Between The Buried And Me – Automata II
Review by Adam McCann
Sumerian Records – 2018 – Progressive Metal
In early 2018, Between the Buried and Me (BTBAM) announced that their next album would not only be a concept album, but also a double album. This double album would be named ‘Automata’ and spread over two releases throughout the year. As always with BTBAM, the subject matter with ‘Automata’ would be bonkers, revolving around the invention of a machine that could record and play back dreams as entertainment. The band got things rolling with ‘Automata I’ and whilst some of the tracks were excellent, the album stuttered to get going in parts, leaving the progressive metal community a little cold as what to expect with ‘Automata II’.
Containing only four tracks, ‘Automata II’ was released later in 2018 and does its best to redeem some of the meandering tracks from the first chapter. As expected, this album does follow consciously in the footsteps of its predecessor, which is hardly surprising considering that the songs were recorded together. However, unlike some of the songs from ‘Automata I’ which failed to shine, ‘Automata II’ holds its own, tracks like the opening progressive metal epic ‘The Proverbial Bellow’ and the bouncing jazz rhythm of ‘Voice of Trespass’ stand out making this album a solid release.
When compared to the previous album, BTBAM enter an almost ‘Use Your Illusion’ predicament; some of the tracks on the first album are better than ‘Automata II’, yet overall, part two is a much better album and when played together back to back, the ‘Automata’ series is very, very good. ‘Automata II’ will bring in new fans of the band with its wonderful progressive metal sound and its technicality will arouse long-time fans of the band with BTBAM releasing one of the best progressive albums of the year.
Rating : 90/100
MHF Magazine/Adam McCann