Sweeping riffs, filled with hammer ons and pull offs, with a mixture of harmonic vocals and brutal screaming, Between the Buried and Me (BTBAM) shreds beyond your wildest beliefs. BTBAM is a progressive, death metal band hailing from North Carolina. They started in 2000 and are still currently writing music under the label of Victory Records. They have released five albums. Theses are the self-titled Between the Buried and Me, The Silent Circus, Alaska, The Anatomy of, and Colors.
By looking at both Colors and Alaska's lyrics alone, we can see that Alaska is little easier to understand where as Colors is more confusing: Although the main idea of both albums contain issues of the world, Colors is more profound than Alaska, and is the album I would prefer to listen to.
Alaska is BTBAM's third album, released in 2005, and is where the band shows their true skills. In this album, BTBAM really tighten up their musical abilities. They display capabilities beyond death metal, by playing harmonic blues, jazz, and progressive metal. Alaska is a social commentary primarily about the abuse of technology and its major influence to people. This is shown primarily in the songs “Selkies: The Endless Obsession,” “Roboturner,” and “The Primer.”
The song “Selkies: The Endless Obsession” reveals that television corrupts children and tells them to behave in an uncivilized manner: “Innocent individuals . . . / Time to hate, kill, f---, conquer.” These lyrics suggest that violence is life at its best. They also show that BTBAM feels that television influences children, the innocent, and invites them to indulge in activities that are self pleasuring.
“Roboturner” proclaims that technology is out of control and is dehumanizing life and music. The song states that humans will create more perfect beings than themselves and that robots will take over. This is shown when BTBAM screams, “No more human voice / No more human actions / Imperfect f---s stand in the dark.” The band also states that music will be taken over by robots: “Robots crush / Death of human-music.” These lyrics reveal that BTBAM is scared that technology will overcome humanity and rule the world and even the most human activities, such as art.
“The Primer” explains the influence of highly technical items that have been improved by technology, such as guns and drugs. The song has extremely explicit lyrics; much of it is publicly inappropriate. The song speaks about the influence of medicine our culture has, our “pill for everything” philosophy, through lyrics such as “Prescribe me / corrupt me . . . / Prescribe me: I don't want to feel what is happening / I don't want to know what I see.” It also references the appeal of guns in our country by stating, “Put your guns in my hands / In the hands of the young / Let's kill / Let's die / We're all equal tonight.” The song then suggests that the use of media traditional marriage is no longer a normal thing. This is seen in “Traditional marriage: We don't have to take this serious / Have you seen the cities / Have you seen the images.” BTBAM explicitly uncovers the flaws that our nation has and reveals that technology is the cause for it.
Colors is BTBAM's narrated epic which focuses on an introverted individual. The story of Colors spans from the separation of a loved one to the narrator being criticized and running to space where he falls asleep and dreams, in which he has a revelation. Colors is almost completely about dying alone and having no one or nothing. The album delivers a message of doing something to be remembered by; this is is seen in “Foam Born” parts A and B, “Son of Nothing,” “Prequel to the Sequel,” and “White Walls.”
Messages of loneliness first arises in “Foam Born: (A) The Backtrack.” This theme is shown to be important from the very beginning of the album: “I will just keep waiting... / you will just keep waiting[.]” This exposes the idea of being alone and is important because the narrator is waiting on their lover and reveals the narrator is by their self. It can also be seen within the line “left behind...” This suggests that there was once someone with the person left behind, and that they are now all alone. The idea of loneliness is continued in “Foam Born: (B) The Decade of Statues.” The same lines that introduced the album are repeated as the first and last lines of part B. BTBAM from the beginning exposes loneliness and uses this to set the tone for the rest of the album.
“Son of Nothing” further emphasizes the theme of loneliness through the use of the narrator running to space, away from the blank stares of society: “Just see faces. / Faces staring blank as they go on with the routine. . . . / Loneliness is creeping out... or in, however you think of it. / But it sure is surrounding me.” Loneliness start “creeping out” because the narrator ends up alone drifting through space: “I am floating farther and farther away.” Because the narrator fled from the creepy blank stares, BTBAM suggest that if one runs away from their fears, then they will end up alone.
In “Prequel to the Sequel,” the narrator finds loneliness within his dreams. The dream is about a lover who cuts her head off atop a hill. After beautiful branches sprout from her head, she becomes attractive and falls in love with three men. These men use her for all she has and give her nothing in return, and leave her: “(It left its entire existence up to these three lovers) hints and all, they did as they pleased... and now it's starting to wilt away.” This shows both loneliness, in the fact that the lovers were never really in love with her. Loneliness is also seen when she dies in “wilt away.” In this manner, BTBAM explains the fear of dying alone.
Finally, in “White Walls” the narrator gains insight into how not to die alone. BTBAM proclaims that the actions people take are all that will be remembered of them when they die: “This is all we have when we die. / It's what's left of us when we die. / We will be remembered for this.” This reveals that BTBAM understands that what a people do in their life is important. Therefore, people should try to do something worthy of being remembered for. If people do this, then they will truly be in the minds of others for years to pass, and not be alone.
Colors delivers a message about trying to obtain being remembered after death it relieves the idea of being alone; If you do something worth being remembered after death, then you will most likely be recognized while you are living and will not end up alone. Where as Alaska just explains the problems our nation faces. Because Colors suggests an answer to the problems or ideas it contains, I prefer to listen to it. Therefore, if people listen to Colors, they will understand how to conquer the fear of dying alone.