Friday, January 18, 2013

Album Review: The Parallax II: Future Sequence by Between the Buried and Me




The Parallax II: Future Sequence is Between the Buried and Me's sixth released full length album. Released on October 9th, 2012, The Parallax II: Future Sequence is the follow up concept album to the EP The Parallax: Hypersleep Dialogues.

Yes, these are both concept albums and guitarist Paul Waggoner has the concept explanation.
 
      The Parallax: Hypersleep Dialogues” will introduce two human characters who live in different planes of existence, separated by millions of light years. We find that each is confronted with similar personal issues that they need to reckon with. Both characters make decisions that will change their lives, and perhaps the course of the universe, forever.
Musically, it sounds like Between The Buried And Me. The record has elements of aggression, beauty, quirkiness, and pure cacophony. For “Part 1″, we establish several themes which I’m sure will be revisited in the lengthier “Part 2″, which is something we really look forward to. We love to expand on simple ideas and see where they take us.” (Paul Waggoner, BTBAM)
The whole concept idea has really been popularized by Coheed and Cambria and their front man/lead guitarist Claudio Sanchez. Sanchez and Coheed and Cambria even take their story to a graphic novel level where their fans can read and visualize the story in The Armory Wars
Back to the topic at hand though. The Parallax II: Future Sequence and it's predecessor The Parallax: Hypersleep Dialogues, are unlike any BTBAM album before them. They still have the heavy chunking riffs and deadly screams of earlier albums such as BTBAM's beloved Alaska, but also newly featured spacey jazz fusion and melodic vocals can be found. The album gives more of a harmonic progression mixed with masterful metal breakdowns to create the beautiful universe that is The Parallax II: Future Sequence
Personally this is my favorite BTBAM album to date. I really enjoyed Alaska and The Great Misdirect, but Parallax: Hypersleep Dialogues and that leading to The Parallax II: Future Sequence are just a whole new level not only musically for BTBAM but in maturity too. One of my favorite things on this album is that they let bassist Dan Briggs go to town on this album. In Lay Your Ghost To Rest, at about 6:30 he just lays down one of the smoothest bass riffs I've heard on a metal album. What metal band has a marimba solo in the middle of a song? I'll answer that for you, BTBAM. Extremophile Elite features a marimba solo that is honestly amazing for a metal band. I personally would give this album a 9.5. The only reason it doesn't get a 10 is because not everyone will pick this album and enjoy it simply due to the screaming and it's metal nature. Overall I solute BTBAM on a job well done, and look forward to their future albums.

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