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Between the Buried and Me at Corona Theater – Montreal Live Review

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Between the Buried and Me at Corona Theater – Montreal Live Review

Between The Buried and Me - February 26th 2014 - Corona Theater - Photo by Andrej Ivanov

Between The Buried and Me – February 26th 2014 – Corona Theater – Photo by Andrej Ivanov

Who: Between the Buried and Me
From: North Carolina
Where: Virgin Mobile Corona Theater
When: February 26th 2014


Style: Progressive metalcore/technical death metal

Upon an earlier arrival, to catch the Ottawa band Kindred, I was surprised to find that the room was half empty and that the crowd was fairly static. By the time I came back an hour later, and by the time DeafHeaven was on, the theater had filled to capacity, and it was a complete dynamic shift. When the time for Between the Buried and Me to come on stage, I chose to brave the crowd to try and get a few shots closer to the stage.  The minute the band kicked in full throttle, an enormous circle pit opened up, not a few people’s length from me and had me out of the crowd fairly quickly. The crowd varied in energy output, seeing as the music shifts gears depending on the songs, but overall the energy was definitely there as compared to what was seen at the beginning of the evening. I will not feign my surprise that they were able to be quite tame and just enjoy the music without moshing at times.

From a technical point of view, Between the Buried and Me is absolutely outstanding. My harshest criticism is that vocalist Tommy Giles Rogers’ screamed vocals sound a lot better than his clean vocals. From where I was sitting it was a little pitchy, but understandably so, seeing as Rogers performs both the clean and dirty vocals in the band, which can cause a strain.

Having seen them at the Heavy MTL, I expected that they would be more of a static band, with Rogers exclusively playing the keyboard and not engaging the crowd. It was a pleasant surprise to see that, quite on the contrary, the band was very actively interacting and approaching the crowd. Rogers picked up the microphone more often than not and moved fervently around the stage.

The set for the evening was simple: they played the full rendition of their latest album The Parallax II: Future Sequences — the follow-up to their latest EP, The Parallax: Hypersleep Dialogues. This band is very technical, to say the least, and concept-orientated. The Parallax II continues an exploration of the first, “two human characters on different planes of existence, lightyears apart” (to paraphrase guitarist Paul Wagonner’s explanation of the album). Simply put, the show (as well as the album), flow from start to finish, leaving us with a feeling that the album was a single entity rather than many songs. It becomes easy to get lost in the music and to simply forget that we are listening to more than one song rather than one cohesive performance. This is only enhanced by the fact that Between the Buried and Me do not banter, talk, introduce song, or interact with the crowd other than musically.

So what makes this band sexy?  As far as tech bands go, these guys definitely stand out as some of the most interesting. I will not hide that I am not a fan of the genre of music, simply because more often than not, I have found that many progressive/technical band will become overly complex, conceptual and too experimental, to the point where it simply loses meaning and appeal. These guys manage to pull you in, with a certain aura and energy that they exude. It is only enhanced that these guys do not just mix one genre of music, and have the flow previously mentioned that makes all their songs a cohesive whole. The Parallax II marks the returning strength of this band and one of their most shining achievements.

Being perched above the main floor, and since the band did not bantered, I took the time to observe the crowd and had the chance to make two entertaining anecdotes about the crowd below me. The first was that once the time for moshing came, during Extremophile Elite, the crowd would erupt into a mosh pit with a diameter of half the size of the room, engulfing anyone in its wake. Simply, no one was spared. The second was that one of the concert goers was tired enough to be lulled to sleep for a few minutes. Real dedication and fans are shown by whether or not they are exhausted after a long day, and still go to a show! This guy was just another prime example.

To simply sum up, whether or not you like prog-rock, or technical music, these guys are definitely not to be missed. You will be transported into a completely different world in which Between the Buried and Me speak to you through the music and transport you into their world, melding musical styles seamlessly. Musicians like that are very rare and should not be missed.


The Parallax II: Future Sequence

Goodbye to Everything
Astral Body
Lay Your Ghosts to Rest
Extremophile Elite
The Black Box
Melting City
Silent Flight Parliament
Goodbye to Everything Reprise

Sun of Nothing

Written and Photographed by: Andrej Ivanov
Setlist from Setlist FM.

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