This Month In Metal: October 2009

Reviews of Baroness, BTBAM and more in this month's edition.

logo
Ultimate Guitar
0

Shadow Gallery Digital Ghosts

Released: October 28 Genre: Progressive metal Label: Inside Out

Shadow Gallery will always be a group that'll qualify for my list of underappreciated bands. With album like Room V and Tyranny on their resum, they really should have been able to reach a wider audience than they have. It seemed the group suffered a fatal blow with the passing of vocalist Mike Baker, who died of a heart attack almost exactly one year ago, on October 29.

When the rest of the band announced that they'd carry on, I must say I grew a tad skeptic. Baker was one of the best vocalists you'll ever come across, and following in his footsteps would be an incredibly difficult task. The band eventually recruited Brian Ashland to handle the vocals, and the finished product is Digital Ghosts.

Shadow Gallery is a progressive metal band in the vein of early 1990's Dream Theater and similar acts. Heavier sections are mixed with softer, often piano laced sections. As they draw much more on classic 80's metal than modern progressive acts do, the heavy sections are reminiscent of Queensryche and late 80's Iron Maiden. Over the course of the album, Brian Ashland turns out to be an exceptional vocalist, even if he sounds annoyingly similar to Geoff Tate.

What's pleasing with Digital Ghosts is that it's good enough on all fronts to keep your mind from drifting into the band died with Baker-territory. I obviously miss him and wish he'd been alive, but Ashland manages to hold his own just fine. The material is strong, through not as mesmerizing as on Room V, but despite a pretty slow start Digital Ghosts comes through with the finishing trio of songs and ends up being a pleasant surprise. If you're into classic progressive metal, then this album should suit you just fine.

Rating: 7.5

Savage Circus Of Doom And Death

Released: October 23 Genre: Power metal Label: Dockyard 1

Savage Circus was formed by former Blind Guardian drummer Thomen Stauch and have prior to Of Doom And Death only released one studio album. Unfortunately for Thomen, he was fired from Savage Circus in 2007 and eventually replaced by Mike Terrana.

Savage Circus is musically very similar to 1990's Blind Guardian, with high pitched operatic vocals, harmonized guitars accompanied by speed metal riffing. At times Savage Circus sounds annoyingly similar to Blind Guardian on all possible fronts, with the exception of the guitar leads not having that little wah effect which has become one of Andr Olbrich's trademarks.

If one focuses on the songwriting, Of Doom And Death is a pretty strong album with a handful of songs that strike a chord with me. There're only 9 songs on the album, but with the majority being around 7 minutes long, the album manages to go on for nearly an hour. While about half the album is very good, the formula doesn't hold up for an entire hour. There're average songs scattered throughout the journey, but I'd argue that the glass is half full, and not half empty.

Rating: 6.5

Baroness Blue Record

Released: October 13 Genre: Sludge/Progressive metal Label: Relapse

Occasionally you stumble across albums where the non-metal moments are just as crucial as the metal ones. Blue Record is one of those albums, and while Baroness have their fair share of heavy riffs, it's the acoustic/clean sections that help tie the affair together. Without the gentler side of the band, this album would be a much less enjoyable listen. Bullhead's Psalm, The Steel That Sleeps The Eye and the other soft songs that are scattered through the 44 minutes of Blue Record give some air and respite to the listen. I'm not saying that the metal moments aren't worthwhile most of the songs are indeed very good, but it's the calm between the storms that manage to stick in my head.

Blue Record is one of those albums that manage to balance the dynamics beautifully, so that the album maintains an enjoyable flow through the duration of the record. While I find myself wanting to skip a track or two here and there, Blue Record is a lovely listen full of fuzz and feel-good songs.

Rating: 8

Between the Buried And Me The Great Misdirect

Released: October 27 Genre: Progressive metal Label: Victory

There have been many great 1-2 punches in the history of metal. Metallica's Ride and Puppets, Iron Maiden's Number and Piece, Dream Theater's Images and Awake, to name but a few. I will jump the gun here and say that Colors and The Great Misdirect is indeed one of the best 1-2 punches in many, many years.

Much like Colors, The Great Misdirect opens with a soft, mellow song and then burst into something a bit more aggressive. Obfuscation might be one of their best songs to date, which sounds something like a merge between Selkies and The Sun of Nothing. What is apparent is that this is more or less the same band, the same group of guys as the ones who penned Colors. Stylistically The Great Misdirect isn't much different from it's predecessor, but I mean that in a good way. BTBAM struck pure gold with Colors, and this album is just the same thing, except more refined. If you'd told me a few years ago that they'd release an even better album with the same formula, I'd laughed out loud.

