Between The Buried And Me: Coma Ecliptic

Progressive metal’s heirs aim to claim the throne

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Between The Buried And Me’s disregard for limits and convention has seen them make even the most ambitious of their peers seem pedestrian.

However, on album number seven they’ve dispensed with the kitchen sink approach and instead opted for a more organic sound, pointing towards the musical magniloquence of Dream Theater while still maintaining their unmistakable metallic core and mischievous quirks.

Bookmarked by the grandiose leads of Node and Life In Velvet, Coma Ecliptic is far more than just a collection of songs: more an ever-evolving musical tapestry moving from dizzying complexity to lush soundscapes via metallic passages and back again at the drop of a hat. Famine Wolf’s awkward barrage of dissonance erupts into a symphony of histrionic vocals and sinister undertones, while the death metal clout of Turn On The Darkness descends into beautiful guitar and vocal interplay. The closing tracks pile on the surprises and suspense, drenching blastbeats and riffs with crescendos of Floyd-esque melancholy until all senses are saturated. Yet again, BTBAM have delivered a piece of work that has to be applauded for its sheer ambition and singularity, but also cherished for its ability to astound.

Adam Brennan

Rugby, Sean Bean and power ballad superfan Adam has been writing for Hammer since 2007, and has a bad habit of constructing sentences longer than most Dream Theater songs. Can usually be found cowering at the back of gigs in Bristol and Cardiff. Bruce Dickinson once called him a 'sad bastard'.