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Between The Buried And Me Alaska

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01. All Bodies 02. Alaska 03. Croakies and Boatshoes 04. Selkies: The Endless Obsession 05. Breathe In, Breathe Out 06. Roboturner 07. Backwards Marathon 08. Medicine Wheel 09. The Primer 10. Autodidact 11. Laser Speed
2005 Victory Records
Our score 8

by Cory
9/3/2005

Between The Buried And Me have become one of the best known bands in the "metalcore" genre over the last four years and I feel they owe that success to their ability to constantly reinvent themselves. On their Lifeforce Records debut, they set a high standard for bands to follow and with their Victory Records follow-up, The Silent Circus, they turned their own music on its ear, incorporating tech/math bits into modern grind and progressive metal. On Alaska, their most recent album, Between The Buried And Me have taken that philosophy one step further, transforming yet again and producing an interesting, creatively challenging metal record. The disc opens with "All Bodies," which starts as a fairly straight-forward death/thrash metal number before jumping back and forth into mid-tempo prog bits, and incorporates a brief barbershop moment and triumphantly catchy power metal chorus. One of the only sour bits of this song, and the record as a whole, is the incorporation of keyboards into many of the songs. You would think they would have learned their lesson from Giles, the awful electronic side-project of lead singer Tommy Rogers. These guys don't belong anywhere near a keyboard. The guitars in songs like the title track out-do legitimate Swedish metal in their fret-board acrobatics, but refuse to linger there, instead floating effortlessly across genres, proving their prowess without seeming like show-offs. While one has to wonder if a band that can do everything fairly well might not be better off picking one style and sticking to it, these guys are obviously interested in pushing their songwriting abilities and I can respect that. "Croakies and Boatshoes" deconstructs Meshuggah's fury into a slow, doomy dirge beforeblasting into one of the disc's stranger tracks, "Selkies: The Endless Obsession." An excessive intro leads into a morose melodic bit before finally exploding into full-on death metal; and that's all in the first two minutes of this seven minute odyssey. Again, electronic bits endanger the song's power throughout, but the melodic acoustic bits surprisingly tie the song together well, aside from some incredibly lame Joe Satriani-esque wankery near the middle. Most importantly, what Between The Buried And Me do in these songs is create recurring musical themes that justify these less heavy interludes. I'm not sure how this idea had escaped so many bands that came before them, but I have rarely heard a band blend the heavier and lighter portions of their music this successfully. Just when you think you've got a handle on this record though, "Roboturner" grinds its way right down your throat and delivers on every gurgle and blastbeat for a few minutes before it evolves into a funk-laced bit of tech and back again. Snorefest "Medicine Wheel" will lull most listeners to sleep before the disc's final three tracks make the listener glad they stuck around. "The Primer" features the disc's only successful implementation of keyboards as well as the band's foray into black metal. Somehow it all comes together in a moment of classicaly-inspired brilliance that would make Andrew WK smile. "Autodidact" contains a few of the disc's most predictable breakdowns, but being that they are surrounded by pure metallic fury and technical bravado, they become entirely forgivable. Closing the disc out is "Laser Speed," a confusingly relaxed bit of elevator music that lasts just a bit too long. The problem with this record is also its strongest point: it is a challenging listen. Between The Buried And Me are undoubtedly becoming more comfortable with their place as the chameleons of the metalcore community, but certain portions of the songs still feel out-of-place and self-indulgent. I personally would have rather seen two four-minute songs than one eight minute song that loses itself half-way through. Five of the disc's eleven tracks clock in at over well over five minutes, something few bands of this sort are talented enough to pull off. Between The Buried And Me do an admirable job, but I think these tracks would benefit from being shorter and more focused. For example, the "Backwards Marathon" has portions that resemble the Mars Volta and Silent Drive that could have been omitted in the recording process, as they don't particularly fit into the song. Bottom Line: Fans of Between The Buried And Me will hopefully appreciate the band's latest evolution and welcome the band's growth. For those who were previously unfamiliar or not fans, you may want to give Alaska a listen. This is definitely a case where the record has something for anyone willing to listen, there just might not be enough of certain parts for everyone.

