Sound — 10
I will admit, I was a very latecomer to BTBAM. When "Colors" was released, I was not one of the people cheering and saluting and praising it as the greatest metal album of all time. In fact, after listening to it for the first time, I was a vehement protester to it's greatness. I thought it was bland, uninspired, technical for the sake of being technical and just not worth the hype. Then something happened. I'm not sure what, but after listening to the album more, and more, it grew. My dislike of the album faded until I was joining the masses, praising it's greatness. Because it is. It's a brilliant, masterpiece of an album. I could go on, but it's nothing you wouldn't have read before. So, moving on. BTBAM have always been a band that refuses to stick to genres. Their earliest work, while labelled as metalcore, resembles more progressive death metal than anything else and as the band went on, the influences grew. From the power metal synths and riffing on "The Primer" off of "Alaska", to the brutal, technical death metal riffing of "Autodidact" off the same album. The band just absorbs influences and reworks them into their own style. A true progressive band if there ever was. Never was this more apparent than on "Colors". The band weaves and swirls through Dream Theater-esque technical "wankery" through to Beatles-esque piano interludes and even, I kid you not, a country "hick" breakdown. It's remarkable how well BTBAM meld it all together. The entire album flows as one giant song and from the classic heavy metal influenced riffing on "Ants Of The Sky" to the sweep-picked intro of "Prequel to the Sequel" to the jazzy bass solo of "Viridian", it all flows perfectly. Not once does the album feel jarring or too stop-start. A personal favourite section being the slow, melencholy interlude in "Ants of the Sky" where singer Tommy Rogers croons softly over a wall of dissonant chords that just "bleed" emotion. It sounds wanky, but the album really spoke to me.
Lyrics — 9
Tommy Rogers is a fantastic vocalist. End of story. No matter how you look at it, he is technically a gifted vocalist. Amazing range, from low gutteral growls to a black metal-esque shriek, combined with his amazing clean range, make for one hell of a singer. The lyrics on the album are quite interesting, as they almost read/sound like the ramblings of a mental patient, or a dying man's last words, especially on the first few songs. They're so intricate and twisting, it's hard to know where to begin really. Lines like "It's a must these days, for the colors are fading, enclosed in a space of soothing sounds. Waking in my own movie..." make me think of a man staring out at the landscape as it changes and morphs from his home to his tomb. And the opening lines from "Ants of the Sky", "My teeth taste funny today... they seem more jagged than normal, I've been told that I have been grinding them like gears during my dream hours..." come across as the confusion, the errant fear of what's happening around. All in all, the lyrics are unlike most, but then again, BTBAM have always been about being "unlike most".
Overall Impression — 9
Colors is by far and away, my favourite of BTBAM's albums. They seem to have finally hit that peak they've worked towards on the last few albums. The culmination of all their previous work and influences. Their "Led Zeppelin IV" if I may. The band have reached into their instruments and pulled out a brilliant album. To be fair, I blame this album for my loss of track of time when doing odd jobs around the house, as I'll leave it on repeat and then find I've lost 4 hours. Again, to be fair, the album has it's moments that seem, a tad forced. Sections in "Informal Gluttony" seem, well yes, forced. Like they don't really belong, but they serve their purpose in the end. Summing up, BTBAM have really pulled out all the stops on this record. Creating a whirlwind of creative energy that just surges forth into this masterpiece of an album. To be brutally honest, I still don't feel it deserves "best album of 2007", but it's damn close to it.