Sound — 9
This band has set it's progressive footprint in the world of hardcore-based death metal. This North Carolina Quartet has already made a name for itself with the 2005 release of Alaska, which was a dense furious mess of metal brilliance. Now fast forward to present, we come to BTBAM's new release; Colors. Colors is not your ordinary progressive death metal record. This 63 minute leviathan, is a world of morphing meters, growls, breakdowns, whirling synths and seemingly endless shredding. The album opens up with the fairly mellow 'Foam Born (a): The Backtrack', it features vocalist/keyboardist Tommy Rogers crooning alogside a sombre piano, midway during the song the rest of the band kicks and plays like a modern version of Queen. Suddenly the bottom falls out and the band blasts beats and growls into infinity. This album is actually one continuous piece, and features the most variety found in metal album. As for the music in general, everything is skillfully performed; from a tiny bass-fill or brutal blast-beats. The rhythm section which comprises of Drummer Blake Richardson and Bassist Dan Briggs is exceptional, they serve as solid backing for guitarists Dustie Waring and Paul 'Holy-crap! ' Waggoner. All the musicians are versatile and stretch the album to it's limits, yes, this album manages to fit in a redneck-induced hoedown. The genres featured on the album are quite extensive but may irritate the light listener as one may not be in the mood for Italian-Fisharmonica while listening to a considerably heavy band, but most people seem to get over that and embrace those factors. True, some of the transitions are unexpected and down-right random; this will truly challenge the listnener at the beginning. Richardson's drums stand out on every track with the exception of 'Viridian', nonetheless this is no big loss as the fantastic bass solo by Briggs is astonishing. Waggoner and Waring have completely outdone themselves and proved themsleves a formidable duo in rock-guitar, with chunky riffs and some beautiful leadwork. Though the album is not truly abundant with solos, the 14 minute closing track 'White Walls' has a solo which will most likely make your jaw fall through the centre of the earth. Other stand out songs include 'Ants of the sky' and 'Sun of Nothing', which both clock over ten minutes. Beside the shiny fretwork and skin-bashing, the album does start to get repetetive at points (you can only listen to 'chug-chug-chugga' so many times). The breakdowns are considerably drone-like at points, and only seem to be there to fill in time.
Lyrics — 9
Rogers growls are as menacing and consistent as ever, and his clean vocals are still astounding. The lyrics are complicated and hard to understand but mostly stand as protest pieces against modern society and globalisation while more pesonal issues are tackled in 'White-walls.'
Overall Impression — 10
This album, even objectively speaking is a major milestone in music. It proposes a radical concept and adresses it with grace and skill, something that has barely been achieved by most artists with the exception of bands like Opeth and Genghis Tron. Colors is truly exceptional, and will be remembered for a long, long time.