On Colors, the Between The Buried And Me lads really managed to come into their own. It’s still an artistic masterpiece and a tough act to follow, to say the least. In 2009 Tommy Giles Rogers and Co returned to the fold with The Great Misdirect, their sixth full-length album. One of the songs the band described as “a noisy Coalesce breakdown, 3/4 Mastodon groove, 9/8 The Mars Volta, Queen chromatic build-up and a Megadeth styled chorus”. It’s basically rocket science to me, until you listen to The Great Misdirect..
Just like the prior release, The Great Misdirect is a massive musical adventure through progressive twists and turns, jazzy interludes, surf music, chaotic death/metalcore styled bursts and other trademark Between The Buried And Me madness. However, the main difference with Colors is that The Great Misdirect feels like a cohesive unit, while its predecessor was all over the place, musically speaking. Both records follow the same blueprint, but The Great Misdirect is the more civilised, mature and refined of the two.
The material on this album is as diverse as it comes. Disease, Injury, Madness starts as a raging river full of technical death metal but along the way it mellows down to a heavily seventies prog-inspired track with vintage keyboards. It’s combination like this why I love this band so much. Obfuscation is one of the harshest tracks on the album, but some parts sounds remarkably like Dream Theater’s New Millenium. A western styled swing piano piece forms the basis of Fossil Genera – A Feed From Cloud Mountain. It’s probably the creepiest song on The Great Misdirect, but one of the finest.
The bluesy acoustic guitar composition in the form of Desert Of Song is a welcome relief after the madness of the first four songs. It’s sort of an intro to Swim To The Moon, the longest track on this album. It’s basically a summary of the different influences you’ll hear on The Great Misdirect. Quite impressed, I must admit.
The Great Misdirect is the logical evolution of the course set on Colors. It feels more cohesive and balanced than the previous album, but it still contains all the technical and progressive frolics Between The Buried And Me is known for. Another classic album from the BTBAM guys!
Written by Raymond Westland