I have always been a fan of BTBM, but The Parallax: Hypersleep Dialogues was the moment where I realized they are the best modern progressive metal band on the planet right now. The concept album was the story of a man in isolation that was set in a time of futuristic improbabilities and other things churning in the head of frontman Tommy Rogers. After heaping our praise on the album we were treated to an interview with Rogers that will go down as one of my favorites.
You may think this makes the review a forgone conclusion as I’m obviously a big fan; the truth is when I love something as much as I loved Hypersleep I was scared the second intallment of the theme (Future Sequence) would pale in comparision. This story is based on much the same premise of another character in isolation and apparent depression. Although in this case both character appear to meld their souls together to create much more then friendship or companionship. The characters become whole!
The obvious task was BTBM had to make the music tell this story. Not only did they accomplish this, but they made something quite legendary from all accounts. As a supposed listener to this story you feel for the character, not as if you were them, but in a helpless manner filled with compassion and dispair. The length of the songs are used to draw certain emotion from you and help get lost in the theme that BTBM has presented.
This new album is much longer then the three song Hypersleep Dialogues, and my only complaint was it could have been stretched further and a third peice could have been added to this epic storyline. When you hear “Telos” for the first time you will hear shifting patterns, soft falsetto vocals that become harsh and aggressive, bass lines that set a mood of tranquilty or horror, and variable instruments that chage as though reading a new page of a book you never want to end. This people is just one song!
From the opening “Goodbye to Everything” that sets the mood to the last note of the song’s reprise you understand something much bigger then music is going on. Theatrics in metal are often unnecessary, but Future Sequence taught me that a good story can never be overlooked.
Between the Buried & Me has transcended metal and created a tale that can be enjoyed by storytellers and musicians long into the future.
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