In 2002, North Carolina based progressive metal band Between the Buried and Me released their first self-titled album. Now here we are thirteen years later looking at their seventh studio release Coma Ecliptic, and I am pretty damn excited about this one. We’ve got a lot to talk about, so let’s just get right to it.
This album is dense, guys. Weighing in at an hour and eight minutes, the guys in BTBAM gave us a ton of music to listen to. Throughout the album, we’re given a taste of every dynamic high and low point you can ask for from this band. The album quickly goes from wildly intense to calm and morose in an instant, dancing from section to section as a good prog metal group should. You’ll hear soft, dreamlike Moog arpeggios topped with tame, soothing vocals that fervently rise and fall in “Node”, only to be broken with quirky piano lines that quickly becomes real heavy in “The Coma Machine”. Jazz sections coming straight out of an intense guitar/synthesizer interplay to an operatic vocal highlight in “Famine Wolf”. This is the kind of stuff I had hoped to hear upon pressing the play button, and this is exactly what I got.
There’s a good balance between the moments where the band gets heavy and stays true to the elements that make them a metal band and the moments where they focus on crafting strong, soaring melody lines. One of the coolest parts of this balance is when they just take the two and stack them right on top of each other. This isn’t something you hear in abundance, but these guys make a style out of it throughout this album, and it’s a really cool effect.
The interaction between the instruments is pretty damn fantastic. The guitars dance around each other with an intense gracefulness that you can only really get in a progressive setting. With tasteful work on the synthesizer, the ridiculously versatile vocals of Tommy Rogers, the ever independent, yet appropriate use of the bass, and the insane drum work, I find myself completely enamored by their instrumentation.
I don’t know what else to say, I’m kind of in love with this album. There’s such a large amount of diversity in their tasty riffs, harmonious guitar play, and overall tasteful pacing. Go out and listen to it, it’s coming out July 10th.
02. The Coma Machne
03. Dim Ignition
04. Famine Wolf
05. King Redeem – Queen Serene
06. Turn on the Darkness
07. The Ectopic Stroll
08. Rapid Calm
09. Memory Palace
10. Option Oblivion
11. Life in Velvet
Playing time: 01:08:32
Release Date: 10th of July, 2015
Label: Metal Blade Records