The Parallax: Hypersleep Dialogues review by Between the Buried and Me

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  • Released: Apr 12, 2011
  • Sound: 8
  • Lyrics: 7
  • Overall Impression: 9
  • Reviewer's score: 8 Superb
  • Users' score: 9 (102 votes)
Between the Buried and Me: The Parallax: Hypersleep Dialogues
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Sound — 8
The music of Between the Buried and Me is always a hot subject; many haters, many obsessive lovers, and many who care more about confining them into a specific genre than accept their outstanding versatility. With Hypersleep Dialogues, they still manage to keep it fresh with unforeseen motifs and structures that make non-progmetal enthusiasts scratch their heads. With only 3 tracks included on this extended play, they continue to drift away from the Alaska-y song lengths; the shortest song on the EP is a staggering 8 minutes, with the longest clocking in at a little over 11 minutes. The first track starts off with some haunting piano banging, followed by sounds you expect to hear from an 80's sci-fi film. In traditional BTBAM fashion, the track kicks into headcrushing riffs, with Tommy Giles' gutteral vocals soaring over the melodies. Slowly, almost lazily, smiles form over the faces of The Great Misdirect haters. Yes, this album contains elements from BTBAM's older work. That said, the maturity heard in The Great Misdirect still remains. As the song drifts to a close, the second, and heaviest, track of the album begins. Augment of Rebirth is damn good. DAMN good. Despite it's 10 minute song length, it never fails to entertain. The song starts off with brilliant guitar work from Paul Waggoner, pulling off his trademark janitorial duties. The entire first half of the album is very in-your-face, with Silent Circus style riffs found all over the place. The song also features slow, crushing, Gojira-like riffs that they haven't been able to pull off since Alaska (although they were close with Fossil Genera). Around 6 minutes in, the song takes a drastic turn. Yes, that is an accordion you hear, and depending on who you ask, it's either their most genius moment ever, or the most ridiculous thing ever to enter your ear canal. I personally think they pull if off, giving off a really-F'd-up-circus vibe. With a haunting finish, it slides into the final track of the album. Lunar Wilderness with one giant, whompin' Cynic tribute. From the soothing intro chords, to the fast and proggy alternate picking, to the fretless bass melodies, Lunar Wilderness seems to remind us that BTBAM isn't going anywhere, and they can pretty much do anything and make it sound good. Around 2 minutes in, one of Paul's most impressive solos kicks in. It's no Selkies, but his interesting phrasing and drastically improved legato is definitely something to remember. The middle of the song contains obvious Dream Theater wankery with some keyboard playing, adventurous shredding, and a slow, ballad like close.

Lyrics — 7
I'm the worst at deciphering lyrics, and I do not have the booklet on me, so I'll focus on the vocals. When I first heard Between the Buried and Me, one of the biggest turn offs was Thomas Gile's vocals. I don't know what it was, but I found them boring, and... well, fake. And let me tell you this; if you do you like his vocals, then you will not like this vocals on this album. There, I said it. But I personally find his vocals awesome. Why? Well it required a lot of research. I started watching BTBAM live videos, and saw that Tommy has a much wider range when on stage. I immediately preferred their live performances to their studio albums because of this. It also assured me that Tommy was a bonafide badass live, and I was finally hit with the realization that his vocals were actually pretty brilliant. The fact of the matter is, he is the voice of BTBAM and cannot be replaced. I can't imagine any other vocalist for the job and I don't want to. That said, nothing drastic has changed on this album. While his screams sound a bit fuller and exhibit a slightly larger range, it's his clean vocals that stand out the most. The production is downright fantastic - David Bottrill should be proud. While nothing is mindblowing, the change IS apparent if you listen closely.

Overall Impression — 9
Hypersleep Dialogues is the epitome of what makes Between the Buried and Me great. They basically took all of the fantastic elements that made them who they are, and added a layer of maturity that one can only posses after years of playing together. That said, I believe that this is only the beginning. Words cannot express how excited I am for them, and cannot wait for the future they have before them. I recall the times when I found Colors to be their peak, and that it can only go downhill from there. Now, seeing them reach up to their full potential, I think they have YET to peak. This EP is definitely one of my favorites of the year so far. I also apologize if this review seems a little out of place. In all honesty, I'm listening to it for the 10th time while I write this, and it's just as impressive as the first listen. And if that isn't enough to convince you to buy it, I don't know what is. Between the Buried and Me... Y U SO GOOD?

