BETWEEN THE BURIED AND ME – The Great Misdirect is a Progressive Metal album that was released on October 26, 2009, on Victory Records. I received this CD as a Christmas gift from my wife and daughters, therefore, my first listen to The Great Misdirect was in the final days of last year. Metal truth be told, this is my very first Between The Buried And Me album that I have ever owned… or listened to. Stagnant, same-old, status quo and ho-hum are words that DO NOT describe The Great Misdirect. Heavy, progressive, semi-psychedelic, retrospective, layered and mind adventure are words THAT DO describe this dynamic album. As I listened intently to The Great Misdirect, I swear that this is a band that has taken a time machine from the mid 1970′s to present day… and they have been kidnapped and forced to create heavier music than they are used to, while still being able to incorporate their own style of Classic Rock into the structure of the songs. Call this thought nutty, call it science fiction, still, this is the type of mind wandering that Between The Buried And Me are all about with their lyrics anyways! It’s not just a fascination with this band being different that gets me… it’s the sheer fascination that this band is damned good at writing Heavy Progressive Music and playing it too.
Just by reading the lyrics to Fossil Genera – A Feed From Cloud Mountain, I realize that BTBAM’s vocalist Tommy Rogers is open minded and embraces the science fiction side of thought and conspiracy theories, (where his actual views stand on such topics, I do not know). Needless to say, just reading the lyrics found within the liner notes is an adventure. As goes Progressive Metal, the moment I sit back and chill to a lengthy interlude of mellow musical interplay, the quicker I have to sit up/get up to the heavy guitar riffs and leads, the bombastic rhythm section and/or the Extreme Metal vocals. (Pssst… I don’t mind it one Metal bit).
Yes, Grand Funk Railroad and any other Classic Rock band of legend should be proud of the astute usage of keyboards found within The Great Misdirect. Once again, Tommy Rogers is at the helm on the keys, raising such a familiar 1970′s sound that actually seems to resonate above the heaviness. Tommy Rogers also seems to go back and forth from extreme to traditional vocals rather effortlessly. As a unit, BTBAM are smart as they are talented with their playing, improvisation with this band in a live setting should never pose a problem.
Mirrors opens The Great Misdirect in a solemn, ultra mellow and quaint way. Lyrically, Mirrors exhibits a person who is without question, disassociated with the world around him/her… both people and things included. Ah, don’t let the opener of Mirrors fool you however, Obfuscation burrows right into my Metal soul… almost without warning, then subsides into a legitimate progressive pattern that BTBAM have indeed succeeded at. Metal Odyssey Note: Obfuscation means to be unclear, evasive or confusing. I actually had to look this word up, yeah, I did. Using a dictionary is cool.
Disease, Injury, Madness is over eleven minutes long, basically a Progressive Metal epic. Too bad this song wasn’t an hour long… it’s that good for me. As being an admirer of Mastodon, Daath, Dream Theater, Yes and The Electric Light Orchestra, my progressive Rock fan roots are as diverse as the Universe itself. Then again, when I think about it, isn’t the word diverse a major characteristic of Progressive Metal to begin with? Between The Buried And Me have recruited a NEW fan, I will gleefully dig into their back catalog without blinking a Metal eye.
Track Listing for The Great Misdirect:
Mirrors and Obfuscation – Metal Odyssey Note: (Mirrors plays out as an introduction to Obfuscation)
Disease, Injury, Madness
Swim To The Moon
Desert Of Song
Fossil Genera – A Feed from Cloud Mountain
Between The Buried And Me, as they appear on The Great Misdirect:
Tommy Rogers - vocals, keys and lyrics
Dan Briggs – bass, fretless bass
Dustie Waring – electric guitar, slide guitar, acoustic guitar and guitar effects
Paul Waggoner – electric guitar, steel string acoustic guitar, classical guitar and lap steel guitar
Blake Richardson – drums and percussion