The men of Between the Buried and Me have once again charted an expedition into undiscovered country. Colors, BTBAM's fifth and newest release, is a continuous, sonic labyrinth of savage metal, lush prog-rock and uninhibited emotion. Matching the brilliance of Pink Floyd, King Crimson, Tool and Mastodon, they show how a band can create music that is crushingly haunting and technically challenging all at once. "It's the ultimate Between the Buried and Me record," says vocalist Tommy Rogers. "It's definitely the most musical thing we have ever written. It goes through so many shifts and moods but still feels very organic and comfortable."
"Comfortable" is exactly where Between the Buried and Me should be right now. After countless tours, nearly 250,000 records sold, and recording four of the decade's most celebrated albums, BTBAM have every right to feel invigorated. Between the Buried and Me began in 2000 when Tommy Rogers met Paul Waggoner and agreed to craft a style of hard rock that would defy categorization. Their impressive, self-titled debut was a widely heralded collection of stomping, progressive metal and hardcore filled with brutal breakdowns mixed with intricate musicianship and shifts in mood that gave them more in common with Radiohead than Hatebreed.
The band signed with Victory Records shortly after and followed suit with another pivotal release within the metal/hardcore underworld entitled The Silent Circus. This album was another chapter in the ever-evolving band and put them on the map of today's modern wave of forward-thinking American metal. After several line-up changes, the band finally found their footing with 2005's groundbreaking opus, Alaska. New members Dan Briggs, Dustie Waring and Blake Richardson immediately clicked with Rogers and Waggoner and gave BTBAM the kind of foundation that would allow them to take their unique brand of rock to the masses.
"Alaska was written together and it was really us, with the newer members, Blake, Dustie and Dan just finding our sound," explains Rogers of the new family members and their third full-length release. "After that record, we really felt that we found our niche."
"I had just joined the band and they had the title trackalready written," says bassist Dan Briggs. "We didn't know each other and we all had new ideas in writing more for that record. We went on tour right after it was completed." The touring went non-stop and brought them face to face with the heavy metal summer camp known as Ozzfest. The Anatomy Of..., their fourth release, contained renditions of classics by Metallica, Queen, Depeche Mode and Faith No More and was released just as Ozzfest kicked off that summer. The response was phenomenal and helped open BTBAM up to an even wider audience, giving the world a closer idea of the broad creativity that resides in them. But it was hardly an indication of what was yet to come. The demanding summer and fall of 2006 was the catalyst for the band to begin work on what would become Colors. They felt inspired and enthused by the challenge ahead of them.
"It wasn't until we started recording Colors where we felt we tapped into a vibe and made us feel like a solid unit," explains Waggoner. "Tommy was apart from us when we started to write the music, but it seemed like it was the best for the record cause he was able to concentrate on lyrics and vocals more and sort of add an outside perspective and input. It was weird at first but ended up being very cool and made the band tighter and we really connected."
"This is the best that the band has been since day one," says vocalist Tommy Rogers. "We wanted a much more epic feel to the record and make it clear that this would be a complete album, not just a collection of songs," Rogers explains. "You have to listen to this all the way through to really get it. Today, music is all about singles and videos and the other songs are just filler. We really did something that we are all very proud of and feel this is opening a whole new chapter for us"
That is exactly what the band did. There will be no radio singles for Colors. There will be no music videos for Colors. There is only an open invitation for the listener to take part on a wild, hour-plus voyage and soak in the work of this talented band. Colors is not just an ambitious piece of music, it is a monolithic step forward in the advancement of hard rock. Thisrecordaffirms that the music of Between the Buried and Me is as emotionally engaging and beautiful as it is brutally empowering and complex. Colors is the new landmark for extreme music today and will create a legacy for all to follow.