AOTY 2023
Between the Buried and Me - The Silent Circus
Jul 18, 2019
BTBAM show themselves to have the potential for pretty decent staying power with The Silent Circus.

The first two tracks are sisters, meant to be listened to one after the other, and they serve as a huge epic proggy metal track. Nothing absolutely legendary here, but powerful enough to recreate the feeling it intends for. Camilla Rhodes is a metal powerhouse for sure, although hidden behind rusty quality. Mordecai is a mind boggling face melter at first, but near the end, that cringe singing and generic post-hardcore chord progression isn't vibing well with me. So far, this album is very rough and garagey. I guess it gets SOME points for sounding pretty DIY, but it's still not amazing. Not even a little.

Reaction is a nice interludey track with pleasant vocals, and it flawlessly brings us right into to Shevanel Take 2, an acoustic ballad. The first one of these two tracks sounds like a Radiohead song, and feels very nice. Shevanel Take 2 bugs me just a little bit, as the "and I' when the song finally breaks in sounds way too much like Whitney Houston. I legit can't tell if this was intentional or not. Either way, the song is fine.

The following track, however, is a bit more challenging. There's a section in this progressive whirlwind that sounds like Jimmy Eat World... again. I think it's fine when metal bands have soft parts like that, but I just can't get over the fact that it sounds like Mineral, or other emo stuff like that. "IT ALL MAKES SENSE" is the most emo thing I've ever heard from BTBAM.

Aesthetic is a freakin metalcore powerhouse. It's both formulaic and also innovative, at least in the time of 2003 when this album was released, and by innovative, I simply mean the incorporation of the progressive elements of the songwriting. The Need for Repetition is a good outro song... the musicality of the song matches the title, and it's an effective outro, but... well, on Apple Music, this track is 13 minutes long with a long period of silence in the middle of it, followed by an odd breakdown outro. Is that.. is that actually part of the song? Is that not a bonus track? Please tell me it's a bonus track. I don't really like it. I like this song until around 6 minutes in when it stops. The silence was annoying, and the ending awkward outro is... unpleasant.

Overall, The Silent Circus does display BTBAM blossoming into a more refine band. You can hear a more solid cohesion amongst the members and the songwriting works very well in all these songs. There are just minor blemishes lying within the ambitious nature of the songs. This is a fine BTBAM release, and it's worth a listen.

best: Lost Perfection a. Coulrophobia, B. Anablephobia, Camilla Rhodes, Reaction, Aesthetic, The Need for Repetition
worst: Mordecai, Ad a Dglgmut

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