Between The Buried And Me

Alaska

Written by: PP on 11/10/2005 18:13:22

With "Alaska", Between The Buried And Me have broken boundaries of so many genres at once, that I could spend the entire review listing them. Due to this and its incredible depth, it is an immensely difficult album to review. It's possible to spend the entire review discussing just the unexpected breakdowns and astonishing guitar solos of "Selkies: The Endless Obsession", or trying to interpret the lyrics in any given track.

The vocals are particularly harsh, which already makes it a difficult listen - an impossible one without the lyrics sheet - with different styles flying in and out faster than you can blink your eyes. Their vocalist can be growling from the bottom of his lungs, then switch to clean singing, only to instantly change into a robotic voice before breaking it all down into intense, growled out repetitions of lyrics such as "No more human voice...no more duman actions..." such as in "Roboturner".

I've been listening to this over a month, and I'm just barely beginning to grasp what the album is all about, but the jazz-jamming sessions that suddenly burst into hardcore-style unmelodic guitar pounding still catch me unalert time after time.

It's fair to say I've never heard anything like "Alaska" before. There aren't many bands out there that compose songs like "Backwards Marathon", an 8? minute long epic, with short guitar solos entering and exiting at the strangest timings, metalcore-style riffing, which about 1/3 into the song change into Metallica-style balladic music behind soft, faint "It's raining.." lyrics. And though there are many bands who can and do include instrumental only songs on their albums, few of them dare to include two long ones: "Medicine Wheel" lasts for over four minutes and "Laser Speed" plays for a good three minutes. Curiously enough, the latter is also the last song on the album. It works as an antonym for a warm-up, providing the listener a chance to try to understand what the hell was going on for the last 55 minutes, before closing the album with a dinner music-style jamming session.

Metalcore? No. Hardcore? Hardly. Metal? Not really. All of the former? Possibly, and a ton of other genres piled up on top of them. Once they'll come anywhere near me to play, I'll buy a ticket just to see if it's even remotely possible to pull this off live.

9

Download: Selkies: The Endless Obsession, Backwards Marathon
For the fans of: The Dillinger Escape Plan

Release date 06.09.2005
Victory Records

Related: "The Anatomy Of" review

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