The difference between the albums, at least to these ears, is that The Great Misdirect is a bit more, no pun intended, direct. As odd as that sounds, I'll just say that The Great Misdirect comes off as a more catchy record, which also is a bit of an odd statement, as Colors despite all its progressive off-the-wall wizardy also was extremely catchy.

Just as Colors, The Great Misdirect possesses admirable flow, taste and restraint when it comes to picking what piece to put where. At times it is facemeltingly brutal, and at times it is so soft and tender that you could put your baby asleep to it.

The pair of albums that were in the running for album of the year just got a new rival.

Rating: 9.5

News and tidbits from the past months:

  • Metal Church have called it quits and have cited the collapse of their label, SPV, as one of the key reasons.

  • Meshuggah will release a concert DVD worldwide in February.

  • Former Anthrax singer Dan Nelson is currently part of a new project with Testament drummer Paul Bostaph.

  • Exodus will release their new triple-disc pack Shovel Headed Tour Machine in January via Nuclear Blast.

  • Mastodon recently recorded their show in Chicago for a future release.

  • Nevermore have completed the recording of their new album, The Obsidian Conspiracy and are aiming at a Q1 2010 release via Century Media.

  • Due to issues with his fretting hand, Tony Iommi recently underwent stem cell treatment.

  • Judging by recent interviews, it appears that Anthrax will reform with former singer John Bush. Bush has been performing with Anthrax at a number of shows and has agreed to play a handful of shows in early 2010.

  • Due to personal matters, drummer Travis Smith of Trivium will sit out the group US headlining tour this fall. Nick Augusto of Maruta will fill the void behind the drumkit for the time being.

  • And finally, a Judas Priest superfan has listened to Nostradamus every day for 500 days straight.

