This isn't your grandpa's progressive music.
Between The Buried
And Me headlined a progressive music package at the Granada Friday night
that included three other bands that are continually pushing the
package for conventional music, and ever pushing the "progressive"
moniker to places it hasn't been before. A very full Granada Theater was
extremely receptive of all four bands, filled with lots of singing,
lots of moshing and lots of smiling faces.
The first band of the
night was Canada's The Kindred. The Kindred is normally a progressive
metal band in the vein of Last Chance to Reason and maybe even Protest
The Hero. However, they were performing without their vocalist, so
everything was instrumental. Their performance without vocals didn't
take anything away from them at all, and actually might've even
benefited them in some places. Definitely a modern take on progressive
music, they combined the breakdowns and palm-muted riffing of djent with
the technicality of guitar solos and keyboards to great effect.
However, it seemed like without their vocalist, the music was catchy
enough to stand on its own for a bit, but it was obvious the songs were
written to have a singer carry it along. They didn't have the outrageous
riffing or heaviness that Animals As Leaders has, but they could get
there if they wanted to. A respectable first band of the night.
Intronaut was up next, and personally it was my first time seeing them
since 2008 with High on Fire at the Bottleneck. They've changed since
then, mellowing out a bit and really embracing the stoner and
progressive sides of their music. Their half-hour set included mostly
cuts from their latest album "Habitual Levitations." The song "Milk Leg"
showcased their incredible bassist - he even had a couple of solo's
during their performance. Definitely one of the highlights of the set.
Overall, Intronaut was a different kind of heavy from the rest of the
night, but their sound was very welcome.
There isn't a more
polarizing metal band today than Deafheaven, but you wouldn't have
noticed it at this concert. As soon as the band started their opening
song "Dream House," the crowd barely let up with moshing and
headbanging. At one point during the song, vocalist George Clarke hopped
down into the crowd and everyone screamed along with him. Deafheaven's
set comprised of material solely from their latest album "Sunbather,"
which took the metal music world by storm last year. Deafheaven is
obviously influenced by shoegaze and post-rock bands such as Explosions
in the Sky and My Bloody Valentine, but the majority of their sound is
extreme, blast-beat laden and shrieked-vocals black metal that they do
just as good as the Norwegian masters of the genre. George Clarke is one
of the most impressive frontmen I've ever seen, not only from his
impeccable black metal vocal abilities, but he was constantly bounding
around the stage, acting like a man possessed. An explosive performance
and the best of the night.
Between The Buried And Me are at the
center of this new-school progressive metal movement, and they proved it
Friday night by performing all of their new album, The Parallax II:
Future Sequence, which has enough twists and turns to make even the
staunchest of Dream Theater supporters' heads spin. However, for the
uninitiated, playing through all of their latest album might be too
much. "Parallax II" might be the band's most ambitious release yet, with
interludes and movements-within-movements everywhere and music genres
going from metalcore to death metal to pop music to everything in
between in the span of one song. Luckily for BTBAM, they have some of
the most talented musicians around today to keep things interesting for
those not vested heavily in their music. Guitarist Paul Waggoner and
bassist Dan Briggs provide enough jaw-dropping moments per song that is
worth the price of admission alone. There were several moments during
BTBAM's set that stood out from the rest, particularly the songs
"Telos," "Lay Your Ghosts To Rest," and "Silent Flight Parliament."
However, the encore performance of the brilliant "Sun of Nothing" from
the equally brilliant "Colors" album further cemented it as maybe the
best progressive metal song of the 2000's.
All in all, the lineup
of this tour is proof that progressive metal is no longer just confined
to Rush and Dream Theater and is quickly moving to the heavier side of
things. Based on the performances from all four bands, that's
undoubtedly a good thing.
1. Goodbye To Everything
2. Astral Body
3. Lay Your Ghosts To Rest
5. Extremophile Elite
7. The Black Box
10. Melting City
11. Silent Flight Parliament
12. Goodbye To Everything Reprise
13. Sun of Nothing
1. Dream House
2. Irresistible (over PA)
4. The Pecan Tree
1. The Literal Black Cloud
4. Milk Leg
5. The Welding
Between the Buried and Me: 7.5/10
The Kindred: 7.5/10