Every once in a while an album comes from nowhere and just completely blows my mind.  One of these rare albums is Colors by Between the Buried and Me.  I had caught a little buzz about this band, but for some reason just kept not checking them out.  One day I was browsing the I-tunes store and took a chance and picked it up not knowing of the absolute insanity on the album(note, DO NOT BUY THIS ON I-TUNES, there is an error on the tracking and the ends of all the songs are cut off and it destroys the seamless nature of the album).  After the download finished I was left speechless after the first song.  Between the Buried and Me have now become one of my all time favorite bands of all time.  I own all the albums, have seen them live a number of times, met them(they’re really funny guys), and will continue to pick up anything that has their name on it.

Colors is more or less one single hour and five minute long song and does not have one split second of downtime the entire album.  The album opens up with the sweet sounds of vocalist/keyboardist Tommy Rogers playing a nice little tune on his piano with his solemn voice over top and then the sound slowly starts to get heavier and heavier before just exploding into heavy metal insanity and the first track “Foam Born (A) The Backtrack” seamlessly segues into “(B) The Decade of Statues”.  What ensues is one hell of a headbanging worthy song.  But beyond just being a brutal song, BTBAM add multiple layers into the song with great lead guitar work by Paul Waggoner and atmospheric keyboard sounds.  Then BTBAM throws their next curve ball at you with a quick jazz bit that just feels like it belongs in that exact part of the song, then they go back to brutally kicking your aural ass.

On a quick tom drum hit “(B) The Decade of Statues” flows into the trippy Dream Theater inspired opening of “Informal Gluttony” which builds into insane metal bliss.  And after being pummeled for a bit they fade out into the into the trippy intro of the beginning of the track which leads you into “Sun of Nothing”.  Flawlessly dancing blast beats, heavy riffing, soft guitars, and atmospheric keyboards we are led into an guitar solo that sets the mood for later in the song where after a bit more of aural assault BTBAM throws in, I guess I could say, a Calypso styled part which leads to the “floating” melody.  The ending scream leads you into “Ants in the Sky” and this part opens up with heavy rhythm guitar riffing with some insane sweep picking leads over top.  Towards the end of the song, we are treated to a great guitar solo followed up by a country chicken picking part complete with people guzzling some beers.  On paper this would seem like a strange idea, but in practice, it works absolutely wonderful.

The next scene is “Prequel to the Sequel”.  It starts out with some wonderfully prog rock riffing and some outstanding bass guitar work by Dan Briggs.  And for the next 8 minutes BTBAM just do their thing, and Tommy Rogers really shows off how diverse of a vocalist he is on this track encompassing almost every metal vocal style in the book and throws some crooning in for good measure.  Then we are brought into the peaceful song “Viridian” where you can catch your breath and listen to the wonderful bass solo that blends the relaxing atmosphere that the rest of the instruments provide.  And then you are led into the epic fourteen minute closer “White Walls”.

This song just does everything right, from the intense build up of the intro to the insane technical metal spread throughout there is not one second where you are not glued to this song.  About halfway through BTBAM slow the tempo down a bit and start building back up.  Tommy Rodgers builds up the explosion with the lines “We just need to throw some new ideas in…, It will eventually, get out of this closed off circle we are part of…, we are part of…, get out of this closed off circle, get out of this closed off circle.” and just explodes in emotion on the line “The same”.  That part makes the hair on my neck rigid every time I hear it.  And after the next part, at just over three minutes guitars Paul Waggoner and Dusty Waring just go apeshit delivering one of the most epic guitar solos ever recorded in metal history closing out the album.

If you love metal and enjoy seeing bands completely destroy boundaries you need to go out and buy this album.  This is easily one of the, if not, the best albums of the first ten years in the 2000’s.  Don’t trust me, Mike Portnoy of Dream Theater considers this one of the best albums of the 2000’s also.  There is also a live dvd/cd of Colors being performed live which is an amazing live album and comes included with some really cool interpretive fan videos for each song on the album.

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