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Between The Buried And Me And Haken Live In Glasgow

Modern prog metal stars wow this Scottish city.

The Garage in Glasgow isn’t exactly the first venue that comes to mind when you think of prog metal. By night it usually turns into a multi-floored jamboree of shots, students, short skirts and sweaty dancing, so hosting a Between The Buried And Me gig in the club feels… a little odd.

(Image credit: David Wala)

The floor is reassuringly sticky – possibly from last night’s rainbow-tinted vomit – as support act Haken stride into view. Opening for a band who are keen purveyors of intense, growl-driven ferocity could be a challenge for the English sextet, who have more genteel, sensitive moments. However, they pack enough distortion-doused chutzpah into the mix to wholly impress. Opener Premonition plunges into cinematic prog metal breakdowns, while the near 20-minute Crystallised switches between swirling leads and multi-vocal harmonies that nab inspiration from Gentle Giant. As springy singer Ross Jennings leads his troops off, you get the feeling it won’t be too long before Haken are headlining venues this size.

Tommy Giles Rogers guides fans through a rousing roller coaster of left turns and right turns, and just about everything else in‑between.

Anticipation is high for headliners Between The Buried And Me, with the US prog-metallers releasing their grand, expansive seventh record Coma Ecliptic earlier in the year. But it’s up to 10-year-old live stalwart Selkies: The Endless Obsession to open the five-piece’s set, which they follow with the ecstatic bounce of The Coma Machine. The latter is a track that shows off the ever-increasing dynamics exuded by Between The Buried And Me, and it’s the band at their most potent as prowling singer Tommy Giles Rogers guides fans through a rousing roller coaster of left turns and right turns, and just about everything else in-between.

Haken

Haken (Image credit: David Wala)

There’s a hefty cap doff, meanwhile, to their superb 2012 opus The Parallax II: Future Sequence, with the kinetic Astral Body paving the way for 10-minute juggernaut Lay Your Ghosts To Rest.

Blake Richardson shows why he’s now one of metal’s most proficient drummers, while axemen Paul Waggoner and Dustie Waring, along with whirlwind bassist Dan Briggs, nearly mutilate their spider-fingers with a flurry of fine fretboard frenzy. However, the sound is at times mushy and bass‑light, failing to capture the band’s illuminating nuances. And when they don’t reappear for an encore after a rollicking rendition of Ants Of The Sky – half-an-hour before the advertised finish time – the crowd are left looking at each other discombobulated, unsure if the 10pm curfew has been slashed.

Ferocious yet far-reaching, this gig – prematurely ended or not – shows why Between The Buried And Me continue to be one of prog’s most exhilarating acts.

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