Between The Buried And Me

Between The Buried And Me

Between the Buried and Me have not made a name for themselves through playing it safe. Pushing the envelope of heavy music with each successive release, they have continually evolved in thrilling new directions while maintaining the honesty and integrity that has connected with so many listeners. With The Parallax II: Future Sequence, the first concept album of their career, the North Carolina based unit have delivered their most complex, ambitious, and accomplished work to date. "We’re certainly not the average metal band – we write what we want to write, and we’ve never really tried to fit in anywhere," states guitarist Paul Waggoner. "With this record we held nothing back. We were excited to experiment and see where it took us, and working with a concept was a really interesting new challenge."

The concept was first introduced to the band’s fans with 2011′s The Parallax: Hypersleep Dialogues EP, which established the narrative’s two characters, Prospect I and Prospect II, the story commencing with the events of Parallax II. Separated by millions of light years, the two men exist in ignorance of the other yet are intrinsically connected by a shared soul, which ultimately brings them together. "Both men exist in isolation, one because he runs away from the life that is his and the other when he leaves his dying planet in the hope of creating new life elsewhere, through the planting of souls," explains vocalist Tommy Rogers. "As the story progresses you realize they are actually the same person, and at the end of the journey they’re responsible for destroying all life as they know it, reinforcing the idea that humanity is a destructive species, and that there’s some kind of innate flaw about us that causes us to destroy everything we touch." While the story is very much based in fiction and grounded in the imagination of Rogers, it was important that the vocalist was able to emotionally connect with it, and relate it to his own life, thereby making it relatable for listeners. "That was probably the hardest thing for me, making sure I could find that connection. The main thing that these characters go through is confusion and isolation, and I think that’s something every person deals with in their lives at some point. As a musician you spend a lot of time with your own thoughts, so despite the science fiction of it all it is still a very personal record."

Such an epic storyline demands a suitably grand and expansive soundtrack, and musically the record captures the sound of five men pushing themselves further than ever before. Having never fallen into the trap of prioritizing complexity for complexity’s sake, Between the Buried and Me are renowned for their capacity for writing intensely complicated and often challenging music yet never losing sight of the importance of good songwriting, something that is demonstrated constantly across Parallax II‘s twelve tracks. With swathes of crushing riffs, dizzying leads and convoluted rhythms that shift in unpredictable directions, the record also boasts a great deal of melody that is never trite or obvious. Equally, there is a wealth of rich ambience and atmosphere suffusing the record, the combination of these qualities making for an immersive listening experience. "The EP was a very interesting challenge for us, because it was very concise. In a lot of ways we didn’t necessarily get to experiment or expand on parts in the way that we usually do," Waggoner states. "With the full-length we really went for it, we left nothing on the table – if we came up with an idea we thought was cool we did it. It’s an extremely dynamic record, it’s over seventy minutes of music and never really settles into one style, and we’ve got some different instruments on there too. There’s some banjo and mandolin and sitar, and we had friends come in and play some saxophone, and there’s a flute solo on there too. It’s still rooted in guitar, bass and drums, but there’s some interesting other flavors on there as well, which is exciting for us as a band." While the project began with the concept being broadly sketched out, Rogers waited until the music was written before he began to write the lyrics, taking the various themes and ideas and making them work with the music in a cohesive manner. Written in a stream of conscious style, the lyrics take the form of the thoughts of the characters, allowing you an insight into their feelings rather than supplying a straightforward narrative, and it was important to the members that each song stand on its own merit and could be enjoyed when listened to apart from the whole. "I don’t think you necessarily need to understand or even know the whole concept to be able to get something out of each of the songs here," Waggoner says. "It was important to us that we were very much aware of the whole, but to not get so caught up in it that any particular song couldn’t stand up on its own."

Produced by the band – which is rounded out by guitarist Dustie Waring, bassist Dan Briggs, and drummer Blake Richardson – alongside longtime collaborator Jamie King, the recording process was smooth, though labor intensive, if for no other reason than the sheer amount of material that had to be tracked. Stepping back from it, the band are proud of everything they have achieved. "This whole process was a lot of work, and it’s definitely the most rewarding piece of music we’ve ever written," states Rogers. "It’s a very coherent record, and I think nowadays records are getting thrown out there without much thought put into them. I like that what we’ve done is kind of bring back the whole album feel, which was really important once but doesn’t seem to be any more." With plans to play Parallax II in its entirety on forthcoming tours, the band hope this album introduces new fans to their music, yet they maintain the humble aspirations that have always driven them. "I’m a firm believer that if you create something that’s unique and different there’s always going to be a niche market for that. Our mentality is to keep doing what we’re doing, writing music that challenges both us and the listener, and to keep playing to everyone who wants to see us," Waggoner states. Rogers concurs with this, adding "I think what we do speaks loudly to people. We’re a very genuine band, we do what we want because we love doing it, and I think that’s what people want. They want honesty in their music, and they want music that comes from the heart rather than comes from a computer, or that is made by people motivated by making money. We’re just going to keep writing the best songs we can and with that continue to grow, and hopefully through doing that more and more people will find us." Bio written by Dan Slessor

