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Thursday, November 03, 2011

Between the Buried and Me -- The Great Misdirect

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8/10

Between the Buried and Me's The Great Misdirect starts off with an unexpectedly lovely song. Vocalist, Tommy Rogers, sings longingly over carefully picked guitar and complicated, yet subdued rhythms. There isn't a scream or a shade of death metal to be found.

This isn't even the only song in this vein--"Desert of Song" is just as beautiful. On top of this, some of the songs have actual, catchy sung choruses. However, despite an intro worthy of the title, The Great Misdirect is one of the heavier, more insane things Between the Buried and Me have released.
Second track, "Obfuscation," begins with an anthemic riff, but before you know it, Rogers is growling and screaming, and the instruments are grinding it out. The madness of Between the Buried and Me begins again. The Great Misdirect is an hour long, but contains only six songs. This tips that something crazy is afoot, and after the 18 minute riff-session, album closer, "Swim to the Moon," it's easy to feel exhausted. The band pack in just as much variation and unpredictability as previous releases...in fact, they pack in an overwhelming amount. My first listens to this were pretty similar to my first week of college Spanish class. I got almost nothing out of it. I thought The Great Misdirect was impenetrable. It wasn't until almost two years later, after ten or more listens, that things started falling into place. As I began to remember the myriad riffs, where the quiet moments were, The Great Misdirect went from completely disarming, to kind of comforting. The lyrical themes (there are so many lyrics, I found myself unable to even read through the booklet after buying the album) start to gel together to form a picture of misinforming governmental powers,growing despite oppression, and maybe six or seven thousand other topics.
Colors sounded like the band doing every thing they knew, and The Great Misdirect sounds like the same band with two years additional knowledge. Between the Buried and Me might come off like a kid randomly spouting knowledge, but closer listening proves that this band has memorized the textbook...with the textbook being exciting, engaging music, and not like, Organic Chemistry or something. Actually, I guess Math, Science, and English are applicable. You know how sometimes you come up with a bad metaphor and can't get out of it? Well, here is my solution for this one:

RANDOM POINTLESS RAMBLE NOTE: I compared a segment of one of this band's songs to Radiohead the other day. Radiohead has a song called "Sail to the Moon." "Sail to the Moon" is 4:18 long. Between the Buried and Me's "Swim to the Moon" from this album is 17:53 long. Think the time difference is due to the different modes of transportation?

I think that did it.

2009 Victory Records
1. Mirrors 3:37
2. Obfuscation 9:15
3. Disease, Injury, Madness 11:02
4. Fossil Genera -- A Feed from Cloud Mountain 12:10
5. Desert of Song 5:33
6. Swim to the Moon 17:53

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