Review : Between The Buried And Me – ‘Automata 1’

This is a transcript of me listening to the new Between The Buried And Me’s latest album ‘Automata 1’:

“Hmmmm, nice relaxed intro, oooh crashing chordal bit, oooh synth, RAAAAAWWWWWW, clean bit with superb riffage…where the hell are they going now?! Awesome slow heavy bit, and off it goes again, nice play between the vocals, harmonized guitars giving it, this is fukin superb!…just realised I’m getting some really odd looks here in the office….just realised I said that out loud, dammit…and that…Look I’m sorry boss but it’s Friday and Between The Buried and Me have just released a new bloody album! Sure, I’ll leave”

I’m sure they’ll let me back on Monday but for now I need to tell you about this release, I’m not sure why I’m bothering to be honest, I assume that you are reading this as you are a fan of BTBAM and if you are a fan at this point then you have accommodated (hell, maybe even loved) the changes that have slowly crept in to the bands sound over the past few albums. If so, you are going to love the hell out of this album!

For anyone who’s been living under a stone for the last eighteen years here’s a quick recap, BTBAM (as affectionately known to those who can’t be bothered to say their lengthy name constantly) are a progressive metal band who used to be more of a progressive death metal band and still have elements of death going on but are now way more progressive and a bit less deathy, which has pissed some folk off no end and been a blessing to others. I’m personally a fan of it all and appreciate a bands got to evolve and am just thankful they have done so in a way which continually pushes the boundaries of their musicality without losing the core elements of their sound.

‘Automata 1’ continues perfectly where ‘Coma Ecliptic’ left off its still heavy as hell with both heavy and clean vocals fighting it out for precedence, musicianship and songwriting puts most other bands to shame and like the past few releases the synths are becoming more prominent though used to such an effect that it took me a while to even notice just how dominant they are in some parts.


Stand out tracks are, for me, the longer songs ‘Condemned to the Gallows’, ‘Yellow Eyes’ and the epic ‘Blot’ which are expansive writhing beasts of music alternating between stampedingly heavy to beautifully melodic and are never scared to take the listener on a beautifully unexpected diversion of noise and progressive instrumental-ism. Chaotic sections give way to open, spacious moments before building into slamming crescendos. There is so much to enjoy with this release that despite its length you will be constantly re-listening and discovering passages and intricacies with every play. The shorter tracks are still killer and it’s amazing how much is squeezed into them but for the main part they provide the narrative between the lengthier segments, with perhaps the exception of ‘Millions’ which like ‘Coma Ecliptic’s ‘Dim Ignition’ deserves an honorable mention. With its slow melodic and harmonized beginning, more consistent pace, its this more ‘standard’ style song that ends up being the odd track within the diversity of the albums bulk. This may be quite divisive for ‘older’ fans of the band but for me its superb.

‘Automata 1’ is, as the name suggests, the first part of a greater release and clocks in at just over 35 minutes. Sound a bit short? Hell no, this album has so many damn twists and turns throughout its length that should it have been much longer then you may well have faced a sensory overload and had to listen to ambient folk for a few hours to calm down…and for those hardcore few, you can always just hit play again! Which is exactly what I’m gonna do now…

Do your ears a favour…buy this!

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