Between The Buried And Me - The Parallax: Hypersleep Dialogs

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Between The Buried And Me
The Parallax: Hypersleep Dialogs
Between The Buried And Me - The Parallax: Hypersleep Dialogs Review rating:
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When one hears the name “Between the Buried and Me,” the adjective pretentious tends to come to mind, both for their namesake’s verbosity and more pertinently, for the band’s musical ambitiousness. Wasting little time after 2009’s concept album The Great Misdirect, Between the Buried and Me take their storytelling one step further on their first outing for Metalblade. As if the release’s title weren’t telling enough, The Parallax: Hypersleep Dialogs, which is not even a proper full length, is the first portion of a narrative that is to unwind over the course of two releases, acting presumably as the precursor to the band’s next studio album.

Sounding like something out of the pages of science fiction, the plot’s premise is one involving two beings who reside in different realities, separated by many light years. Each individual is confronted with parallel personal difficulties, the likes of which having profound results on the other and, potentially, the universe. While that’s all well and good, for most bands, particularly ones with largely unintelligible vocals, your grandiose tale weaving is ultimately going to take a backseat to your songwriting and musicianship.

Hypersleep Dialogs is ambitious not only for its tightly-coupled storytelling, but musically as well, with eight-minute-plus song lengths and atypical phrasing and instrumentation. Unlike its nuanced predecessor, however, BtBaM’s latest is somewhat more instantly gratifying and accessible. Whether that be due to the time constraints of writing for the extended play format or not, the result is one that is more focused than the artistic meanderings of the band’s recent output, recalling back catalog albums that were able to maintain a level of technical sophistication that didn’t wander off into artistic pomp.

Still, Hypersleep can be aptly summed up as unequivocally “Between the Buried and Me,” doing nothing to break the mold of the stylistic direction the band has been going in since it embraced the progressive label with open arms on Colors. All of the boxes are checked for a by the numbers BtBaM release, complete with lighthearted, out-of-genre sections, post-rock inspired interludes, the occasional droning, cleanly sung chorus, and some ambient keyboard work to frame things in a grand scope. It goes without saying that the band of course delivers this all with their usual technical aplomb, complete with all manner of shredding guitars and frequent time changes that exceed the abilities of mere mortals.

Though the material contained within is certainly of a high caliber, its narrative focus lends the songs to work better in succession as acts of a play rather than autonomous entities that have their own personalities. Fortunately, the EP-sized offering makes this something of a non-issue. Though it approaches the duration of some full-lengths, the half-hour time span proves to be a comfortable median for taking the work as a whole rather than as a collection of disparate elements.

The prelude to their impending LP, here’s hoping that Between the Buried and Me can do something that disrupts the status quo in a way that forsakes the usual experimental distractions that plague others of the progressive variety.

1. Specular Reflection
2. Augment of Rebirth
3. Lunar Wilderness

Between the Buried and Me is a band from North Carolina which focus heavily on a progressive musical style as well as a variety of extreme metal elements.

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