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Album Review: The Parallax: Hypersleep Dialogues by Between the Buried and Me
Very Good, Based on 4 Critics
Revolver - 80 Based on rating 4/5
Between the Buried and Me aren't a band that will soon be accused of pandering to a scene or playing it safe with their music. On their first EP, The Parallax: Hypersleep Dialogues, the North Carolina prog-metal quintet attempt to set their own progressive bar even higher with a 30-minute concept record—and Part 1 in a two-part conceptual suite—about a couple of people separated in space-time, whose decisions “will change their lives, and perhaps the course of the universe,” as the band describes it. .
‘The Parallax: Hypersleep Dialogues’ is a resolutely schizophrenic affair, again... As the brainchild of a band for whom omitting the kitchen sink would constitute the gravest of faux pas, it comes as no surprise that ‘The Parallax: Hypersleep Dialogues’ is a resolutely schizophrenic affair, touching a multitude of musical bases (spot of brass-infused pomp with your shredding, anyone?), whilst always keeping its return ticket to maximum brutality close to hand. In a departure from what the world has come to expect from Between The Buried And Me, however, this is something of a teaser release, clocking in at just over 30 minutes and acting as a setup for a full-length companion piece pencilled in for 2012.
Metal fans who got their first exposure to Between the Buried and Me via 2009’s The Great Misdirect could be forgiven for failing to grasp what exactly all of the sound and fury was supposed to signify. A tepid follow-up to the band’s widely acclaimed Colors, The Great Misdirect found the experimental metal act in a holding pattern for the first time. At the time, I wagered that the band was doing themselves a service by tamping down their restless prog sensibilities and trying to consolidate their extant strengths, though my disinterest in the album since then leads me to believe I was mistaken.
When a band breaks as much new ground in as short a span as between the Buried and Me did between 2003 and 2007, the expectations from audiences seem to grow exponentially. Some bands work best within a set musical template, but others, like the North Carolina quintet, absolutely thrive when they’re in full experimentation mode, as albums like 2005’s Alaska and 2007’s Colors were thrilling displays of just how prodigious these progressive metal youngsters can be. Two years ago, the follow-up The Great Misdirect toned down the insanity just enough to have audiences wondering if Beween the Buried and Me was starting to sound just the tiniest bit predictable, but the songs were strong enough to assuage fears that the band was in any sort of creative rut.