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Between the Buried and Me - The Great Misdirect

Highly skilled technical chops? Check. The ability to traverse many genres? Check. Progressive imagery in the album artwork and album title? Check. Yes, BETWEEN THE BURIED AND ME are a fully fledged progressive metal band with plenty of musicality about them. The band have grown considerably from their early days when they proudly yet blatantly wore their influences on their sleeves. “Mirrors” opens up The Great Misdirect with delicate guitars and vocals and eventually gives way to the heavy “Obfuscation.” The latter is where the band start to showcase their well-known musical chops via an array of intricate riffs. “Disease, Injury, Madness” is a grab bag of blasting death metal, progressive death metal (i.e. DEATH, CYNIC), and upbeat progressive rock mixed in with light interludes. “Feed Genera – A Feed From Cloud Mountain” takes on playful and almost cabaret/vaudeville, happy sound before whirling into intense metal and then morphing into a light acoustic guitar driven song. “Desert of Song” continues the acoustic guitar stylings with clean vocals where the former track left off. Suprisingly enough, the song does not undergo genre hopping and stays more uniform throughout. The 17:54 closer, “Swim to the Moon,” is the band’s way of ending The Great Misdirect on an as epic scale as they can deliver. At the end of the day, quality songwriting is all that really matters. Unfortunately, BETWEEN THE BURIED AND ME have yet to have their songwriting abilities catch up to their technical chops as instrumentalists. Their musical vocabulary is quite large and impressive, and they incorporate a wide spectrum of dynamics into The Great Misdirect. However, the album mostly conveys a cut-and-paste feel to the songwriting and the genre hopping during songs is often inexplicable or just awkward. Whatever their rhyme and reason, there’s no denying that BETWEEN THE BURIED AND ME are continuing to do what is making their fans rabid. (Victory Records)