Inspired by GroverXIII of TNOTB’s series of posts regarding nu-metal, Heavy Blog Is Heavy will be counting down the top five reasons why the genre of deathcore isn’t totally full of shit. Check back every day this week at 3 PM EST for cannon fodder for your flame wars. If you want to throw in your two cents and call me out on missing out a gem that this genre has to offer, mouth off in the comment section. Enjoy!
Before you say anything, I know what some of you are thinking, and yes, Between The Buried And Me are (or were) technically a deathcore band before they explored their progressive influences further. Let’s look at the facts: there are low gutteral vocals, downtuned death-metal inspired riffs, and breakdowns. I had a hard time coming to this conclusion as I almost don’t want to admit it, but all the signs are there.
So, BTBAM are technically progressive and technical deathcore. So why THIS album? After The Silent Circus, they went full on progressive metal and started messing around with epic-length songs and genre experimentation, and I feel like the label makes the most sense on their first two albums. The Silent Circus is the last album BTBAM did that I could confidently claim as deathcore. For the record, Colors is my favorite album of all time, but it’s too proggy and there’s way too much going on to find itself on this list. I know I’m gonna catch shit over including them, but this made too much sense. The fact of the matter is, if a new band released an album exactly like this today, everyone would call it Sumeriancore. If you think I’m wrong, tell me why in the comments section below. Otherwise, congratulations for paying attention.
Between The Buried Me released The Silent Circus back in 2003 under a different line-up than the one people now know and love. This incarnation featured Tommy Rogers on vocals and keys, Paul Waggoner on lead guitar, Nick Fletcher on rhythm guitar, Mark Castillo on drums, and Jason King on bass. This is also the only BTBAM album that wasn’t produced by Jamie King, making this album stand apart from the rest in terms of sound and production. The Silent Circus helped lay the foundations for Sumeriancore and served as an inspiration for a generation of bands to come.
The album opens with the two part “Lost Perfection,” which borders on brutal and eerie at times and features a catchy southern riff that sets a neat groove. “Camilla Rhodes” is all-out heavy through the course of the song and doesn’t stray from the course, feeling raw and powerful.
“Mordecai” has to be my favorite song of all time, going from the heaviest moments on the album to the most beautiful, this song has the most powerful dichotomy and is something you are unlikely to forget. “Reaction” serves to bridge “Mordecai” and the following song “Shevanel Take 2,” which is a sequel of sorts to “Shevanel Cut A Flip” from their self titled debut. It’s a cleanly sung acoustic ballad (for the most part) that is actually kind of touching. This trio of tracks play out as the album’s centerpiece and highlight, making this album diverse, dynamic, and completely unforgettable.
“Ad a Dglgmut,” which got its name from a text message that Tommy recieved one day, is a statement on how the music they love and play is disregarded as noise and show that they are, indeed, capable of beauty by switching up the song in a way they have become famous for. This song starts out with Tommy actually screaming indecipherable gibberish, in spite of those that claim that’s all he does.
Once the song switches into a melodic clean section, Tommy sums up the song with the line “It all makes sense; we’re capable of beauty.” The song ends in a manner similar to how it began, in chaos. “Destructo Spin” goes through business as usual for the boys before they take on an almost exhilarating black metal sounding section at the end.
If there was any doubt that BTBAM play deathcore, look no further than “Aesthetic.” This song actually has three breakdowns, even opening and closing in one. They actually do it quite well for what it is. The last song, “The Need For Repetition”, is an intentionally repetitive statement on child molesters and pedophiles. The song is very dark and heavy, with Tommy growling “Fucking whore of disgust.” This is a raw and emotional song, very fitting for the album’s closer.
But wait, there’s more! If you act now and stick around past the silence, you get a hidden bonus track, “The Man Land,” with no extra charge! This outtake sees Tommy seemingly parodying his vocal style from their self titled album with lyrics like “YEEEEAAAHH! I’M A MAN! I’M NO GODDAMN WOMAN!”
This album is often overlooked by fans of Between the Buried and Me’s more progressive material, but it showcases how deathcore can be done right, in a manner of honest musicianship. After this album’s cycle, the band underwent a drastic lineup change that saw a shift in style to a more progressive metal sound that they band touched on in this release. The band don’t like to play much material from this album, with “Mordecai” and “Ad A Dglgmut” showing up in sets on good days. Even though this album is an overlooked portion of the band’s catalog, this album proves that, once again, deathcore isn’t total shit.
Here’s their video for “Mordecai”, followed by “Ad A Dglgmut” from Colors_LIVE.