kicks in about halfway and the songs perfectly transitions with a nifty pitch-bend into the next track "Obfuscation". This track is pure BTBAM brutality and progness through and through. It's a whopping 9 minutes of tempo changes, tremolo picking, guitar solos, breaks, and all sorts of other goodies. The album continues to increase in complexity and variety. "Disease, Injury, Madness" is probably my favorite track off this album. It has three distinct sections. The first is a by-the-book prog death metal passage with lots of stomach turning tempo changes and chugging. All of the sudden the noise drops and a soft clean passage begins. This section is incredibly moving and powerful. The last section of this song is an incredibly catchy instrumental part that is very rock-ish. Organs and pentatonic scales galore. I was blown away at how amazing this song was. The song following this is "Fossil Genera: A Feed From Cloud Mountain". It's the only metal song I've ever heard to feature a honky tonk piano and joyful whistling. The song sort of loses it's momentum about four minutes in, but does redeem itself towards the end with a clean passage that is a feel-good sort of ending. The album has one weak spot. That happens to be the next track. "Desert of a Song" is a boring acoustic folk song. The lead guitarist, Paul, is singing and he doesn't sound that good. Tommy backs him up and redeems it a little bit. The song is not terrible by any means, but is a bit underwhelming when compared to the rest of the album. It's a song that will take some time to truly appreciate, I guess. The last song on this album is a huge one. At a staggering 18 minutes, "Swim To The Moon" BTBAM's longest song yet. This previous was White Walls, which coincidentally ended their previous album. This is definitely one of their most ambitious songs. It starts out with percussion in a very unusual time signature that I still can't decrypt. The guitars, bass, and drums kick in. There is this passage about a minute and a half in that is very melodic death metal-ish. There is a guest vocalist who sings along with Tommy. He provides a bit of a throwback to their "core" roots while Tommy does some great growling to accent it. Swim to the Moon has many memorable parts, such as the latin-inspired horn/drum section, the drum solo, the furious bongo chase scene-like page, and many more. The song continues to build, with never a dull moment in sight. There is a really catchy part at the end where All of the members show off their soloing abilities. Including Tommy on the organ! Everything about this song is just perfect. My jaw was dropped after listening to this all the way through. // 9
Lyrics: I've never really followed BTBAM's lyrics. Most of their early albums were either very obscure or tongue-in-cheek. This album seems to have much deeper lyrics. The lyrics match the music perfectly. I actually had to read through the booklet and check the lyrics on this one. My favorite lyrics are for the softer section of "Disease Injury Madness". Tommy delivers these lyrics with his incredibly dynamic vocal range. He is capable of the dirtiest of death metal growls, sludgy yelling, and clean vocals straight from a chorus in heaven. It's refreshing to see metal that doesn't have dumbed down lyrics. // 8
Overall Impression: In 2009, We saw a lot of incredible Progressive Metal albums. The two most important to me were "Crack The Skye" and "The Great Misdirect". Originally I favored CTS, but this album has quickly overtaken it. I love the music, the artwork, the lyrics, the very clean recording and production quality, and the memories attached to the album. I don't hate much about this album. Even the worst parts of it are better a lot of music. I hate how these guys aren't getting the exposure they deserve. If this album got stolen from me, I would probably race out and buy it again. It's that simple. // 10