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CD Review: BETWEEN THE BURIED AND ME The Parallax: Hypersleep Dialogues

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On The Parallax: Hypersleep Dialogues, Between the Buried and Me unleashes a flurry of genre-blending forms and influences to craft an enjoyable, entertaining listen. I found Parallax much more accessible than its predecessor, The Great Misdirect, even as it retains the progressive and experimental nature of the track they've been on since Colors.

Reviewing an EP can be a little tough, what with fewer songs to talk about. In this case however, I don't really think of this release as a series of three songs. It's much more like three tracks that encompass several moods and styles. You could say that each track has multiple songs, but to me they sound as if the band said: "Ok, let's lay down three tracks. We'll throw a lot of different elements in, and just play however we feel". For a lot of bands, this free-form approach can become a complete disaster. Luckily enough, this is Between the Buried and Me, one of the few bands with the skills to make this method work.

The EP begins with a wacky, almost Fantasia-like sequence before it cuts into a very aggressive section reminiscent of the Alaska-era sound and fluctuates between this and moments of soaring vocal melodies. All parts of the BTBAM sound are here- heavy riffs, crazy drum arrangements, both pretty and guttural vocals, and a healthy service of random synth moments. I think I even spotted an accordion on Augment of Rebirth! Who knows, at this point, there could have been a kazoo solo and I totally missed it! Parallax is best taken in as a whole, so choosing a favorite track or moment is kind of difficult. However, if pressed I would have to say Lunar Wilderness is my favorite track. Beginning with a plethora of brilliant guitar work, the song catapults into a furious volcano of palm-muted crunch and relentless drumming. Awesome.

While I enjoyed this EP, I should stress one important point. If you don't already love Between the Buried and Me, don't start with this one. For fans like myself, its a good treat, if not a bit of a tease. I certainly enjoyed it more than The Great Misdirect, and was very happy to hear them bring back some of their heaviness on this release. While I marvel at their experimental abilities, I hope the next album has at least a couple more straightforward tracks to go with the epic-ness of stuff like this. In short, I would highly recommend Paralax, but chiefly to those who are already converts to BTBAM.

8 out of 10

The Parallax: Hypersleep Dialogues is available for streaming at MetalSucks.

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