Sound — 10
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.
Lyrics — 9
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.
Overall Impression — 10
A six song masterpiece created by masters of their craft. Definatly their most inspired album. Track List: 01. Mirrors 02. Obfuscation 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.