163 comments sorted by best / new / date

    nuoIV
    **** me in the goat ass Lunar Wilderness is one of the best damn songs known to man.
    Dolakkk
    I have been listening to Between The Buried and Me since their self titled album, when they had such bad production, they sounded like garbage. Maybe I'm biased then, but you haters blew my mind. Ripping off famous riffs? Not progressive? Everything sounds the same? I don't even know what to say. Not to mention their bassist is a musical genius, or that their drummer is a monster, or that their vocalist actually has RANGE! Not just a high, low, high high low, like Suicide Silence or all those other bullshit bands. And please, someone tell me that Paul and Dustie have no talent in guitar. The best, most technically challenging, difficult timing riffs I know are from these guys. They are in a genre all of their own and are completely untouchable for what they have done. Name one ****ing band that can do a crushing/sweeping/tech riff like the intro to the song "Alaska", and then do a hillbilly breakdown like the one in the end of "Ants of the Sky". All they have done is progress in sound, talent, and technique, only pushing things farther with lyrical concepts, musical structure, and timing. Most people can't even play their shit because its so ****ing intricate. Yes, their last three albums sound roughly the same, but where did you expect them to go after Colors? How does one top, perfection? So what that their songs are long as ****, I bet shitty bands like Suicide Silence and Asking Alexandria (garbage) wish they had enough TALENT to make songs that could go that long and not get boring. Progressive = Not doing the ****ing bullshit every other metal band is doing, doing crazy shit but making it sound good. Thats BTBAM. You're just mad that they have more talent in their toe nail clippings than you could ever dream of having. Listen to Colors all the way through, and tell me you're insides didn't drop out of your ass afterwards. Thank you.
    RDSElite
    BenRaah wrote: I like it, but I wish there was a section like the laid back bit in DIM. There's nowhere on this EP for the music to breathe, and I think it suffers as a result of that.
    This is actually what I've always thought about BTBAM, they drag it on for too long. I love Colors, but the other albums I could never get into, and it's probably because it's too much of an onslaught of noise for me. Still I won't deny their talent or anything, it's just not all for me.
    ProgJazzMath
    Prisoner5 wrote: Can't wait to get this record. Fuck going to psych, off to the record store. And I can see what people mean by them not being "progressive". Their stuff is more like a constantly moving platform that never quite returns to a riff (yes there are exceptions, let us not nitpick. Certain short melodic themes come back, but the same riff is practically never heard twice). It is more as if they composed a shit-ton of riffs and threw them together with filthy (in a good way) transitions, instead of taking the time signatures and making them their own. With stuff like Tool and King Crimson and Mars Volta, the changing tempos, time signatures, keys, and modes are all integrated into the piece, whereas there is no integration, just a loose conglomeration of riffs that fit together (I felt like I needed more parentheses since I already used them a buttload, so here is parenthetical statement #3, with no significance).
    And that is what makes them progressive :] They think outside of the box and do it totallly unorthodox making it something wildly unique. In my opinion, that for one is a showcase of prog.
    X DogBert X
    You clearly have no idea what tool actually means. I give multiple very valid reasons to withstand my opinion and all you can come up with is "if you dont like the music, dont comment!!" Have you ever heard of criticism or are you so embedded in your insecurities that you cannot bear people not liking what you like ?
    that's not criticism, you're just blatantly calling people tools for not liking the same music as you. what VALID reasons are you talking about? you just keeping saying how much you hate the band and that their fans are tools. grow the **** up, what are you 12?
    Octavarium85
    illuminatiano wrote: album blows, complete Tool rip-off in the first song
    A rip-off of Tool? These bands sound nothing alike. The only thing they have in common is their producer.
    iktpq666
    surely this effort would have to elevate blake richardson into the "greatest drummers in the world" category...