  • 103 comments sorted by best / new / date

      Ali-b912
      a Judas Priest superfan has listened to Nostradamus every day for 500 days straight.
      Haha, Oh Wow.
      duncang
      Heminator89 wrote: Droid11 wrote: No, I hate that band all together. I can categorize that band, crap. Complicated music just for the sake of being complicated. Bands like that always have dumb names like that too, The Great Misdirect... LAME. I have a good name for there next album, "Moving forward in Reverse". Kinda sounds like a Dream Theatre song too, who are also lame too. Sigh. Why does every thread about technical music turn into a Dream Theater bashing thread? Dream Theater do not wank. They play what is really essential for their song. If it goes over some people's head, then don't blame Dream Theater for it.
      I doubt even the band themselves would agree that every single thing they play is 'essential'. Checked.
      Jondy
      Droid11 wrote: Lion_Slicer wrote: Droid11 wrote: No, I hate that band all together. I can categorize that band, crap. Complicated music just for the sake of being complicated. Bands like that always have dumb names like that too, The Great Misdirect... LAME. I have a good name for there next album, "Moving forward in Reverse". Kinda sounds like a Dream Theatre song too, who are also lame too. ...what about Alaska and Colors? Those are pretty straightforward names... And actually, the music is complicated because that's what they want to do, it's fun to them, and that's how the songs develop. It seems to me like their songwriting process involves starting a song and then seeing what it evolves into, but I can see how you'd think that they're just wanking (I've had similar thoughts on Dream Theater). As a musician, I find Between the Buried and Me incredibly satisfying. It kind of upsets me when people close themselves off to music like this, but whatever. A lot of people just don't find it worth the effort to listen to them, even if in my opinion they just WON at music. Don't get me wrong Lion Slicer. I like complex music but I'm sick of music like this. Every freaking band is writing this kind of music now. Its seems they do it cause they wanna be the next band who everyone says, oooo wow thee real musicians. There SO original!!! I'm a drummer and I had to learn how to play guitar myself cause I can't hold a band down because everyone wants to be the next John Pertucci and write werid ass music.
      You can't hold a band down because everyone likes prog? Where do you live man? Because where I live I can't find anyone that listens to "complex" music. Maybe you just live in the one town in the universe where prog is more popular than pop. So you don't have any real criticism for the album then, and probably didn't listen to it, and probably didn't even consider the lyrics at all. You just have some kind of grudge against the band itself because your bandmates somehow drove you to be annoyed by prog. If you really think they just do complex music for the sake of doing complex music, you are RIGHT. Everyone that writes complex music does that one purpose. Some people like complex music. Just as some people like punk rock and purposely write simple music. But you can't make an argument that BTBAM sticks to this 100% of the time and is not capable of just writing good music regardless of complexity. Listen to Desert of Song for example. It's just a simple acoustic song. What's good about BTBAM is they merge prog with typical listenable melodic metal. They have the parts where it's off the wall rhythm and chromatic harmonies and whatnot, and then they'll have a 4 minute outro with an epic overused descending chord progression. Or they'll have what sounds like an overused progression but they'll throw in diminished chords in the middle of it and somehow make it flow just as naturally. The music they write is nothing short of amazing, and you haven't provided any criticism at all; but have only said "bands like this" annoy you. what bands like this? i know of no other band anything like this. the closest would be dream theater but they certainly don't sound anything alike at all.
      avengedEVANfold
      MetalUpYourRear wrote: I know they're not that "metal" but where is the new Three album??? It's absolutely genius! But the new BTBAM is SICK! My favorite is "Desert of Song" I mean it's pretty much a Pink Floyd-influenced acoustic blues song! Amazing!
      i love it too, and Pink Floyd never came to mind. but now that you mention it, its unmistakeable. two great bands.
      Lion_Slicer
      leftyace wrote: What do you mean Those whom the Gods Detest is a November release? America isn't the only country in the world, just because an album is released later here doesn't mean it doesn't exist until it hits US shops.
      Those Whome The Gods Detest will be released on November 3, 2009, in North America, and on November 6, 2009, in Europe. However, the album is leaked so many people do have it, but it has not officially been released anywhere and in fact hits America first.
      leftyace
      What do you mean Those whom the Gods Detest is a November release? America isn't the only country in the world, just because an album is released later here doesn't mean it doesn't exist until it hits US shops.
      UK4tw
      I think I love The Great Misdirect, but it's just a bit too fruity for me. I've been a fan (not a fan boy though :p) of BTBAM since the beginning, and although I can recognise TGM and Colors as great albums I prefer the more raw 'core' sound they had in their self-titled album and The Silent Circus (my fave btbam album). But at the end of the day it's down to personal taste. I think it's great that btbam fans are so divided on their favourite album, it shows how much of a progression they've made as a band.