The Faceless are a technical metal band from the Los Angeles area who have formed to astonish their live audiences with dizzying guitar work, lightning fast drumming and unmatched brutality. Formed by guitarist Michael Keene and bassist Brandon Giffin, the band quickly found the perfect mix of dedicated musicians to complete the line up.

Drummer Brett Batdorf having played a brief stint with Himsa and long time drummer of the acclaimed Los Angeles death metal band Tchildres complimented the group perfectly and was added to the line up soon after. The combination of blistering guitar work, complex and fast-paced rhythms, offset by haunting keyboards and brutal vocals from singer Jeff Ventimiglia set The Faceless in a class with the metal legends who have come before to change metal forever. The Faceless have developed a large following from their dead accurate live performance and the online success of 3 songs recorded and produced by guitarist Michael Keene. The band has already become a buzz in the metal scene drawing up to 300 kids at local shows. The Faceless is quickly rising to the top in a sea of mediocrity to claim their place in metal virtuosity.

In the past year The Faceless have been lucky enough to share the stage with such talented acts as: Cephalic Carnage, Vital Remains, Impaled, Through the Eyes of the Dead, Animosity, Ed Gein, The Number 12 Looks Like You, Into The Moat, Reflux, On Broken Wings, From A Second Story Window, Ion Dissonance, Crematorium, Phobia, Light This City, Neuraxis, Job For A Cowboy, Intronaut, Anal blast, All Shall Perish, Winter Solstice, Radiation 4, The Red Death, Embrace The End, Psyopus, Deadsoil, Glass Casket, and many others.

The Contortionist

Warped time signatures, percussive mathematics, spider-fingered fretwork, dazzlingly atmospheric keyboards and immediately arresting vocals collide within THE CONTORTIONIST, who have achieved a career defining milestone with a "sophomore slump" defying feat of agility dubbed Intrinsic. The Indiana based prog-metal alchemists conjure the kinetic texture of RUSH, the cinematic musicality of DREAM THEATER, the heavy but heady metallic might of jazzy death wizards CYNIC and the studied experimental precision of BETWEEN THE BURIED AND ME while simultaneously fashioning an overall sound uniquely their own.
In a short amount of time, THE CONTORTIONIST has enveloped audiences and nearly swallowed them whole. They've toured with a wide-ranging number of acts including PERIPHERY, ALL SHALL PERISH and THE ACACIA STRAIN. The band headlined the inaugural edition of the Summer Slaughter Survivors Tour, as well.

With their earliest self-released work, THE CONTORTIONIST remade the rules within emerging genres like "deathcore" and "djent" as they evolved beyond scenes and categories, even as they were integral enough to be instrumental in defining them. The band teamed with Ken Susi of UNEARTH for their marvelously refreshing, conceptually driven debut, Exoplanet. With album number two, THE CONTORTIONIST entrusted Eyal Levi (DAATH, JOB FOR A COWBOY) and Jason Suecof (TRIVIUM, DEVILDRIVER) to help them capture their at once complex yet defiantly easy-to-connect-with esoteric material, which shatters the boundaries of conventional heavy music note-by-virtuosic-note.

In popular culture we often hear space referred to as "The Final Frontier." And while it's true that the vast majority of our universe remains unknown and deserving of further study, much of the inner workings of human beings beg further contemplation and discovery. How wonderfully appropriate, then, that having delved into deep space with their expansive sound and contemplative narrative on the genre-challenging and wholly impressive Exoplanet, THE CONTORTIONIST turns inward with the stunningly mind-bending follow-up, Intrinsic.

Whereas the first album explored the idea of earth's destruction following the inevitable collapse of our star and the ensuing search for an inhabitable planet to call home, Intrinsic dives deep inside the mind. Moving across several operatic sections, the record transports listeners on a journey through the apparent holographic reality we call "experience," through our very consciousness and metaphysical archetypes. Toward the album's conclusion the band ultimately imagines advancements in neuroscience that would broaden and challenge who we are. All of the music, of course, captures these themes.