    EpiExplorer
    larrytheguitar wrote: I'd like to apologize for the utter... wrongness of my review; I wish I could go over it. That's what happens when you write a review on the day you listened to it. Didn't let it settle in long.
    Yes, why is there an internet meme in there.. wait I shouldn't complain about that, I do it too. Reviews aside, I dont see the big deal with this band. They can write some good stuff but bands have done it before, done it better or are doing it better. I wouldn't say its 'too' progressive but they really do drag you along with the songs. I found myself forcing my will to keep listening but in the end this EP just got progressively more dull as I listened.
    ProgJazzMath
    progbass wrote: why would a long boring piece of noise impress me? I've heard better things from two nazis on acid with a synthesizer.
    cool story bro
    Arch1119
    I think the album is great. It's got the feel of colors, but the brutality of Alaska and the Silent Circus. On top of that it has the technicality of The Great Misdirect. I can't wait to go see them in concert again.
    $hab
    I think napsterfire and The Wild Child have been hanging around this comment section for too long...Who, in their right mind, spends all their time trying to convince people that the band they like is shit? What's your problem?? At least BTBAM are a bunch of normal guys just trying to push boundaries in their genre, and not focusing half their efforts on promoting a gay-ass gothic image like Opeth.
    ProgJazzMath
    napsterfire wrote: And yeah, BTBAM are good, but this seems like a "Hey we just got signed to metalblade so lets put out an ep to show everyone our new label."
    Who says shit like this? You are the whiniest guy I have ever had the opportunity to speak to on a thread. They put out an album, yes. They just signed to metalblade as well, yes. How exactly is putting out an album on their new record label them trying to show off?
    Dolakkk
    I'm not trying to be a troll like Napsterfire, and all the other haters, but let me rectify what I said. I never said, they did it better than Dime bag. Obviously, because he ****ing wrote Cemetary Gates, Dumbass. I said that Dime would've ****ing cried if he heard the life they brought to that song. Listen to his poorly yet astonishing solo on Cemetary Gates, and then listen how BTBAM cleaned it up and played it. Can you honestly say Dime would've been disappointed in his cover? Whip my ass man, but I'm standing by what I say. They know what they are doing, and referring to what ProgJazzMath said, seriously? Lets show off by putting out an EP on our new label. Dumbass. Thats what they are supposed to do! You don't go to a new label and wait two ****ing years to release something. Obviously, that kid is ****ing brain dead. I pray for you my son. Listen to Lunar Wilderness and maybe it'll show you the path to enlightenment.
    Dolakkk
    Not to mention, their EP, is as long as normal bands full length albums. But you're right. Thats not talent or progressive. That's unorginality. Hahaha. I had more faith in human intelligence, but Napsterfire ruined it for everyone. Congrats!!
    progbass
    bravo. You found me out. I like to listen to BTBAM ironically. I wish they recorded on a 4 track though, the polished music doesn't give off a vintage vibe. Can I at least join you guys and circle jerk mediocrity such as BTBAM?
    progbass
    so wait, because I know the technical aspect of their performance is just a novelty, and once you look past the 'shiny' aesthetics of the piece, its clear that there is no relevancy between the riffs. Rather, everything is set up in a carnival gimmick fashion, seeming to cater to listeners with ADD. Whats worse is how you guys like to get on a high horse about it all since its flashy material. and I reiterate, progressive is a concept, not a sound. Nothing Boy To Boy Ass Munchers does is progressive by any means.
    ProgJazzMath
    progbass wrote: so wait, because I know the technical aspect of their performance is just a novelty, and once you look past the 'shiny' aesthetics of the piece, its clear that there is no relevancy between the riffs. Rather, everything is set up in a carnival gimmick fashion, seeming to cater to listeners with ADD. Whats worse is how you guys like to get on a high horse about it all since its flashy material. and I reiterate, progressive is a concept, not a sound. Nothing Boy To Boy Ass Munchers does is progressive by any means.