      Jon777
      Droid11 wrote: So your sayin BTBAM whipped out there calculator and said lets make music that is whack... If I write a riff that has an odd time signature its not because I did it on purpose, its just because that's the way the riff came out. THAT'S REAL MUSIC! I was reading a Meshuggah interview and they said they don't purposely write complex music, that's just the way it comes out. BTBAM do it just for the sake of doing (so it would seem)and it sounds like crap when you write that way. Lyrics??? I'm going to use the song Informal Gluttony from colors. You can't even understand what hes singing about so why do you care about lyrics so much. If you care about lyrics then listen to rap or whatever. At 1:52 in that song its just like mayhem blast beat over a crap riff, it doesn't work. And then the chorus is like totally random, clean singing, song slowed right down. Pure crap. WOW, you named one song they have that's not complex. I didn't say anything about them not being able to write a simple song. I'll tell you how dream theatre and BTBAM sound the same, everyone song is like over 5mins long and there all epic just like lots of other prog metal bands. Oh and BTW, BTBAM does not have flow.
      Me thinks the hater should hate somewhere else >:C
      Heminator89
      Droid11 wrote: No, I hate that band all together. I can categorize that band, crap. Complicated music just for the sake of being complicated. Bands like that always have dumb names like that too, The Great Misdirect... LAME. I have a good name for there next album, "Moving forward in Reverse". Kinda sounds like a Dream Theatre song too, who are also lame too.
      Sigh. Why does every thread about technical music turn into a Dream Theater bashing thread? Dream Theater do not wank. They play what is really essential for their song. If it goes over some people's head, then don't blame Dream Theater for it.
      huevos
      Avedas wrote: Maybe Ron Jarzombek was right when he said prog metal wasn't about this "keyboard metal" crap.
      Not a maybe; he was right. Prog is about moving forward and not being stagnant. I like that in same interview, he praises The Dillinger Escape Plan and disses on Tool. Now that's class.
      restless_thrash wrote: Also, I thought that UG's favourite Melodeath Band (The Absence) are recording this monday Nov. 2nd.
      Nice. I hope their riffs are more in vein of Riders of the Plague. Death/thrash is beastly when done right.
      RocknRollRay wrote: I'm sorry but I didn't get the BTBAM. As a hole. There ok but not 9.5 good. more like 7.5. Too chaotic, no groove, and to be frank, they sound very scene/metalcore with a splash of what they call prog. Album of the year? no, just hype imo. Not my cup of tea.
      :haha: I do have a feeling this a little over-hyped, but Obsfucation is massive. On that same note, BTBAM like to weigh the best parts of their albums at the beginning and end. This is especially troo with Colors (White Walls is unbelievable). The scene/core part was righteous fun. They have metalcore elements, but that whole scene is faltering and dying due to lack of ideas. BTBAM have more ideas than a sperm bank has semen. I haven't been to a sperm bank (recently), so idk if that's a compliment or an insult.
      Avedas
      I love TGM to the full. Really. I think BTBAM is freakishly amazing, and that's way over the top for me. I don't care that they're less "prog" or getting to be more "-core". I like it. Prog metal is dropping on me. I'm sick and ****ing tired of constant piano shred solos and shit lyrics and forced concept albums (Hi, Dream Theater. I used to be a huge fan, but now what the hell are you guys doing? I think I'll stick to Awake). Porcupine Tree is one of the few bands that's keeping prog interesting for me right now, and they're not even prog metal. Maybe Ron Jarzombek was right when he said prog metal wasn't about this "keyboard metal" crap. TGM compared to Colors is just about opinion on which songs you like better, really. The intro to Obfuscation may just be the greatest thing I have ever heard, but that's just me. I have no problems with Colors at all. It really is a top-notch album. TGM has so many new elements though. Desert of Song is completely new grounds to BTBAM, and I think it worked so well with the balance of the album. The cowbell beat with the rocking guitar melody towards the end of Disease, Injury Madness is also that same kind of new element. BTBAM's experimented with weird sounds and stuff before, especially on Colors, but that experimentation has paid off and its use in TGM is far more refined and fits the songs better. Well done indeed, BTBAM.
      LucasGtrGod
      MustangMan311 wrote: SlinkyMcdougall wrote: Also, am I the only one not impressed by The Great Misdirect?No, you aren't. Colors is 100 times better. Album is so overrated- It's only the prog fanboys jocking this one.
      Somebody sounds quite bitter. So what if the 'prog fanboys' are the ones enjoying this album more than Colors. Perhaps that's just because it is more suited to their tastes... does that make us wrong? The thing I like about TGM compare to Colors is that unlike Colors, when I listen to TGM I don't find myself getting bored halfway through a song.
      MustangMan311
      SlinkyMcdougall wrote: Also, am I the only one not impressed by The Great Misdirect?
