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Between the Buried and Me - Colors II ALBUM REVIEW


Written Before Listen


Between The Buried and Me is a North Carolina metal band that grew massive prominence in the 2000s. On New Year’s Eve, I decided to listen to a ton that I’ve wanted to get into but never did. Due to Mastodon and Electric Wizard being in my heavy rotation around that time, I wanted to listen to some metal with very fuzzy guitars and screaming vocals. That day I introduced myself to Meshuggah, Portal, Necrophobic, and of course…Between The Buried and Me. Out of those bands, the only one I go back to often is Meshuggah. The album I listened to from that album was “Colors” and since the sequel to this album just came out, I decided to listen to both projects. This will come out at the same time my review for the original Colors will come out so if you want to see the thoughts on that, you can check my Instagram or the Good Reads section on 247otb.com. Without further ado, let’s get into it.


Production


The first thing that caught me right off the bat is the production. It’s better this time around. The guitars are much louder, the drums are way more prevalent and the additional instruments all show up in one way or another. I’m glad that the 2021 technology has upgraded BTBAM’s sound in a major way.

Genre-Bending


If you have heard the original Colors, you know that they were known to have extremely zany genre switches and unpredictable mood changes. This album is no different. Just like how Colors started, Colors II starts with a piano rock-like track that transforms into a full-on metal track. On “Revolution In Limbo”, we have a unique Latin rock jam at the tail end that is very reminiscent of Carlos Santana. On “Prehistory”, we have a unique Avant-Garde Metal cut that goes into a chaotic and sound effect heavy jam. On “The Future Is Behind Us”, we start with some progressive electronic and go straight into the metal aspect right after. Although it’s mainly a metal track, we still get a random synth-funk breakdown with wahed guitars and Ferris Bueller theme-like vocals. “Turbulent” also starts with an electronic intro too but it’s a little more atmospheric this time. Although I do get the genre shifts here, I don’t think the transitions are anywhere near the unpredictability that the first Colors had.


Influences


Unlike the first Colors, BTBAM seems to take more from other artists this time around. Luckily, they take them in a great way. Surely the usual suspects appear like Dream Theater and Mars Volta but there is also a heavy Mastodon influence as well as some King Crimson influence on the non-metal parts. Surely people like M.r Bungle come to mind as well so I should give them a mention. It’s honestly pretty cool to hear BTBAM go this direction when it comes to taking influences. I wouldn’t say it’s better, but I certainly don’t mind.


Similarities & Differences


First off, this album is way more avant-garde. A lot more zany-ness on this track and a lot more theatrics. I will also say, that this album sounds way more accessible as well, there are a lot fewer death metal tropes and a lot more progressive rock ones. Surely the cohesion and ideology behind this album are pretty similar, but this album is a different beast.


Cons


Surely the genre-switches aren’t as predictable and the influences are more clear, but those aren’t really big problems of mine. Just some things that make the original Colors better. I will also say that most of the cons I had with the original Colors apply here are of a similar degree. Luckily, Colors II is a good sequel for the high-quality original.


Verdict


Well, I’m glad that this album is nearly as good as the original. It will most likely be on my year-end list. I honestly should listen to more BTBAM because I liked both albums a good amount.


7/10



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