    Haha, dude from the things you say, previous comments and that pedo mustache i can tell you are just another pretentious hipster *****. Can I offer you a PBR and a coupon to the nearest thrift shop? I've seen your posts on other articles and threads, all you do is troll. I'll give you this much; you are quite the accomplished one.
    korbhag
    Seriously let's just call BTBAM' music post-prog. In that category, I'd also put Protest the Hero, some of Opeth stuff, some Porcupine Tree, etc. Every band that doesn't follow the intro/verse/chorus/verse/chorus/solo/chorus/outro.
    DrYCeLL
    Meh. I like these guys. I don't like the way too "we love you BTBAM, make love to us BTBAM" review. They aren't the greatest band to grace music, Hell, they bored me live, but their skill as musicians is unquestionable. Are there only absolutes when it comes to these guys? I don't love or hate them, but I'm sure the rabid will say that because I am not drooling over an EP that I am most certainly a hater. Meh, I liked the First 2 songs, the last one, it was ok. I'll give it a few listens to see if it grows on me.
    Disturbdkornkid
    Lion_Slicer wrote: Disturbdkornkid wrote: Don't get me wrong, I love death metal, but every time they break into a heavy part it causes me to get bored and wander off . I'm not seeing the problem.
    Fixed
    ctfod
    progbass wrote: why would a long boring piece of noise impress me? I've heard better things from two nazis on acid with a synthesizer.
    There was someone else playing on Daudi Baldrs?
    Horizons18
    napsterfire wrote: Never compare this band with anything that Joseph Heller is involved with again. And yeah, BTBAM are good, but this seems like a "Hey we just got signed to metalblade so lets put out an ep to show everyone our new label." At least you didn't say they played cemetery gates better than dimebag. That guy needs his ass whipped.
    BTBAM don't own any of their other albums anymore, Victory takes the rights to anything anyone records with them. So this is the first piece of music they've recorded that they will own the rights to. and probably the first release they can fit into a festival show if they're not so high up
    BenRaah
    The Wildchild wrote: Oh god, someone compared BTBAM to The Mars Volta? Kiddies today, easily wowed by inept songwriters (who obviously aren't TMV)
    You totally missed the point, and managed to be a patronising **** in the process. Congrats.
    Redfinton22
    Horizons18 wrote: Hellzchamber wrote: I liked Swim to the Moon, all the solos they threw in at the last 5 minutes, but the problem was, they seemed to recycle the same riff for most of the song. That was the thing that was good to me. They took the riff at it's most basic form and gradually built upon it throughout the song, adding more to it and building it to a much bigger form of itself. They 'progressed' it, for lack of a better word.
    So...which of the four hundred riffs in the first three minutes of Swim to the Moon are you talking about? lol
    Lion_Slicer
    The Wildchild wrote: I swear, metal kiddies today do not like coherence
    It's there, it's just not spoon-fed to you. Though I'm not going to judge people who prefer music that is predictable and unchallenging.
    gquady09
    I stand by my previous comment. According to UG, BTBAM is the greatest band in the history of music.
    Hellzchamber
    Why does everyone hate on The Great Misdirect? Have yall not heard Swim to the Moon?
    I liked Swim to the Moon, all the solos they threw in at the last 5 minutes, but the problem was, they seemed to recycle the same riff for most of the song.
    Majigitajog
    Everybody just chill out and listen to Hypno5e. To the best of my knowledge on the genre I though BTBAM were one of the only bands nowadays truly flying the flag..
    napsterfire
    The Wildchild wrote: I swear, metal kiddies today do not like coherence
    F'ng AWESOME.
    The Wildchild
    Lion_Slicer wrote: It's there, it's just not spoon-fed to you. Though I'm not going to judge people who prefer music that is predictable and unchallenging.
    It really isn't there. Absolutely no relation between the sections whatsoever. What do the "death metal" parts in Selkies do? Nothing, that's what.
    napsterfire
    Never compare this band with anything that Joseph Heller is involved with again. And yeah, BTBAM are good, but this seems like a "Hey we just got signed to metalblade so lets put out an ep to show everyone our new label." At least you didn't say they played cemetery gates better than dimebag. That guy needs his ass whipped.
    napsterfire
    People don't like BTBAM. Get over that. Why does music have to be challenging to be enjoyable? So decapitated, Opeth, Neurosis, Tool are all bands that have established their own sound and they own it. They are not predictable nor unchallenging. Don't confuse your short attention span for relevance and coherence.