      No, you aren't. Colors is 100 times better. Album is so overrated- It's only the prog fanboys jocking this one.
      Fatally Jon
      The Great Misdirect is pretty good. The only problem I have with it is that there doesn't seem to be as much vocal work. The vocals are great, don't get me wrong, but there seems to be these extra long stretches without any vocals at all. I definitely need to hear it again, though.
      Limaj_daas
      restless_thrash wrote: I have to say that The great misdirect is in my opinion an ok album. Just seems like it wears out after Obfuscation, but i suppose a little more listening might sate my mind. Also, I thought that UG's favourite Melodeath Band (The Absence) are recording this monday Nov. 2nd.
      Love the reviews as always and the Absence own!
      RocknRollRay
      I'm sorry but I didn't get the BTBAM. As a hole. There ok but not 9.5 good. more like 7.5. Too chaotic, no groove, and to be frank, they sound very scene/metalcore with a splash of what they call prog. Album of the year? no, just hype imo. Not my cup of tea.
      Droid11
      Jondy wrote: Droid11 wrote: Lion_Slicer wrote: Droid11 wrote: No, I hate that band all together. I can categorize that band, crap. Complicated music just for the sake of being complicated. Bands like that always have dumb names like that too, The Great Misdirect... LAME. I have a good name for there next album, "Moving forward in Reverse". Kinda sounds like a Dream Theatre song too, who are also lame too. ...what about Alaska and Colors? Those are pretty straightforward names... And actually, the music is complicated because that's what they want to do, it's fun to them, and that's how the songs develop. It seems to me like their songwriting process involves starting a song and then seeing what it evolves into, but I can see how you'd think that they're just wanking (I've had similar thoughts on Dream Theater). As a musician, I find Between the Buried and Me incredibly satisfying. It kind of upsets me when people close themselves off to music like this, but whatever. A lot of people just don't find it worth the effort to listen to them, even if in my opinion they just WON at music. Don't get me wrong Lion Slicer. I like complex music but I'm sick of music like this. Every freaking band is writing this kind of music now. Its seems they do it cause they wanna be the next band who everyone says, oooo wow thee real musicians. There SO original!!! I'm a drummer and I had to learn how to play guitar myself cause I can't hold a band down because everyone wants to be the next John Pertucci and write werid ass music. You can't hold a band down because everyone likes prog? Where do you live man? Because where I live I can't find anyone that listens to "complex" music. Maybe you just live in the one town in the universe where prog is more popular than pop. So you don't have any real criticism for the album then, and probably didn't listen to it, and probably didn't even consider the lyrics at all. You just have some kind of grudge against the band itself because your bandmates somehow drove you to be annoyed by prog. If you really think they just do complex music for the sake of doing complex music, you are RIGHT. Everyone that writes complex music does that one purpose. Some people like complex music. Just as some people like punk rock and purposely write simple music. But you can't make an argument that BTBAM sticks to this 100% of the time and is not capable of just writing good music regardless of complexity. Listen to Desert of Song for example. It's just a simple acoustic song. What's good about BTBAM is they merge prog with typical listenable melodic metal. They have the parts where it's off the wall rhythm and chromatic harmonies and whatnot, and then they'll have a 4 minute outro with an epic overused descending chord progression. Or they'll have what sounds like an overused progression but they'll throw in diminished chords in the middle of it and somehow make it flow just as naturally. The music they write is nothing short of amazing, and you haven't provided any criticism at all; but have only said "bands like this" annoy you. what bands like this? i know of no other band anything like this. the closest would be dream theater but they certainly don't sound anything alike at all.
      So your sayin BTBAM whipped out there calculator and said lets make music that is whack... If I write a riff that has an odd time signature its not because I did it on purpose, its just because that's the way the riff came out. THAT'S REAL MUSIC! I was reading a Meshuggah interview and they said they don't purposely write complex music, that's just the way it comes out. BTBAM do it just for the sake of doing (so it would seem)and it sounds like crap when you write that way. Lyrics??? I'm going to use the song Informal Gluttony from colors. You can't even understand what hes singing about so why do you care about lyrics so much. If you care about lyrics then listen to rap or whatever. At 1:52 in that song its just like mayhem blast beat over a crap riff, it doesn't work. And then the chorus is like totally random, clean singing, song slowed right down. Pure crap. WOW, you named one song they have that's not complex. I didn't say anything about them not being able to write a simple song. I'll tell you how dream theatre and BTBAM sound the same, everyone song is like over 5mins long and there all epic just like lots of other prog metal bands. Oh and BTW, BTBAM does not have flow.
      Jondy
