Gig Review: Between the Buried and Me – Electric Ballroom, London (10th October 2019)

The conclusion of theAn Evening With” tour in Europe saw Between the Buried and Me grace the stage at the Electric Ballroom in London. Guests were treated to two sets of progressive metal at its finest as BTBAM showcased their entire back catalogue – which spans over an impressive two decades! The absence of a headline show in London for nearly five years left fans of the Grammy nominated band excited and eager to witness this reflection of the band’s existence.

Having listened to Between the Buried and Me since the release of EP The Parallax: Hypersleep Dialogues in 2011, right up to last year’s release of Automata II, I was very excited to see how they have developed both sonically and in terms of their live performance. It also presented the opportunity to listen to material I was less familiar and witness first hand the current stage of nearly 20 years of evolution.

The first set began with “Astral Body” and “Lay Your Ghosts to Rest” of The Parallax II: Future Sequence, but with an interesting twist. They started the set using the intro to “Naked By The Computer” and finished those two tracks with the outro from “Fire For A Dry Mouth”. The riffs worked really well at fusing material off their 2002 self titled album and music from a decade later!

The first set also engaged with a lot of earlier material by the band. Tracks off the self titled, Alaska, The Silent Circus and The Great Misdirect were eagerly lapped up by the crowd! It was interesting to hear elements of the band’s deathcore beginnings in these tracks but at the same time still hear the whacky prog elements that have become so synonymous with BTBAM.

The second set was set into two distinct halves. The first playing the later tracks off Parallax II from “The Black Box” to “Bloom”. The crowd bobbed their heads back and forth and jumped about to the more intense parts of “Telos” and sang their out hearts over the mysterious clean sections of the track!

The second half of this set showcased their latest record Automata II. Featuring the first three out of the four tracks on this EP. “The Proverbial Below” in all its 13 minutes long glory moved the fans through different emotions, finally ending on a tasty solo from guitarist Dustin. I must add the whole band’s performance was phenomenally tight. Playing two hours of intense complex music must take its drain on the members, but vocalist Tommy kept the crowd engaged and his vocals were spot on! The intro to “Voice of Trespass” was met by the whole crowd jumping up and down to the tasteful brass infused intro. The Charleston vibes of the song then had the crowd clicking fingers and dancing about – was a fantastic sight to see!

As the second set ended with a bang, there was one thing clear amongst the crowd. Not a single track from the band’s iconic 2007 release Colors had been played… Encore chants were loud and clear. Fans wanted more! As BTBAM reappeared they began with another fan favourite “Selkies: The Endless Obsession” before finishing off the set with “Viridian” and “White Walls” off Colors. The later of which was a 14 minute serenade to the fans who have stuck by this band for a very long time!

All in all, this was a fantastic night appreciating every aspect of BTBAM’s back catalogue. The musical diversity of the band, backed by the dexterity and stamina to show it all had me in awe by the concert’s close! I cannot wait to see what the next chapter of this band brings.

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