Between the Buried and Me – The Parallax Hypersleep Dialogues EP

 

   The Parallax: Hypersleep Dialogues is an EP of just three tracks, but a trio of tracks that in length, substance and quality are immense and powerfully rewarding. The sound within the release invades and consumes, leaving one an empty but fully satisfied shell as the last note slips inside and away.

The EP is the first release from North Carolina metalcore band Between the Buried and Me since their 2009 album The Great Misdirect, the band returning with a release bulging, within its trio of songs, with ingenuity, complexities and impressively creative ideas. The acclaim and response to their previous release has made the spotlight on this new EP even more intense but it is a challenge the band more than live up to. The Parallax: Hypersleep Dialogues is also the first release on Metal Blade Records, the label and band seems a perfect fit for each other, and it should be an enormously fruitful union.

   The Parallax: Hypersleep Dialogues serves as the first instalment of a two-part story involving two human characters who live in different planes of existence, separated by millions of light years, each confronted with similar personal issues that they need to deal with leading to both having to face decisions that will change their lives, and perhaps the course of the universe, forever.

Spectacular Reflection’ opens the release, a track engaging many variants of noise, aggression and impressive melodies to ensure 11 minutes of joyful innovation. The track is intense, the invasive guitars of Paul Waggoner and Dusty Waring are vibrant and harsh, striking alongside the war like bass of Dan Briggs and the explosive destruction dropped by Blake Richardson’s drums. Within the song the fluid transitions from the aggressive tones into smooth vocals from Thomas Giles Rogers Jr are impressive, matching the switch to melodic harmonies and chords musically. This repeated switch back and forth and the turn towards a vibrant bass led piece all adds together to make a track that is mesmeric and pleasing.

Augment Of Rebirth’ comes next, its absorbing black metal darkness and vocal harmonies working gloriously with the integration of a warped distorted folk metal vibe with a polka piece, is neatly surprising and enjoyable. Between the Buried and Me as they can do like no others, flow seamlessly through aggression and relative calm with perfect ease. The track ripples with intuitive and inventive musical ideas, merging dark crushing metal with eccentric melodic sounds and sections that bands such as Dog Fashion Disco or Circus Of Dead Squirrels employ, though neither do so with the organic uniqueness and flow that Between the Buried and Me achieve.

Final track on the EP ‘Lunar Wilderness’ is a powerful steely progressive rock track, the drums of Richardson hitting like missiles behind the visceral powerful  vocals of Rogers, the track immense and completely impressive.

Production on The Parallax: Hypersleep Dialogues comes from Grammy award–winning David Bottrill (Tool, Muse, King Crimson, Dream Theater, etc.) and together with the band has translated and brought to the surface with clarity and complete understanding all the ideas and skills they brought forth to the recording. Every track is a rewarding experience, a journey through little worlds of sound giving a stunning exploration of the light and the dark.

Pete RingMaster 05/07/2011

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