Vocals and guitars fight for metallic primacy on Alaska from Between the Buried and Me.
Between the Buried and Me has solidified its technical metal sound with its new disc, Alaska. It starts off with thick bass lines and quirky guitar riffs on "All Bodies," which sets the tone for the rest of the album. Also, it's where we get our first taste of vocalist Tommy Rogers' enigmatic style -- his voice demands attention and offers a sense of honesty. However, it's the steady crashing cymbals, dramatic pauses and unpredictable song structures that get the band likened to Converge. Unfortunately, though, one third of the disc is slow instrumental songs. Does someone in the band not dig Rogers' vocals? These songs feel like lullabies in the middle of gunfire, and they end up disjointing the album. Despite the dragging ballads and "Laser Speed," a song destined for senior-citizen singles cruises that I pray is a joke, the newest BTBAM will make you grasp the orb of metal and raise it to the sky -- the guitar solos are that dramatic.