Following 2011s “precursor” style EP, The Parallax: Hypersleep Dialogues, Between the Buried and Me (hereafter known as BTBAM because it’s way easier to type) continue their foray into ever increasing curiosity. Whilst personally I’ve never been a hugely into this band - they always seemed to err just on the wrong side of pretentious wanker territory - The Parallax II: Future Sequence is a stunning record that even the likes of me can get on board with. BTBAM, it seems, have grown into themselves and yes, there’s a whole load of guitar widdling and mad astral keyboard solos, but it works. And it’s magnificent. Evidently the record treads the same path as The Parallax: Hypersleep Dialogues in that it continues the concept set out by the band and as BTBAM are pretty big on telling a story, they do so here with a lovely command and an intriguing style.
Beginning with the sweetly intoned “Goodbye to Everything,” Future Sequence comes across as some weird tribute to 70s prog bands, it’s strange and certainly unusual in tone but it serves to introduce the first track proper “Astral Body” nicely and by this point you've more or less got an idea about where this record is heading. “Astral Body” flirts with a jaunty swagger whilst occasionally bursting into terrifically melodic clean/harsh vocal attacks. BTBAM are a band of two halves; there’s the metal band who love to have a good shout and riff like there’s no tomorrow, and then there’s the 1970s keyboard jamming prog band that comes out of hiding to remind you that hey, these guys aren't a one trick pony. This two-sided essence is especially apparent during the frenetic “Lay Your Ghosts to Rest” which burst with a terrific passion and fury but falls away at the end to sound like you’re trapped in some bizarre circus-based nightmare or at the midway point of "Extremeophile Elite" - is that a glockenspiel? – or the moments where you’re pretty sure Mike Patton has made an appearance or you’ve put on a Faith No More record during a forgotten fugue state. Yep. It's a lot to take in.
Clear a space in your schedule because the album runs for way past the hour mark, but the ingenuity is more than enough to keep you interested and ensure you constantly go back for more just in case you missed something important the first time around or you just fancy listening to the cosmically blissed out breakdowns of "Telos" for the hundredth time. Sure it seems excessive, but BTBAM have gotten the balance between being inventive and just plain showing off just right this time around. The Parallax II: Future Sequence is a voyage like no other and BTBAM pull together an interesting mix of styles and somehow make it work. Their energy is hard to refute and their obvious delight for the music they are making makes this record an absolute joy to sit down with.
8.0 / 10
It's hard to describe the nature of Between the Buried and Me's new project, The Parallax. It is kind of like a double album, except not quite. It's divided into ...
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