      Dynamight wrote: MetalUpYourRear wrote: Droid 11 is freaking retarded. Have you ever even listened to Dream Theater? Listen to songs like "Lifting Shadows Off a Dream" "Surrounded" "Wither" anything off Falling Into Infinity, "One Last Time" "Space Dye Vest" "Scarred" "Through Her Eyes" "The Spirit Carries On" "Blind Faith" "Misunderstood" "About To Crash" "Solitary Shell" "The Answer Lies Within" "I Walk Beside You" "Sacrificed Sons" "Forsaken" "The Ministry of Lost Souls" and tell me they sound anything like BTBAM. Tell me all they write is technical wankery. I think he will, because as everyone's musical perception is different, so is yours.
      just because opinion is based on perception doesn't mean we can't debate it. debate is how people expand their worldview, and indeed, come to understand other perceptions. Even though this debate will not change anyone's mind about btbam, and the close of the debate we may understand each other's point of view better, and for that alone the debate was worth it.
      Jon777
      Shinsen88 wrote: The Great Misdirect is best album of the year, for me. It's just... wow. Can't wait for the new Nevermore release!
      I feel the same exact way! I hope the new Nevermore album is good
      RAH7747
      one more thing! Where's Hypocrisy's latest album review? "The taste of extreme divinity".. I knew there was something missing when I saw there were just 4 albums reviewed this time..
      queenslander47
      There have been many great 1-2 punches in the history of metal. Metallicas Ride and Puppets, Iron Maidens Number and Piece, Dream Theaters Images and Awake, to name but a few. I will jump the gun here and say that Colors and The Great Misdirect is indeed one of the best 1-2 punches in many, many years.
      Big call, but it along with some of the comments here have got me very interested. Will be checking these guys out for sure.
      Lion_Slicer
      I love the fact that no matter who "wins" the debate on BtBaM, in reality I do, and other fans that really understand what the band is about. Because I get to walk away and enjoy what is some of the most brilliantly creative and engaging music of our time.
      Progis8strings
      Between the Concept Album and Me, just kidding. TGM is phenomenal, not better than Colors, but an absolutely amazing piece of music. All of the BTBAM haters need to chill out. You don't like their music, fine; however, saying what they do on TGM has already been done before is rather non-sensical. TGM has vast new/re-defined elements rarely used by other bands that are pieced together perfectly. Quit hatin'
      travd92
      TGM doesn't hit until the 5th or 6th listen. Then you realize the amazing musicianship put into the album.
      Jondy
      ok i had quoted that and ran out of space BUT I have what i had typed copy pasted so here, directed to droid: it's not their fault if you can't decipher the lyrics. Of all the scream singing I have ever heard I have always cited colors as being among the most legible. I can hear mostly what they're singing about most of the time, which is as much as I can say about most bands that just regular sing. and I never said they whipped out a calculator. they write music the same way every other band writes music. they start with an idea they came up with while just screwing around on their instrument and it goes from there. they do actively guide these ideas and riffs toward a progressive sound however, as all bands actively guide their ideas to wonder end sound they wish to achieve. as for flow, you didn't provide any examples so I can only say flow must be in the eye of the beholder. I personally think they have an amazing flow and they transition from jazz to metal to whatever without it sounding like the song suddenly stopped. to me, that's good flow.
      Jondy
      [quote]TheSoupDragon wrote: Droid11 wrote: Jondy wrote: Droid11 wrote: Lion_Slicer wrote: Droid11 wrote: No, I hate that band all together. I can categorize that band, crap. Complicated music just for the sake of being complicated. Bands like that always have dumb names like that too, The Great Misdirect... LAME. I have a good name for there next album, "Moving forward in Reverse". Kinda sounds like a Dream Theatre song too, who are also lame too. ...what about Alaska and Colors? Those are pretty straightforward names... And actually, the music is complicated because that's what they want to do, it's fun to them, and that's how the songs develop. It seems to me like their songwriting process involves starting a song and then seeing what it evolves into, but I can see how you'd think that they're just wanking (I've had similar thoughts on Dream Theater). As a musician, I find Between the Buried and Me incredibly satisfying. It kind of upsets me when people close themselves off to music like this, but whatever. A lot of people just don't find it worth the effort to listen to them, even if in my opinion they just WON at music. Don't get me wrong Lion Slicer. I like complex music but I'm sick of music like this. Every freaking band is writing this kind of music now. Its seems they do it cause they wanna be the next band who everyone says, oooo wow thee real musicians. There SO original!!! I'm a drummer and I had to learn how to play guitar myself cause I can't hold a band down because everyone wants to be the next John Pertucci and write werid ass music. You can't hold a band down because everyone likes prog? Where do you live man? Because where I live I can't find anyone that listens to "complex" music. Maybe you just live in the one town in the universe where prog is more popular than pop. So you don't have any real criticism for the album then, and probably didn't listen to it, and probably didn't even