Between the Buried and Me – Alaska

Between The Buried and Me is like a gorgeous blonde with an amazing body that is an expert at every position including oral, but switches positions so much you can’t properly enjoy any of it. This is probably the only band that has ever tried to play grindcore, metalcore, death metal, black metal, prog metal, and power metal in the same song. To their credit, these guys can pull off each of these different genres with decent success, but it is certainly not necessary to cover all that ground as a band, much less on an album, much less on every song.

This is one of the most frustratingly scatter-brained albums I have ever heard. It is litteraly head-spinning. The talent is mind-boggling, but the songwriting is awful. Where some technical bands seem as though they are simply throwing together a ton of riffs, BtBaM – while doing that same thing – switches genres almost as often as switching riffs.

Going through and picking standout tracks is basically pointless, as these songs are all so all over the place it becomes hard to differentiate. However, my favorite moment on the album is the opening riff of the title track, as it runs a prog/power lead over a metalcore breakdown. In general, the band has its most success when it cross-polinates like this rather than separating the styles riff by riff.

After each successive Between the Buried and Me release, I find myself and many other critics saying the same things over and over. Tons of talent, tons of potential, zero songwriting. I mean, hell, at the pace these guys are releasing albums, they could at least do one album for each genre rather than one riff for each genre. It’s just frustrating to hear so much talent not living up to its potential.