Thursday, October 4, 2012

Guest review of "The Parallax II: Future Sequence" by Between the Buried and Me written by Rob Penna, guitarist of The Dawn Chose Orion

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I'm Rob Penna, guitarist for Denver, Colorado based progressive metal band The Dawn Chose Orion. Check out our new track "This Destination Unknown" at You can also buy our EP, Resistance, by clicking here.

Buy this album

1. Goodbye to Everything
2. Astral Body
3. Lay Your Ghosts to Rest
4. Autumn
5. Extremophile Elite
6. Parallax
7. The Black Box
8. Telos
9. Bloom
10. Melting City
11. Silent Flight Parliament
12. Goodbye to Everything Reprise

Fans, this is the album we’ve been waiting for. We’ve followed this band from their larval metalcore roots through their vibrant evolution into one of the most diverse progressive metal acts today. Dabbling and shifting seamlessly through every genre imaginable. Their newest release The Paralax II: Future Sequence is definitely one Between the Buried and Me’s best albums and a must hear for modern prog metal fans.

For those looking for a stylistic sequel to The Paralax: Hypersleep Dialogues, you might be slightly disappointed as this new album follows it in name and story alone. The Paralax II borrows its essence and structure from 2007’s 64 minute epic, Colors. Adding particles from many past releases this album is a supreme example of the Between the Buried and Me canon.

As in Colors, this album starts off with much the same with an acoustic introduction to our vast journey. We quickly ramp up to full speed with the album’s second single Astral Body. Queen inspired harmonies float over checker boarded start-stop riffs to fill the spaces between monumental melodic movements, Zappa style experiments and lightning fast drums before coming to an atypical but satisfying conclusion.

For a band known from filling albums with 12 minute+ songs, the tracking for Paralax II is unique. With 6 of its 12 songs being under 4 minutes in length, It hardly feels short as the songs flow, one into the next much the way previous albums have.  In fact, this album clocks in at an impressive 72 and a half minutes of brilliance. BTBAM continues to excite, drifting through several cattycornered genres within a single song, including an excellent dive into 1960’s surf towards the end of the album.

Musicianship has always been a strong suit in this band and this release is no exception. They continue to grow and develop with each release. Paul and Dusty’s guitars soar with complexity and beauty simultaneously together with the intricate backing of Dan’s Bass versatile bass lines. Blake’s drum phrasing is superb as usual and adds space and urgency to many tracks. Vocals rise and impresses unexpectedly with this album. As before, this is a musician’s band and while the vocals have never dragged, they weren’t always a huge draw to the listeners. For The Paralax II, vocalist Tommy Rogers steps up his game duel layering most vocal lines and breaking out of his comfort zone in both clean and harsh vocals. His keys are also much improved sounding much more like an integral part of the band than before.

Aside from the minute and eighteen second “Autumn”, I would say don’t miss a track on this release. The longer tracks still stream into one-another and never drag. I encourage listeners to set aside the time to listen to the album in its entirety. It’s just too good to split up. Several playthroughs are also essential to appreciating this album fully as the complex layering leads to new discoveries on every play.

This release combines driving off time rhythms, brilliant melodies brutal beats combine into one of the best albums coming out in 2012. Look for its release on October 9th on Metal Blade records.

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