consider the lyrics at all. You just have some kind of grudge against the band itself because your bandmates somehow drove you to be annoyed by prog. If you really think they just do complex music for the sake of doing complex music, you are RIGHT. Everyone that writes complex music does that one purpose. Some people like complex music. Just as some people like punk rock and purposely write simple music. But you can't make an argument that BTBAM sticks to this 100% of the time and is not capable of just writing good music regardless of complexity. Listen to Desert of Song for example. It's just a simple acoustic song. What's good about BTBAM is they merge prog with typical listenable melodic metal. They have the parts where it's off the wall rhythm and chromatic harmonies and whatnot, and then they'll have a 4 minute outro with an epic overused descending chord progression. Or they'll have what sounds like an overused progression but they'll throw in diminished chords in the middle of it and somehow make it flow just as naturally. The music they write is nothing short of amazing, and you haven't provided any criticism at all; but have only said "bands like this" annoy you. what bands like this? i know of no other band anything like this. the closest would be dream theater but they certainly don't sound anything alike at all. So your sayin BTBAM whipped out there calculator and said lets make music that is whack... If I write a riff that has an odd time signature its not because I did it on purpose, its just because that's the way the riff came out. THAT'S REAL MUSIC! I was reading a Meshuggah interview and they said they don't purposely write complex music, that's just the way it comes out. BTBAM do it just for the sake of doing (so it would seem)and it sounds like crap when you write that way. Lyrics??? I'm going to use the song Informal Gluttony from colors. You can't even understand what hes singing about so why do you care about lyrics so much. If you care about lyrics then listen to rap or whatever. At 1:52 in that song its just like mayhem blast beat over a crap riff, it doesn't work. And then the chorus is like totally random, clean singing, song slowed right down. Pure crap. WOW, you named one song they have that's not complex. I didn't say anything about them not being able to write a simple song. I'll tell you how dream theatre and BTBAM sound the same, everyone song is like over 5mins long and there all epic just like lots of other prog metal bands. Oh and BTW, BTBAM does not have flow. Yeah, because Meshuggah are all about the flow, and are not at all about being technical. Meshuggah are essentially 6 minutes of polyrhythmic sludge - and I like Meshuggah. To use them as an example in the argument against overly technical or robotic music is insane. Did you hear the intro to Fossil Genera? Did you hear the last 5 minutes of Disease, Injury Madness? Did you hear Viridian? Did you hear the middle section of Backwards Marathon? Selkies? BTBAM have groove, and like the guy you quoted says - they mix the complex prog-metal wi
      RAH7747
      How come u didn't consider Rammstein? They have double bass on Rammlied! :p Anyway, I can't believe I missed out on the BTBAM album upon its release.. anyway, no time to waste now.. time to go grab it.. Colors was brilliant (correction, it is brilliant).. and from the looks of it, they've achieved the same again, which is always great..
      ruker
      TGM is great, most likely my AOTY. GO Between the Dream Theater and Me!! keke
      TheSoupDragon
      Ibanez44 wrote: The Great Misdirect was fantastic It wasn't on here, but so was 'desperate living' by horse the band - a good month for music
      +1
      Ibanez44
      The Great Misdirect was fantastic It wasn't on here, but so was 'desperate living' by horse the band - a good month for music
      IfDaysEnd
      I don't think The Great Misdirect tops Colors. Or maybe I was expecting something completely different. But even in their own variety, BTBAM are losing themselves in universality. I mean, it's all a confusing mess of riffs and mellow parts...for me it looks that they're trying too hard to be technical instead of just being themselves. They set their standards too high this time, and IMO they didn't top them.
      Dynamight
      MetalUpYourRear wrote: Droid 11 is freaking retarded. Have you ever even listened to Dream Theater? Listen to songs like "Lifting Shadows Off a Dream" "Surrounded" "Wither" anything off Falling Into Infinity, "One Last Time" "Space Dye Vest" "Scarred" "Through Her Eyes" "The Spirit Carries On" "Blind Faith" "Misunderstood" "About To Crash" "Solitary Shell" "The Answer Lies Within" "I Walk Beside You" "Sacrificed Sons" "Forsaken" "The Ministry of Lost Souls" and tell me they sound anything like BTBAM. Tell me all they write is technical wankery.
      I think he will, because as everyone's musical perception is different, so is yours.
      Noremak
      Great albums that were not reviewed this month: Pelican - What We All Come to Need Russian Circles - Geneva
      MetalUpYourRear
      Reviewer Pete wrote: MetalUpYourRear wrote: I know they're not that "metal" but where is the new Three album??? It's absolutely genius! You answered your own question. But yes, it's a very nice listen indeed.
      True.... But they are on Metal Blade.... Interesting.... lol
      MetalUpYourRear
