Between the Buried and Me - Colors (Cover Artwork)

Between the Buried and Me

Colors (2007)


In the year 2005, Between the Buried and Me released their third full-length album Alaska. It hit the market like a tidal wave, gaining praise from media and consumer alike. The appeal of the album was its intricacies and tempo changes. It moved between time signatures and musical styles like a 10-year-old with ADD while simultaneously showcasing a knack for writing the technical metal showcased on their earlier full-lengths. Following up such a successful album is no easy task, but BTBAM stepped up to the task and (discounting 2006's cover album The Anatomy Of... ) delivered Colors.

Keeping in step with their trend of progression, Colors is essentially one 64-minute song broken up into 8 tracks. The album flows as if it was recorded in one take and retains a truly amazing fluidity. The songs are distinguishable from one another but at the same time draw on ideas from earlier times and embellish them. Colors is a relatively light listen, considering its running time. It isn't weighed down with needless instrumental noodling and interludes, yet it contains more speeds, notes, tones and ideas than the majority of music today combined. The music swells and pounds, crescendos and decrescendos multiple times in each song. The album is all about balance. Enough musical experimentation but not too much to get boring is the key to the flow of the album.

The music stays similar to past offerings by BTBAM, just more fleshed out. When they thrash (see beginning to "Ants of the Sky"), they do so better than most bands that define the genre. When they hit the epic melodic high points (towards the end of "Sun of Nothing," f.e.) they let the melody hang out just long enough so that it leads right into the onslaught again. The album breathes very well, due to an effective amount of piano. They aren't interludes, they simply tone down things for a bit, as if the music is relaxing for a moment. It is brilliant to see all the styles of music encompassed by this album. Apart from the obvious styles of metal they touch upon, there are jazzy romps, electronic sessions and, yes, a country hoedown (that somehow manages to sound completely relevant and in place).

Simply put, Colors blows anything else considered to be "metal," or any other genre for that matter, out of the water. The technical ability, artistic vision and spot-on execution are absolutely confounding. Listening to it as a whole provides a truly unique experience that shows a band pushing themselves to their creative and musical limits and coming out with a monstrous work of art.