Sound — 9
Between the Buried and Me are one of the most versatile acts around at the moment, and 'Colors' showcases their level of technical skill, musicianship and the variety of genres and styles they manage to incorporate successfully into their music. 'Colors' demonstrates the spectrum (no pun intended, honest) of music that BTBAM strive to present - from Foam Born to White Walls, beginning to end, the album treats listeners to the mind bending rhythmic poundings of 'The Decade of Statues', the eerie, then claustrophobic 'Informal Gluttony', the dark and brooding 'Sun of Nothing' and so much more. The band's ability to switch between heaviness you may expect from a death metal group, to quieter melodic passages, with rarely a noticeable jarring of two is incredible; never is the listener jolted by the change, with perhaps the exception of a country break-down in 'Ants of the Sky' This exposes the band's sense of humour, along with their none-too-serious (I don't -think-) declaration of Colors as 'adult contemporary progressive death metal', and 'new wave polka grunge'. The manic style in which it is played in, however, also lays undertones somewhat darker, along with lyrics which in my interpretation are representative of insanity and a loss of identity.
Lyrics — 7
As incredible musicians, I find that BTBAM are let down by their vocals. I think that the vocalist has a brilliant voice, but only when singing cleanly: When he is screaming, he is often lost in the mix, overpowered by the guitars. Personally, I find this quite irritating, as I like to be able to hear lyrics, but, on the other hand, the quality of Roger's screaming is below par. The lyrics themselves do not fall down, however. Edgy, thought-provoking, and sharp as a tack. Not always coherent, never straightforward, the lyrics are challenging, but brilliant.
Overall Impression — 9
'Colors' is breathtaking. Without trying to sound pretentious, it really is a musical landscape. Incredibly emotive pieces, performed by incredible musicians. For a guitarist, Waggoner and Waring are inspirations; two extremely talented players, who are very clean and precise in their playing, and use a range of styles from jazz to progressive and death metal without this sounding forced. 'Colors' presents difficult listening at times. Not in the sense that you have to force yourself to listen to it, it's far too compelling for that to be the case, but some parts seem very sinister. Compared to their last non-covers release, 'Alaska', BTBAM have taken huge steps forward, something I didn't think was possible, when considering Alaska as an album. But, I did feel there were a couple of filler tracks on Alaska, whereas here, every single note is full of meaning. The level of technicality attained is tremendous, best experienced in the final track 'White Walls', where you will be blown away. If I had to make one recommendation about this album, it would be to listen to it all in one sitting; the flow, and recurring motifs make themselves evident, and I'm pretty sure this was how it was supposed to be enjoyed. Here's three words to sum up the album. Beautiful. Aggressive. Stunning.