Comments (75) post new comment
ihavegas_ 9/3/2005 5:13:23 PM

f*cking a this is a greatcd


what_is_wrong_with_you_ 9/3/2005 5:14:06 PM

this band couldn't write a viable song if their careers depended on it.


scared_to_death_ 9/3/2005 5:14:09 PM

see Cory? you do a better job than your cohort Ash in reviewing albums, and in particular their music. Good work, just don't call awesome guitar soloing wankery, it's negative, and makes you sound jealous or something


ColeyThrash_ 9/3/2005 5:30:17 PM

Between the Buried and Me is the best band to grace this scene in years.


anonymous 9/3/2005 5:57:13 PM

Boring.


Kevl_ 9/3/2005 6:13:35 PM

Awesome disc and a pretty good review. Kudos to all


Ivan_ 9/3/2005 6:43:30 PM

I really like this one, a mature album. What I really like of Alaska is how BTBAM combine melodies and brutality, much better than on their previous cd's. Awesome


fuckcory_ 9/3/2005 7:05:14 PM

Cory wrote this review, no read ever.


hxcobd_ 9/3/2005 7:29:05 PM

Good review, Cory. Good disc, too.


keepthechange_ 9/3/2005 7:29:30 PM

good cd good review.


metroidinvasion_ 9/3/2005 7:44:02 PM

...and i thought i was over metalcore. past 2 albums were decent, but something always held me back. this one rips. keyboards are f*ckin awesome, f*ck the review. listening to straight metal can be boring, but btbam makes it refreshing.


david_ 9/3/2005 8:34:06 PM

only album this year to give me an erection.


m_kwd_ 9/3/2005 9:06:26 PM

seriously. can no one understand what this band is about, yet? has this reviewer not heard the first TWO albums? BTBAM doesnt give a f*ck about cohesiveness. that is the point. this is by far their best album and its because of such "wankery" and brilliant use of melody throughout all of the tracks. the "snorefest" is possibly and interlude or segueway into the next section of their album. you should applaud such talent instead of making fun of someone such as joe satriani. he is an extr


WEIGHTSFOOTBALLANDSEX_ 9/4/2005 12:04:12 AM

I NEVER COMMENT ON REVIEWS. BUT f*ck YOU CORY. THIS ALBUM IS A 10. I DONT WANT TO HEAR ANYTHING BACK. HOW DARE YOU DOWNPLAY THIS RECORD AND GIVE IT 8. HORRIBLE REVIEW. ALTHOUGH, I DO LIKE MOST OF YOURS... PS. I DIDNT READ ANYTHING BUT THE CONCLUSION, SO f*ck OFF.


har_har_ 9/4/2005 1:39:08 AM

I agree with this review except I liked the keyboards and the solo in selkies


The REAL Bob Rock_ 9/4/2005 7:21:51 AM

Cory tries to hard to sound literate, and comes off as being a f*cking dickhead with a thesaurus. Stop writing, you shitf*cker.


twodegreesbelow_ 9/4/2005 9:21:52 AM

putting a comments section on reviews was a bad idea. case and point.


Cainam_ 9/4/2005 10:06:03 AM

f*ck you Cory, this is by far the most challenging and mature metalcore album that is made this year. BTBAM is one of the few bands that dare to combine different styles in their music which is a good thing. The songs are more coherent then on s/t and the musicianship is even more approved. This might be my album of the year. So cory, please, stuck a dildo upyorass.


north kakalak_ 9/4/2005 11:14:05 AM

bravo! a review that succeeds to evaluate the music without focusing entirely on the band members' old bands or the production or the liner notes or the artwork. an album review that reviews the album...BRILLIANT!


Cory_ 9/4/2005 11:54:26 AM

after having read the comment regarding me being a "dickhead with a thesaurus," i realized that I should definitely dumb down my reviews a bit. after all, this is Lambgoat. here goes: "Between The Buried And Me is br00tal music to mosh to! This record is super good and super heavy. I like the jun jun wee parts a lot and if you don't like this cd, you're a gay!"


Ohhhhh_ 9/4/2005 12:17:48 PM

This album is really good, and an 8/10 is sufficient enough. And honestly, if you guys are saying he uses a thesaurus....well, then he's not using it too good. Unless some of the words in the review confuse you tough guys?