      Droid 11 is freaking retarded. Have you ever even listened to Dream Theater? Listen to songs like "Lifting Shadows Off a Dream" "Surrounded" "Wither" anything off Falling Into Infinity, "One Last Time" "Space Dye Vest" "Scarred" "Through Her Eyes" "The Spirit Carries On" "Blind Faith" "Misunderstood" "About To Crash" "Solitary Shell" "The Answer Lies Within" "I Walk Beside You" "Sacrificed Sons" "Forsaken" "The Ministry of Lost Souls" and tell me they sound anything like BTBAM. Tell me all they write is technical wankery. On topic: The BTBAM album is my favorite yet. I LOVE "Desert of Song" Its my favorite song they've written yet. It's like a Pink Floyd-influenced acoustic blues song. Incredible...
      TheSoupDragon
      *pop sensibilities, which they do brilliantly. Oh, and it's Dream Theater , and they sound nothing like BTBAM.
      TheSoupDragon
      Droid11 wrote: Jondy wrote: Droid11 wrote: Lion_Slicer wrote: Droid11 wrote: No, I hate that band all together. I can categorize that band, crap. Complicated music just for the sake of being complicated. Bands like that always have dumb names like that too, The Great Misdirect... LAME. I have a good name for there next album, "Moving forward in Reverse". Kinda sounds like a Dream Theatre song too, who are also lame too. ...what about Alaska and Colors? Those are pretty straightforward names... And actually, the music is complicated because that's what they want to do, it's fun to them, and that's how the songs develop. It seems to me like their songwriting process involves starting a song and then seeing what it evolves into, but I can see how you'd think that they're just wanking (I've had similar thoughts on Dream Theater). As a musician, I find Between the Buried and Me incredibly satisfying. It kind of upsets me when people close themselves off to music like this, but whatever. A lot of people just don't find it worth the effort to listen to them, even if in my opinion they just WON at music. Don't get me wrong Lion Slicer. I like complex music but I'm sick of music like this. Every freaking band is writing this kind of music now. Its seems they do it cause they wanna be the next band who everyone says, oooo wow thee real musicians. There SO original!!! I'm a drummer and I had to learn how to play guitar myself cause I can't hold a band down because everyone wants to be the next John Pertucci and write werid ass music. You can't hold a band down because everyone likes prog? Where do you live man? Because where I live I can't find anyone that listens to "complex" music. Maybe you just live in the one town in the universe where prog is more popular than pop. So you don't have any real criticism for the album then, and probably didn't listen to it, and probably didn't even consider the lyrics at all. You just have some kind of grudge against the band itself because your bandmates somehow drove you to be annoyed by prog. If you really think they just do complex music for the sake of doing complex music, you are RIGHT. Everyone that writes complex music does that one purpose. Some people like complex music. Just as some people like punk rock and purposely write simple music. But you can't make an argument that BTBAM sticks to this 100% of the time and is not capable of just writing good music regardless of complexity. Listen to Desert of Song for example. It's just a simple acoustic song. What's good about BTBAM is they merge prog with typical listenable melodic metal. They have the parts where it's off the wall rhythm and chromatic harmonies and whatnot, and then they'll have a 4 minute outro with an epic overused descending chord progression. Or they'll have what sounds like an overused progression but they'll throw in diminished chords in the middle of it and somehow make it flow just as naturally. The music they write is nothing short of amazing, and you haven't provided any criticism at all; but have only said "bands like this" annoy you. what bands like this? i know of no other band anything like this. the closest would be dream theater but they certainly don't sound anything alike at all. So your sayin BTBAM whipped out there calculator and said lets make music that is whack... If I write a riff that has an odd time signature its not because I did it on purpose, its just because that's the way the riff came out. THAT'S REAL MUSIC! I was reading a Meshuggah interview and they said they don't purposely write complex music, that's just the way it comes out. BTBAM do it just for the sake of doing (so it would seem)and it sounds like crap when you write that way. Lyrics??? I'm going to use the song Informal Gluttony from colors. You can't even understand what hes singing about so why do you care about lyrics so much. If you care about lyrics then listen to rap or whatever. At 1:52 in that song its just like mayhem blast beat over a crap riff, it doesn't work. And then the chorus is like totally random, clean singing, song slowed right down. Pure crap. WOW, you named one song they have that's not complex. I didn't say anything about them not being able to write a simple song. I'll tell you how dream theatre and BTBAM sound the same, everyone song is like over 5mins long and there all epic just like lots of other prog metal bands. Oh and BTW, BTBAM does not have flow.
      Yeah, because Meshuggah are all about the flow, and are not at all about being technical. Meshuggah are essentially 6 minutes of polyrhythmic sludge - and I like Meshuggah. To use them as an example in the argument against overly technical or robotic music is insane. Did you hear the intro to Fossil Genera? Did you hear the last 5 minutes of Disease, Injury Madness? Did you hear Viridian? Did you hear the middle section of Backwards Marathon? Selkies? BTBAM have groove, and like the guy you quoted says - they mix the complex prog-metal with pop sens