The Pitch: "What if dreams could be broadcast for the purpose of entertainment? Could you consume the innermost thoughts of another person on screen? If you could, what does that say about an attention-starved audience? More importantly, what would become of the dreamer? Between The Buried and Me pose those questions and more on their two-part eighth full-length and introductory offering for Sumerian Records, Automata."
What I Like: From the very first track, I think that BTBAM are going to please alot of fans both old an new. Automata sports the same lush sound and experimentation of Coma Ecliptic while also delving heavily into their harsher origins a la Alaska or Colors. I loved the direction of the last album, but if you're concerned about them pulling a full on Opeth, it sure hasn't happened on this album. Instead,expect to find the epic, stadium-style progressive rock influences of Rush and Queen brought into a more conscious balance with the headbanging metal moments. The 70's and 80's style synths have arguably more presence than ever before; leading to a sound that pays delightful tribute to the past with a modern twist. Skill with which all of these components are woven together is downright masterful. "Yellow Eyes" is another fine example with its seamless progression of playful rock, horns-in-the-air hooks, sorrowful acoustic, bangin' bass, and electronic interlude. Mike Patton would be all over this.
Critiques: I really just can't wait to hear the second part. I could honestly care less about the next Star Wars movie at this point, but BTBAM are going to have me biting my nails all the way until June.
The Verdict: I try not to overhype myself with bands that I've been listening to basically since their fruition. But it's been 15 years since that fateful day I picked up The Silent Circus at the local record store, and I am so thrilled to say that BTBAM are still putting out some of the best material of their entire career. This is a band that celebrates its roots while also making each album a slightly different experience. They have only gotten better and better while allowing their earlier albums to remain critical to their discography. Adding this one to the stack for sure.
Flight's Fav's: Condemned to the Gallows, Yellow Eyes, Blot
-Review by FlightOfIcarus
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