Progressive metal bands are popping up all over in the modern scene. Thanks to a few pioneering bands it’s been possible for the progressive metal genre to grow and flourish. Fresh off a successful tour with Coheed and Cambria, Between the Buried and Me announced a fall tour with The Contortionist, The Facless, and The Safety Fire back in June. Over the prior 2 months the tour has hit many cities along the way and on Wednesday October 16th it was ready to rock Best Buy Theater in NYC.
A nice size crowd gathered early to the catch opener UK band The Safety Fire. Forming back in 2006, The Safety Fire quickly made a name for themselves in the UK scene as a band to see. Their newest album Mouth of Swords was 2 weeks prior to hitting the road with Between the Buried and Me and it’s proving to be one of their best to date.
The band played a strong 5 song set highlighting Mouth of Swords. Derya ‘Dez’ Nagle and Joaquin Ardiles dueling guitars proved to be mesmerizing as well as stimulating. Sean McWeeney’s voice amplified through the theater with ease as he moved on the stage track to track. There was a decent group of fans which already knew of The Safety Fire and sang along with each track. The band slowly showed New York why they are labeled one of the more powerful and energetic bands in the scene by the end of their set.
Next up were America’s own The Contorntionist. Crafting their sound since 2007 the progressive death metal influenced band has been making a name for themselves here in the USA. In an already young career the band has toured with the likes of Hatebreed, Born of Osiris, Periphery, All Shall Perish, Veil of Maya, and After the Burial. Early in 2013 the band found their vocalist, Jonathan Carpenter, departing the band for personal reasons. Collectively the band smoothly transitioned to new vocalist Michael Lessard with ease.
As their set opened they treated fans to “Holomovement”. The track proved to be an excellent opener with moments of clarity and others of pure chaos. By the time “Geocentric Confusion” kicked in fans were moving chaotically through the heavy parts and grooving during the melodic parts. With an abbreviated 5 song set the band strictly played tracks from the 2012 album Intrinsic . Lessard did a fine job on vocals and seemed to perform well with the band. Overall The Contortionist put on a strong performance which fans were pleased with.
Changing the pace slightly next were LA based band The Faceless. Taking influence from a list of technical death metal, progressive metal, and so much in between The Faceless has progressed over the past decade. With Michael “Machine” Keene (guitar/ clean vocals), the only original member of the band, their line-up has taken clear shape since Geoffrey Ficco took over on lead vocals in 2011. Autotheism (2012) was the first album with the new line-up and it’s one of their most successful to date.
To celebrate Autotheism (2012) the band opened their 8 song set with “Autotheist Movement I: Create”, “Autotheist Movement II: Emancipate”, and “Autotheist Movement III: Deconsecrate”. This magnificent musical story captured the attention of many fans. With a broad range of guitar sounds, Keene’s playing shined. Ficco’s harsh vocals complimented the softer movements of vocal lines provided by Keene throughout the set.
Concentrating heavily on Autotheism (2012) throughout the set the band closed out with 2008 track “XenoChrist”. With a robust mix of core and metal the song ignited chaos throughout the room. Although The Faceless showed little emotion throughout their set the music spoke for all the emotion with each note played.
Fired up and ready to go, a packed crowd were ready for Between the Buried and Me. Thirteen years deep into their career and with 6 studio albums to their credit, Between the Buried and Me have garnished much attention with their highly progressive and technical style. With extensive touring throughout their career the band decided to do something extra special on this tour and play The Parallax II: Future Sequence (2012) in it’s entirety. The Parallax II: Future Sequence (2012) received some of the band’s highest ranks in US rock charts.
The crowd showed elevated levels of enthusiasm throughout the 13 track set. Between the Buried and Me played each track from the album in the same order as the track listing. This proved to be a successful approach as the album is an extremely cohesive piece with an infusion progressive rock, jazz, and metal in one. Tommy Giles Rogers (vocals) did a wonderful live performance bringing the record to life. One of the most impressive 10 plus minutes of the set was the performance of the epic track “Lay Your Ghosts to Rest”. Exploding peaks and values of heaviness, melancholy, and harmony their live performance just pronounces these elements.
As the set went on fans grooved throughout heavily. Even during the beautiful soft track “Autumn” you did not find one person standing still. The mosh pit was thick and large throughout the set and was most chaotic during tracks like “The Black Box” and “Bloom”. The entire front line of fans leaning against the photo pit jammed out like there was no tomorrow. The rock opera style atmosphere of the record made for a very theatrical show with it’s sci-fiction type theme.
After the 12 track set list of The Parallax II: Future Sequence (2012) concluded fans were no where near ready to call it night. Screaming, cheering, and chanting the fans forced Between the Buried and Me to come out to an encore of “White Walls”. The 14 plus minute track off Colors (2007) sounded epic. To match the intensity Between The Buried and Me played each note with bleeding emotion and that is why this band is a must listen for anyone who appreciates technical and progressive metal, but you don’t need to tell that to their dedicated fan base which showed up in masses to Best Buy Theater in NYC.