Dillon_ 9/4/2005 2:06:25 PM

This CD is alright. Some of it is a little overdone I wouldn't say its better than the previous one 'The Silent Circus'


phobophile_ 9/4/2005 3:50:59 PM

on the self-titled, they wrote memorable songs and were brutal, beautiful, and technical without having any part sound contrived. losing will goodyear was a huge hit, and the silent circus was sorely lacking in the songwriting department. a few good songs, but they were just trying too hard to be progressive and flash and it came off sounding very forced. the new album isn't awful, but it is perhaps their most derivative album yet. there are parts all over the album that sounds exactly like the


Konstrix_ 9/4/2005 4:30:41 PM

first off, i wanna congratulate cory on, what i believe, is the best written review i've ever seen on lamgoat. and while i agree with some of what was said above about this band sounding a lot like their influences, i really dont think theyve strayed too far from their originality. a lot of these songs are excellently written while maintaining what made this band so great in the first place. i really believe this is their best album yet by far and i wouldve gave it a 9/10.


Coley Thrash_ 9/4/2005 5:24:40 PM

"then he's not using it too good. Unless some of the words in the review confuse you tough guys? posted by Ohhhhh (bproc2@hotmail.com) on 9/4/2005 12:17:48 PM" So he's not using it "too good"? When you try to condescend the Lambgoaters, at least practice what you preach. He doesn't use it very well, buddy. Very well.


Layne_ 9/4/2005 7:46:10 PM

This album just didn't do it for me like Silent Circus did. This album has its moments but Silent Circus was a f*cking masterpiece!


whitelambpowergoat_ 9/4/2005 8:34:13 PM

boring contrived over-thought scene gayry


anonymous 9/4/2005 9:40:06 PM

i reallylike the name alaska. but i lost interest in this cd and band when i found out there werent any tracks named eskimo, or polarbear. not even igloo. false f*cking advertising


jordan_ 9/5/2005 1:39:33 AM

"...and incorporates a brief barbershop moment" - I vow to never listen to this band


a_hoarce_of_corse_ 9/5/2005 5:07:03 AM

"losing will goodyear was a huge hit" are you ghey? how could replacing goodyear with the god-like Mark Castillo be a "huge hit?" the only thing hitting is my foot to your dome.


MojoTFB_ 9/5/2005 2:09:29 PM

Loosing Will was a big hit because he was the best melodic singer they ever had. Tommy can sing well, but Will had a much stronger voice.


anonymous 9/5/2005 3:15:37 PM

hahahahahahahah "god-like mark castillo"


erick_ 9/5/2005 6:21:32 PM

btbam never disappoint!


ranbowsatan_ 9/6/2005 3:47:27 PM

I just picked this up and all I have to say is this record just made 99% of all deathmetal bands look REAL stupid. This record is amazing.


Warrmageddon_ 9/6/2005 4:33:46 PM

This Is Is A Effing Piece Of Shit Review And Is All Too Byest. ..Oh And The Guitar Solo Thing...They're Effing Incredible And You Will Never Have The Stamina And Skill It Takes To Even Remotely Sound Like Them. kkthnx


dave_ 9/6/2005 6:51:08 PM

best cd of the last 2 years.


Dyrwen_ 9/6/2005 7:04:48 PM

I'd have to agree with the review and the rating. Silent Circus was certainly better in terms of their genre and their style. Obviously they switch it up a lot and are trying to mature and learn new things, but seriously, this album hits black metal, death metal, southern rock, electronica, melodic nu-metal, and a lot else. It's obviously a display of talent and experimentation, but it isn't their best by any stretch. If anything this record grows on you over time more than the others, becau


c_ 9/7/2005 12:24:39 AM

i always new this band had the potential to write a good album...bout time they do


Simon_ 9/7/2005 6:19:08 AM

Reading the comment section is funny. I have only heard two songs from the album but it sounds all right, Alaska is probably better than Silent Circus. It might not be better than the s/t but what is so wrong about experimenting? Anyone can hear BTBAM are elvolving, and probably into something big....


pee_ 9/7/2005 7:07:45 PM

phobophile is the only smart one here. let him review albums. this is a 6.


elliot_ 9/7/2005 11:07:01 PM

just checking since cory brought it up....is anyone still under the assumption that giles wasn't a joke? .....because.....it was. duh.


