So believe it or not, before I listened to this album,I was not a fan of Between the Buried and Me. I had only heard their early stuff, and was not all that impressed and just threw them to the side. I was given the opportunity to do a review for this album, and figured, why the hell not, what do I have to lose? I can say that I only gained something, this album, The Parallax II: Future Sequence, has made me a fan of this band.
This album is a sprawling journey, and that is putting it lightly. Usually, when I talk about or review an album, I tend to do a song by song breakdown and put my thoughts in between or in the song discussions, but this time I can't really do that. This album is honestly one long song with lots of twists and turns. The album does so many things right, it has many time signature changes and style changes. Which leads me to the next thing that I liked but also disliked about this album, that it had 5 songs of almost 10 minutes in length or more. The reason why I think that this is a good thing is because of the fact that the band gets to really flesh out and focus on some of those ideas without making too many jarring shifts in sound or style (there are a few, but not all too many). This also leads to my problem with that, because the fact that the songs do last quite a while and do have very distinct sections in those longer songs that I kind of get bored of one section and wish that the songs were segmented somehow, but that is only a minor gripe of mine.
Though that also leads me to something I really did like about this album, it was the fact that there was a lot going on during most of the songs, there rarely is any sort of lul in the instrumentation, and most of the riffs and rhythms are very technical and have a certain groove to them that is fun to air guitar along with. Even the quieter passages are still not all that boring (like some quieter passages can be). The band did throw the kitchen sing, the furnance, and the M-16 into this album, because it does include anything that you can think of, including flutes!
The vocals by vocalist Tommy Rogers are done quite well on this album, with there only being some screams and growls this time, with clean singing being the other half of the equation, of course, but there are a few vocal notes in the album that are odd, but like I said, kitchen sink, flutes, and whatnot, this is kind of expected in progressive albums. While Mr. Rogers does a very good job on the album, and so does their bassist Dan Briggs, who also does a very technical job with the bass line.
I think that the three people who shined the most on this album were their drummer, Blake Richardson, and their two guitarists, Paul Waggoner and Dustie Waring. The drumming is superb on this album, and the guitars lead the way, this trio manages to create quite an album between the three of them, because the three of them tend to wrap around each other like vines and create quite the monster.
Though there is one more problem with this album that keeps it from being ranked higher in my eyes, it is that while there are a few songs that are incredible and really interesting, my personal favorite song is the final long track, "Silent Flight Parliament", the fact remains that the songs in this album individualy, wont make much sense musically and they will sound kind of weird when you don't put them with the rest of the songs. This can be a pretty big problem in my eyes, because that means that for some people, they wont be able to enjoy this album to the fullest, and getting into the album based on one song from the album doesn't sound like something that will happen for many people, because when by themselves the songs are not nearly as good and just feel like random bits of progressive obnoxiousness. But while this fact is true, it is good that they stuck with one idea through the whole idea and just threw in the occasional thought every once in a while instead of throwing 81709781752 musical ideas in a pot and hoping to get through them all with one Frankenstein monster of an album.
The 411: As an album, this band has released a massive one with 'The Parallax II:Future Sequence', I loved a good chunk of the album and recommend anyone with some time to give it a listen. This is great progressive metal that has a death metal edge and if you like winding passages of long music, this album is for you!