Between The Buried And Me
The Faceless, The Contortionist, The Safety Fire
105 W. Main Street
Mesa, AZ, 85201
Between The Buried And Me
The men of BETWEEN THE BURIED AND ME have once again charted an expedition into undiscovered country. Colors, BTBAM's fifth and newest release, is a continuous, sonic labyrinth of savage metal, lush prog-rock and uninhibited emotion. "It's the ultimate BETWEEN THE BURIED AND ME record," says vocalist Tommy Rogers. "It's definitely the most musical thing we have ever written. It goes through so many shifts and moods but still feels very organic and comfortable."
"Comfortable" is exactly where BETWEEN THE BURIED AND ME should be right now. After countless tours, nearly 250,000 records sold, and recording four of the decade's most celebrated albums, BTBAM have every right to feel invigorated. BETWEEN THE BURIED AND ME began in 2000 when Tommy Rogers met Paul Waggoner and agreed to craft a style of hard rock that would defy categorization. Their impressive, self-titled debut was a widely heralded collection of stomping, progressive metal and hardcore filled with brutal breakdowns mixed with intricate musicianship and shifts in mood.
The band signed with VICTORY RECORDS shortly after and followed suit with another pivotal release within the metal/hardcore underworld entitled The Silent Circus. This album was another chapter in the ever-evolving band and put them on the map of today's modern wave of forward-thinking American metal. After several line-up changes, the band finally found their footing with 2005's Alaska. New members Dan Briggs, Dustie Waring and Blake Richardson immediately clicked with Rogers and Waggoner and gave BTBAM the kind of foundation that would allow them to take their unique brand of rock to the masses.
"Alaska was written together and it was really us, with the newer members, Blake, Dustie and Dan just finding our sound," explains Rogers of the new family members and their third full-length release. "After that record, we really felt that we found our niche."
"I had just joined the band and they had the title track already written," says bassist Dan Briggs. "We didn't know each other and we all had new ideas in writing more for that record. We went on tour right after it was completed." The touring went non-stop and brought them face to face with the heavy metal summer camp known as Ozzfest. The Anatomy Of…, their fourth release, contained renditions of classics by Metallica, Queen, Depeche Mode and Faith No More and was released just as Ozzfest kicked off that summer. The response was phenomenal and helped open BTBAM up to an even wider audience, giving the world a closer idea of the broad creativity that resides in them. But it was hardly an indication of what was yet to come. The demanding summer and fall of 2006 was the catalyst for the band to begin work on what would become Colors. They felt inspired and enthused by the challenge ahead of them.
"This is the best that the band has been since day one," says vocalist Tommy Rogers. "We wanted a much more epic feel to the record and make it clear that this would be a complete album, not just a collection of songs," Rogers explains. "You have to listen to this all the way through to really get it. Today, music is all about singles and videos and the other songs are just filler. We really did something that we are all very proud of and feel this is opening a whole new chapter for us"
Colors is not just an ambitious piece of music, it is a monolithic step forward in the advancement of hard rock. This record affirms that the music of BETWEEN THE BURIED AND ME is as emotionally engaging and beautiful as it is brutally empowering and complex. So it seems only fitting that such a groundbreaking studio album would be just as good, if not better, live. In October of 2008, Colors Live was released to the public. The two disc CD/DVD set offers live footage of a performance in Nashville, as well as special features.
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.
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!