Dr State_ 9/8/2005 11:44:24 PM

"how could replacing goodyear with the god-like Mark Castillo be a "huge hit?"" Mark is a good drummer, for what he does. But i dont think he fit BTBAM at all. Will Goodyear's drumming on the first record is some of the best and most original metal drumming in the past 10 years. It sure beats the hell out of constant double bass and blast beats. At least Will changed it up a bit, with lots of interesting transitions and beats. But yeah as far as Alaska goes, great album. Far better than Slien


Captain Obvious_ 9/10/2005 3:19:55 PM

^gay


Brian_ 9/11/2005 2:16:48 AM

This album is incredible. I read the review a few times and read through all of the comments, and I think people are thinking too critically about this. Who cares if they resemble Opeth, Mars Volta -- whoever you pull out of your ass for comparison -- they have brought together some of the most incredible sounds from across many genres and while I never liked anything this band put out prior to this release, this new album f*cking blows me away. I picked up Ghost Reveries from Opeth, and it soun


chris_ 9/12/2005 5:12:47 PM

My thoughts on this album are that, ITS A PIECE OF SHIT......actually, I think it is quite good and Between the Buried and ME should never ever be called a "METALCORE" band. They are metal, and they have hardcore influences, but give them some dignity, don't call them metalcore. When I think metalcore I think, As I Lay Dying, Dead to Fall(dead to fall are 100 times better than AILD), Shadows Fall, and such...they are more than that. Even though I do get the impression that the Tommy is high on h


Brian_ 9/12/2005 11:03:14 PM

Chris you are dead on. These guys have an element that is entirely different from metalcore artists. They don't go for the tough guy thing, they just shred. Guitar solos, dual leads, power metal choruses, acoustic interludes, plenty of blast beats and double bass - I'd say definitely not metalcore. There aren't even any conventional breakdowns. Unearth is metalcore, BTBAM is metal. Some people don't have critical listening skills. It's too bad.


cursethesky_ 9/12/2005 11:10:12 PM

listen to some real music and check out Back When's "We Sang As Ghosts"


david_ 9/13/2005 1:36:17 PM

I picked this album up yesterday.. I love all of BTBAM's albums equally, but for different reasons. I have to say I love this simply because of the mix of styles and the musicanship of the songs. S/T was more straight forward, The Silent Circus was experimenting more and I think Alaska is the album where they finally find their "sound." I think its brilliant.. its thinking-mans metal. I like the fact that I listen to it once through and I still can't remember exactly how everything sounds...


panzer_ 9/20/2005 5:03:29 PM

That album is amazing. I only heard the E-Card with Alaska and Selkies on it, but just based off those two songs I made plans on buying this album the day it came out. Been listening to it quite a bit since purchase and Im still blown away by all thats contained within this disc. Definately worth the money spent. 9.5/10 (No such thing as a 10/10).


xmarkx_ 9/20/2005 6:39:15 PM

gayest cd ever. they went from sweet to gay all in one cd i think we can thank tommy rogers for being a douche bag.


steve_ 9/22/2005 9:51:31 PM

this album deffinately defines music with its melody and feeling. i like where they went with this after a silent circus, i was iffy about it sounding the same but i loved it!


Zach_ 9/24/2005 2:00:10 PM

I must say BTBAM covers more ground than any other band on the scene. If a band can cover nearly every genre in one album it pretty much categorizes them as certified bad asses in my book. The blending of diversity is so f*cking difficult to accomplish and completely innovative and speaks volumes of this band's talent and ability. From drums to vocals this band stands in a class of its own and I give it at least a 9 if not a 10. BTBAM is at the top of its class and with releases like this wi


XdavidX_ 9/27/2005 11:20:35 PM

Seeing as how they pretty much came outta my home city I've been able to follow 'em from the birth of the band to now, about time they finally did something decent. The first CD was only good because of Will's singing, the second one blew, and this one rocks. About time Tommy's vocals got strong enough to match the music!


