Between the Buried and Me : The Parallax II: Future Sequence

Between the Buried and Me defy first impressions for its The Parallax II: Future Sequence, opting instead to ease into this year’s prog-metal masterpiece like a snow bunny into a hot tub: very easily.

The North Carolinians dole out delicate instrumentation and layered, multi-part harmonies to introduce “Goodbye to Everything,” before shaking off the kid gloves and offering a complex, heavy-handed smackdown on the defiant, raging  “Astral Body.” It is the tension between light and dark that has made them heirs to the prog throne, and although they aren’t the only youngsters clamoring for the golden chalice, the carnival-esque twists and turns that unfurl across the album’s 12 tracks and 72 minutes establish them as the clear successors. The group lets is all hang out on the morphing epics “Lay Your Ghosts to rest,” “Melting City,” and “Silent Flight Parliament,” which all clock in at over 10 minutes.

The Parallax II is ambitious, indeed. But it works. Between the Buried and Me are unafraid, and this fearlessness delivers in spades.

The Parallax II: Future Sequence is out now on Metal Blade Records.