Between The Buried And Me – Coma Ecliptic


Album

Coma Ecliptic

Label

Metal Blade Records

Year

2015

For Fans Of

Tesseract, Periphery, Evan Brewer, and Animals As Leaders (but with actual vocals)

Summary

The love child of Rush and Periphery meets its distant cousin, Tesseract.

Rating

75 / 100

Being in a band is really just like being in your own business. You, as a writer and musician, just as being in a profession, offer a service (playing live music and making peoples ears orgasm to your wonderful tunes) and hopefully buyers (AKA listeners, or “suckers”) will come flocking for your product. For Between The Buried And Me, their product is progressive metal music that walks a thin line between baring the trademarks of metal with fusion elements of jazz, blues, and just whatever the band want at any given time. They’ve been doing this for the better half of 15 years, and, as a result, they have a more niched fan base than the followers of From Software’s cult Souls series (*froths at the mouth*)

BTBAM‘s seventh album, ‘Coma Ecliptic‘, is, yet again, their product; changing tempos and time signatures, progressive, jazzy-fusion rhythms, soaring melodies, guttural moments of sonic brutality and a flare for the unexpected and intriguing. That makes all of these 11 tracks thicker than a Liberal (interchangeable with Labor at this point) party member who prays at their home-made Clive Palmer shrine and watches Andrew Bolt religiously, as the level of attention required from the listener is immense. So much so that many will just pass it off as another ‘wankers who wear fedoras’ album.

Ah, those poor misguided sods.

This isn’t an album you’ll “get” right away, and that’s okay, because music like this takes a long while to sink in, and with a 70 minute long run time, there’s a lot to like here. Opener ‘Node’ is a dynamic first taste of the album, with singer/keyboardist Tommy Giles Rogers’ soft cleans accompanied by a solemn piano, before drum rolls and massive guitar leads, and once a plateaued climax hits, the band launches into ‘The Coma Machine’, a seven minute banger that catapults from tech-metal riffs, soaring melodies to soft piano/vocal sections, inducing head-banging sections, to moments when melody lines crossover like someone’s been fucking with the timeline in a cheesy sci-fi movie. Much like ‘Node’, closer ‘Life In Velvet’ plays out the same way; piano starts you off, vocals come in, and then the band comes in at once like a lightning bolt, and it adds some really nice closure to this solid record. ‘Coma Ecliptic‘ is punctuated with strong comparison and stark contrast, has consistent flow as well, and the shift in styles is really welcomed, and will be expected from the hardcore fans.

The progressive elements of the band are still intact; in fact, they have rarely ever left the group’s tight sound since their inception, but it’s all been delivered here in a digestible way, and as such, shouldn’t alienate casual listeners like that one weird kid in high-school who always talks to himself and eats sand. The soothing, laid back last few minutes of ‘Memory Palace’, the textured and soaring ending of ‘Life In Velvet’, the pulsating and incredibly rhythmic seven minute ripper that is ‘The Coma Machine’, or again, the slow-build and nuanced ‘Node‘ are fantastic. This mammoth record offers some truly awesome moments, you’ll just have to invest the hard yards to really find and appreciate them.

Plus, if you dig the story of a man stuck in a coma going through his past life in a weird Twilight Zone sort of way, then this will scratch your conceptual itch.

Conclusion

Between The Buried And Me are one of those bands that prove that metal music isn’t the clichéd genre so many “outsiders” claim it to be. ‘Coma Ecliptic’ is one of those progressive albums that makes you feel like you can’t play your instrument, yet that’s a good thing, as one can really marvel at the time and effort put into this release; from both a song-writing perspective and a musically technical one. That being said, this isn’t for everyone, so if you consider yourself a progressive metal aficionado then this isn’t up your alley, it’s up your whole fucking town, son.

Tracklisting

1. Node

2. The Coma Machine

3. Dim Ignition

4. Famine Wolf

5. King Redeem – Queen Serene

6. Turn On The Darkness

7. The Ectopic Stroll

8. Rapid Calm

9. Memory Palace

10. Option Oblivion

11. Life In Velvet

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