Between the Buried and Me - _The Parallax: Hypersleep Dialogues_
(Metal Blade, 2011)
by: Aly Hassab El Naby (8 out of 10)
Whoever said that guys who play in metal bands are all dark, violent brutes with skull covered black T-shirts and blood dripping down their four meter long goatees while virgins lay raped and bleeding in their trails is either an extremely disturbed Cannibal Corpse enthusiast or a pot head with Qaddafi-like imagination. Many metal band members conform to the typical metal band look, but the number of those who look like regular guys is increasing. Between the Buried and Me is one of those bands and, from watching some YouTube interviews, they seem very humble, decent and funny guys who just enjoy making music.

Anyway, _The Parallax: Hypersleep Dialogues_ is Between the Buried and Me's first EP, and it comes after a rather unusual album count that reached the number six with 2009's colossal _The Great Misdirect_. _The Parallax_ is also the first in a two part story of two human characters who live in different planes of existence, separated by millions of light years; and by the looks of what these fellows have shown us so far, that second universe is probably filled with all kinds of unexpected twists and turns. The characters find themselves in situations where they have to make decisions that can have drastic consequences and the music is the perfect soundtrack for their hesitation and confusion.

Tommy Rogers has taken a different approach with his clean vocals this time around which may not rub you the right way at first, but it eventually sinks in quite nicely. What he has repeated is putting a sentence that stands out in the last track, which is "moving forward is a must" on "Lunar Wilderness", just like the eternally true "we will be remembered for this" at the end of 2007's _Colors_. Dan Briggs again shines ever so consistently and does peep his head through the two-ply guitar wall-of-sound on several occasions. Paul Waggoner and Dustie Waring resiliently embody the spirit of progression as they dish out an endless barrage of riffs and licks, while Blake Richardson pounds the drums ever so furiously without the slightest interest in self-repetition.

_The Parallax: Hypersleep Dialogues_ is a micro-symphony of tumultuous, explosive and ever-expanding progressive metal. By the sum of its parts, it's only a thirty minute affair, but when it pulls to a stop, you will automatically feel the need to listen to it again to fully absorb it. I honestly wasn't expecting Between the Buried and Me to put out a new piece of work in 2011, and I would have been content with _The Great Misdirect_ for at least one more year. This two part story is a great idea, and its first half has turned out awesome; it's a matter of a few months till we feast our ears upon the second half.

May the guiding light of Ra forever shine upon those five North-Carolinians.


(article published 19/4/2011)

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