Album Review: Between The Buried And Me – Coma Ecliptic

It must be a right pain in the arse when your band gets lumped in with a flash-in-the-pan scene by journalists and PR bods alike, but kudos to Between The Buried And Me for transcending such laziness. 12 years on from breakthrough album ‘The Silent Circus’ and quite rightly it’s been a long time since anyone described them as metalcore. They’ve stood apart from their peers for some time now and album number 7 ‘Coma Ecliptic’ will do no harm in cementing their status as one of extreme music’s most visionary acts.

Based round the concept of man’s visions whilst coma-bound, ‘Coma Ecliptic’ is almost an hour’s worth of prog-infused metal that’s intertwined with thick strands of cinematic and operatic storytelling. Opening suite ‘The Coma Machine’ is so bold and brazen that it deserves to be on a grandiose stage replete with a slowly-raising curtain and an orchestra pit. It’s a genuine tour-de-force of a song that’s shot through with classic era prog’ stylings and lashings of 70’s Queen-esque pomp.

‘Famine Wolf’ is the album’s most aggressive moment with a pervading sense of dread running through the whole track. It’s a vicious opening 5 minutes before taking a breath with a jazz-funk interlude that still feels utterly menacing. If a sense of fear and foreboding is that Between The Buried And Me were going for, then they’ve nailed it on this track. Right through to the reflective but no less passion-soaked closer ‘Life In Velvet’, ‘Coma Eliptic’ is a brave but masterfully recognised conceptual album that only a band as well-honed and in command of their craft as Between the Buried And Me could put together.

Very few bands are capable of dragging the listener through such a challenging aural experience and implanting their conceptual ideas the way that Between The Buried And Me do and it’s for this reason above all that ‘Coma Eliptic’ is so appealing. It conjures light and dark and a multitude of levels and doesso with consummate ease and, in the same way as a great film or book does, it’ll reveal a little bit more of its soul with each repeated listen.

If you’re new to Between The Buried And Me then you may want to start with their classic ‘Colors’ album as an entry point, if only to get your bearings, but for confirmed fans and prog heads alike, ‘Coma Eliptic’ is going to be dominating stereos for many months to come.

4.5/5

‘Coma Eliptic’ by Between The Buried And Me is released on 29th June on Metal Blade Records.

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Words by Rob Fearnley.

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