Between The Buried And Me - Coma Ecliptic: Live DVD review

Powerful but slightly static live set from prog metal masters.

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Though they began life as a metalcore band, North Carolina’s Between The Buried And Me have gradually expanded their musical vocabulary to take in not only progressive metal, but also experimental influences leading back to the prog trailblazers of the 70s.

2015’s Coma Ecliptic was the apotheosis of this period of the band, and this DVD captures a live set of the tracks, performed at the Observatory North Park in San Diego. Famine Wolf sets the tone for the set, seeing guitarists Paul Waggoner and Dusty Waring playing powerful, tight riffs in lockstep, and Paul executing razor-sharp sweep-picked guitar runs at its climax. Another instrumental highlight is the interaction between Waggoner and guitarist Dusty Waring as they ably trade licks on the proggy, Dream Theater-like Memory Palace. There’s not much onstage movement apart from singer and keyboard player Tommy Rogers: the band prefer to let their instruments do the talking, so this does lack ‘performance’. Luckily, there’s drama in the music, with the climax of Rapid Calm and of closer Life In Velvet particularly thrilling moments. Whatever they do next, this set will provide a fascinating document, brimming with musical energy.