Automata II

July 9, 2018


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The Pitch: Progressive metal/metalcore legends Between The Buried And Me finish what they started with Part II of their Automata double album via Sumerian Records. Says Tommy Rogers, "There are plenty of twists/turns and bizarre moments, but there is also a lot of beauty in the music and the story. Automata is now complete and our antagonist found his version of home and peace. We are all in this together."

What I Like: As I stated in my review of Part 1, BTBAM have seriously stepped up their orchestration. With a lean runtime and just 4 tracks, the band wastes no time getting to the meat; beginning with the powder keg of wicked guitar soloing, organ, and piano that is "The Proverbial Below." This 13+ minute opus is absolutely bursting with great ideas that never clash or otherwise fall short of expectations. Part II demonstrates an increased palette of alternate instrumentation from the playful accordian, woodwinds, and odd percussion on "Glide" to the ragtime, scat, and big band brass on "Voice of Trespass." And even with so many different styles playing out moment to moment, BTBAM manage to bring them all together into a cohesive harmony and flow. Perhaps even more so than it's predecesor, the final result feels very much like a stage performance joining the classic charisma of Queen with that special spice that only BTBAM can bring. And they still know how to get heavy too.

Critiques: My only real complaint about this album is in regards to how it was released. Part II is only 4 songs of about 30 or so minutes in length. It could have easily fit with Part I as a single release. I guess I just don't understand the rationale.

The Verdict: Taken both seperately and as a whole, BTBAM's Automata series is a stunning success. I'd rank it among my favorite double albums despite generally being highly critical of the approach. While I have qualms with splitting up something that could have fit on one disc, the overall brevity ends up serving it well and definitely gave me something to look forward to after hearing Part I. The hype is real.

Flight's Fav's: The Proverbial Bellow, Voice Of Trespass

- Review by FlightOfIcarus

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