Canadian thrash architects VOIVOD would surely be proud of the band's science based subjects. Like IRON MAIDEN before them, THE CONTORTIONIST is the kind of band that can be enjoyed for the basest of reasons but can also send astute listeners running to the library, like all of the generations of people who wanted to read more about the origins of "The Flight of Icarus" or "The Rime of the Ancient Mariner."
Lyrical inspiration and reference points came from a stack of research, which included books like Antonio Damasio's The Feeling of What Happens: Body and Emotion in the Making of Consciousness and Simon Young's Designer Evolution: A Transhumanist Manifesto. Immediate standout cuts "Holomovement," "Causality" (about a person having a near death experience brought on by an obsession with lucidity in dreaming and astral movement) and "Dreaming Schematics" (where scientific minds develop procedures to strengthen and multiply synaptic networks) are epics. These songs and the rest of the album's material inspire food for thought and aesthetic pleasure in equal measure.

THE CONTORTIONIST continues to be a study in contrast. In their quietest, most ambient moments, the band is intimately melodic. Alternately their heavy parts are as alarmingly bombastic as possible. An emphasis on songwriting and structure has resulted in a series of musical journeys that are constantly climbing new summits. There is only one song on the album with anything like a "repeating chorus."

At the same time, the band is always ever careful to tastefully balance technique with purpose. They aren't shredding for shredding's sake. Each section of every song is rooted in logic, meaning and reason.
THE CONTORTIONIST has succeeded at creating intelligently tasteful metal that is as memorable and melodic as it is creative and dynamic. Within their formula, a listener paying close attention is as likely to discover elements akin to MINUS THE BEAR as MESHUGGAH.

Just as different genre-pushing bands broadened their own minds, the men in THE CONTORTIONIST are happy to lead fans through the gateway of heavy music down pathways of new music and self-discovery. With fervent attention to every detail of their composition and presentation, the band's future in the pantheon of heavy music is assured. Intrinsic is the next step in what will become a landmark catalog. THE CONTORTIONIST opens minds from within and without.

The Safety Fire

Formed in London, The Safety Fire has always pushed the boundaries of technical, progressive metal since their inception. With their expansive atmospheres and soaring melodies, it's easy to see why vocalist Sean McWeeney, bassist Lori Peri, drummer Calvin Smith, and guitarists Derya Nagle and Joaquin Ardiles are now at the forefront of their ever-growing genre.

The Safety Fire first made a name for themselves in the UK scene with the release of their critically acclaimed EP "Sections" in 2009 and their reputation as a powerfully energetic live band. They have toured extensively across the UK with bands such as Rise To Remain, The Arusha Accord, Bleed From Within, and Xerath, as well as progressive metal titans Periphery and Monuments most recently throughout Europe. The Safety Fire also appeared at the renowned Sonisphere Festival in 2011 alongside Metallica, Slipknot, Mastodon, and The Mars Volta, proving to the metal community that they can hold their own amongst the likes of such music legends.

Their efforts have been recognised not only by their musical peers, but also by members of the press, who have hailed The Safety Fire as a fresh sound in their scene. When searching for a record label, it seemed only natural for these progressive newcomers to find their home with InsideOut Music. With a roster of artists that includes Devin Townsend, James Labrie, and King's X, The Safety Fire will gain recognition and exposure far beyond the dreams they had as childhood friends.

"We all grew up together and would head over to Calvin's place and jam in his living-room after school, practically learning our instruments along the way. It took a few years and few different bands before The Safety Fire became what it is today. To be able to release our music worldwide with a label like InsideOut Music is a dream come true. We are all massively excited and can't wait to get our music out there across the whole world!"

Mastered by Jens Bogren (well known for his work with such luminaries as Opeth, Katatonia, and Amon Amarth), the album was produced and mixed by guitarist Derya Nagle as part of his "BlackBear Productions" operation, through which he also produced up-and-coming bands such as Rise To Remain (EMI), The HAARP Machine (Sumerian), and Palehorse (Eyesofsound). With the imminent release of their debut single, "Huge Hammers", the band is ready to give the progressive world their first taste of what's to come from "Grind the Ocean" and The Safety Fire, so stay tuned!

$18.00 - $54.00

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Between The Buried And Me with The Faceless, The Contortionist, The Safety Fire

Friday, October 11 · Doors 6:00 PM / Show 7:00 PM at Varsity Theater