Between The Buried And Me

Live at The Novo

Los Angeles, CA

October 6th, 2016

Review and photos by Travis Baumann

Between The Buried And Me are hard to describe. One moment they are playing soothing Progressive Metal with mellow vocals and atmospheric electronics, the next they are embarking on Death Metal with violent growled vocals and heavy riffage.

While watching them, I likened them to a Death Metal band with a main-line shot of Mr. Bungle, but that really doesn't do them justice. Experimental Progressive band with a main-line shot of Death Metal perhaps? While the change of pace and attitude differs moment to moment, which strikes the schizophrenic chord that Bungle brings, there is a lot more calculation and sophistication to the madness and songs.

The band, or BTBAM for short, rally around master mind and vocalist, Tommy Giles Rogers, Jr. who also plays dual keyboards while singing the mellow parts, and will grab a mic and step out in front for the more aggressive deliveries.

Joining him on stage are founding guitarist, Paul Waggoner, Dustie Waring on rhythm guitar, Blake Richardson on drums, and Dan Briggs on bass guitar, who also plays keyboards on some songs as well.

I have only had limited listening experience with these guys.  I heard their initial self titled debut which was pretty much straight up Technical Death Metal to me, and while good, there are so many bands doing that same thing, it wasn't until many years later when I heard their album, "The Parallax: Hypersleep Dialogues" that they really stood out to me.

Last year they came out with, what in my mind is their stand-out album, "Coma Ecliptic". They are special guests of the amazing "Devin Townsend Project" on the "Transcending The Coma Tour" combining both of the bands' latest albums in to one incredible night. On this tour they were playing the entire "Coma Ecliptic" album straight through; in the lead singer's words, "live in full, the way it was intended to be heard". He also says it is their most theatrical album yet and they really made it an impressive experience.

Nothing about their stage show is typical. From their own unique, almost antique looking lighting setups, to the vocalist being behind keyboards and singing under a single overhead lamp for portions of the set, to when he would come out and basically assault the audience with his vocal attack.

I was honestly quite mesmerized by the entire thing.  It was really cool music that moved all over the spectrum, crossing genres in a constant shift of aural sculpture.

Instead of listing the songs they played, I am going to encourage the reader to just put on the new record through whatever streaming app or device you choose, or better yet, buy the hard copy and put it on and just listen to it from beginning to end and go on the journey as they have laid it out.

I for one loved the performance, and gauging from the audience's reaction throughout the set, I was not alone. They are definitely a one-of-a-kind act and a refreshing blast of talent and ideas.

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