In the mid-00s, Between The Buried And Me found themselves on the horns of a dilemma. Three albums into their career and fresh off the Ozzfest tour, the band were confounding audiences by juxtaposing metalcore and prog rock. At a crossroads of their own making, they went all in and embraced the facets that made up their music.
The result, 2007’s Colors, was a landmark for the North Carolina band. Years later, with the pandemic painting them into another corner and no live outlet to provide a release, BTBAM have turned inward to create a sequel to that record that’s as uncompromising and expressive as its very bold predecessor.
It’s all clever, head-turning stuff. There are flashes of 70s prog pomp in the expansive and excellent two-parter, Never Seen/Future Shock, which then seamlessly veer off into the jagged world of metalcore. Stare Into The Abyss is textured and rich, rising to an explosive crescendo from a sublime standing start. Then there’s the wonderful Prehistory, which is playful and arch, and The Future Is Behind Us, which boasts an irregular, staccato rhythm that rails against the world. The result is a worthy follow-up to the original Colors.