    The Wildchild
    Oh god, someone compared BTBAM to The Mars Volta? Kiddies today, easily wowed by inept songwriters (who obviously aren't TMV)
    Horizons18
    Hellzchamber wrote: I liked Swim to the Moon, all the solos they threw in at the last 5 minutes, but the problem was, they seemed to recycle the same riff for most of the song.
    That was the thing that was good to me. They took the riff at it's most basic form and gradually built upon it throughout the song, adding more to it and building it to a much bigger form of itself. They 'progressed' it, for lack of a better word.
    EpiExplorer
    The Wildchild wrote: Lion_Slicer wrote: It's there, it's just not spoon-fed to you. Though I'm not going to judge people who prefer music that is predictable and unchallenging. It really isn't there. Absolutely no relation between the sections whatsoever. What do the "death metal" parts in Selkies do? Nothing, that's what.
    Just gonna point out the whole irony of that little section of posts. Also, on further listening, its still overrated. Maybe its because I'm listening to Shinings 'Blackjazz' (Norways Shining, not Swedens Shining) and everything else seems fairly rubbish now... 21ST CENTURY, SCHIZOID MAAAAAN. Awesome cover..
    The Wildchild
    Congrats for not being a dull-minded BTBAM fan? Thanks! In no circumstance should BTBAM be compared to The Mars Volta.
    Lion_Slicer
    napsterfire wrote: People don't like BTBAM. Get over that. Why does music have to be challenging to be enjoyable? So decapitated, Opeth, Neurosis, Tool are all bands that have established their own sound and they own it. They are not predictable nor unchallenging. Don't confuse your short attention span for relevance and coherence.
    I don't mind all that much, it's just that a few of you guys seem personally insulted by their popularity and I don't get that. I said I don't judge, so it doesn't HAVE to be challenging (which I meant from a listening perspective, not just technicality) I just usually prefer it that way. Subjectivity. Lots of my favorite bands aren't though. Coherence--their style strikes me as a musical version of the novel Catch-22, confusing and scrambled but not necessarily disorganized. They don't repeat riffs so much as reference and contort them several minutes later, actually requiring a LONG, detail-oriented attention span. Relevance--BTBAM is always relevant. Though I love every band you named. Maybe we'll be on the same side come Opeth's next album.
    Horizons18
    Personally i'm looking forward to the album more, as it feels like they tried to cram everything they're about into half an hour. There's not that many instrumental parts to break up the vocal sections, which are all over very busy musical sections. Most of the guitar work doesn't seem to stand out much either as it's primarily palm muted and played too fast to be audible. It kind of annoyed me as it felt like I was being pushed into the next riff or the next dissonant part without getting time to reflect or get used to it. I'm a reasonably big fan of BTBAM but this felt like a disjointed mess at times.
    mark3777
    man, people love to hate on this band. If you don't like just get out. No one cares what you think. Also, My hair is a bird. Your argument is invalid.
    shelovemyguitar
    illuminatiano wrote: No need to call people tools just because they happen to like something that you don't, though. Oh yes there is a need, this EP is horrendous and the worst thing they've ever done, parts that would have been enjoyable by themselves were completely overshadowed by the shitstorm of awful music and hilariously awful quirky patton rippoffs
    I must say I agree with you all the way. I was very disappointed. Every album before TGM was great. I liked TGM, but not more. This ep is just way to dissonant and shit. Why BTBAM? Why would you change your roots? They are doing way too much and I think the drums are too blame. Blake's a god but he's doing way too much. On the other hand, I dont like all these distorted arpeggios. They also changed their usual scales (since TGM) to less melodic ones. I used to feel their music. Now theres just nothing. A bunch of riffs and beats thrown one over another, without any logic. It's very sad. Thats just my opinion dont start blasting me I love this band and respect others opinion, but they have changed...
    valentine7
    between the buried and me was an awesome album! only being 3 songs but each about 10 minutes long, it fills the void to equal about 10! the epic begining of specular reflections got to me, it sucked me in and i didnt wanna come out. this album is an insperation to keep on going!