Blood Feast Island Man_ 9/28/2005 8:16:43 PM

OK even if BTBAM rip off bands such as Opeth, The Mars Volta, and Dream Theater, it shouldn't really matter cuz those bands are f*cknig incredible as well. That just proves theirs a band out their that can play all that shit, especially on one album. Between The Buried And Me has been amazing since their s/t and are continuing to prove just how great they are.


xTonyPerkisx_ 10/10/2005 12:35:34 AM

Between the Buried and Me have done it again. A huge fan of their two previous releases, I can truly say that this is just another progressive step musically for them, with new additions as well as reinforcements of past ideas. The thing I enjoy most about this album (and their past two for that matter) is how a single track can blow away another band's entire albums. Epics like 'All Bodies' and 'Selkies' are more movements than they are songs, and the scaling and soloing throughout cannot be


viva_las_alaska_ 10/13/2005 9:51:29 PM

Awesome f*cking guitar work throughout the album, I think they could have found a better drummer though. Don't know why they named it alaska, cause they sure as hell never come up here to play shows! Good f*cking album non-the- less!


xSIMx_ 10/16/2005 2:03:12 PM

best album of btbam


Mixhail_ 10/18/2005 3:39:56 AM

A month later, i can safely say that this cd blows The Silent Circus out of the water. Selkies will be a classic for years to come. I was expecting that song to be the runaway best song of the cd but "Backwards Marathon" almost matches it in its awesomeness. This cd deserves at least a 9 (the only bad thing about this cd is the piece of shit that is "Robotuner"...)


anonymous 10/28/2005 9:28:45 PM

Mot likely the bet Cd this band has popped out so far, the songs are incredible, the breaks and riffs alone give this CD an A for effort, but what tops the cake is the feeling you get with the band, they have a real energy, an energy that they slapped onto this CD......STOP READING THIS AND GO BUY THE CD


ishred2btbam_ 11/4/2005 5:06:36 PM

f*cking great CD


slice your face_ 11/20/2005 9:44:47 AM

supposedly the band had remixed the album after the producer had already mastered the job! this is a guitar band.. you can easily make it huge if you can sweep arpeggios, which is much more simple than morons tend to believe.. guitar-masters.com


unders_core_ 12/23/2005 2:33:41 PM

If you think this is a guitar band you haven't heard their first 2 albums. This is simply a guitar album.


Ditsy_ 3/14/2006 12:17:50 PM

I love between the buried and me because their music relates alot 2 my life and i love the beats!! KEEP ROCKING!!!!


sheldon_ 5/24/2006 6:55:37 PM

this is a kick ass album. one of the best metalcore albums.


Jude_ 6/7/2006 9:52:03 AM

Could of been better.....


grindcore_ 6/25/2006 8:40:09 PM

This is absolutely amazing. Not metalcore you silly clowns. This is American progressive metal in perhaps its finest hour. By the way see Between the Buried and Me live if you can it will blow your mind.


Marcus_ 7/15/2006 11:24:41 PM

I love the guitar sound on this album. 'Alaska', to me, shows a different sound somewhat of the typical BTBAM style. I also think this contains some very mature material which, in its genre, is far ahead of its time.


anonymous 7/23/2006 11:23:21 PM

its all the same just another band


Nick_ 9/5/2006 5:34:33 PM

Selkies: The Endless Obsession is ana amazin f*cking song and it has keybaord in it....so f*ck you Corey


mastershake_ 11/22/2006 6:19:25 PM

probably the best metal album of the year, 8/10 ??? you have to shitting yourself, please do us all a favor and go review Britney Spears or something.


anonymous 1/29/2007 11:54:08 AM

100% agreed


jbusy_ 8/26/2007 8:42:47 AM

this album is only a challenging listen if your sober... but if your a little shit faced the music makes so much sense.. an amzn album.


fuckrat_ 10/6/2007 1:37:45 PM

This is the best f*ckin cd ever made 10/10!!!!!!


milkbomb_ 4/10/2009 10:48:28 AM

Wow. This sounds like a guy who only listens to Hatebreed got bored and confused by a band who does more than circle pit riffs. I agree with a lot of comments on here...this band does an amazing job of blending mellow and heavy. And although you praised them for just that, Cory, you went on to bash them for their songs being too long? Too much interlude? Maybe if the album was one continuos breakdown you'd give it a good review. Ha.


DeathOfAnEra_ 4/12/2011 12:17:49 PM

hahaha who ever cory is is a f*ck tard BTBAM is one of the best metalcore bands out there