Between The Buried and Me @ Shepherds Bush Empire

2nd November 2012
Review by Ben Spencer

So after racing back downstairs after an interview with Dan Briggs (Bass Guitarist from Between The Buried and Me) it was time to wade my way through the ever-filling crowds at Shepherds Bush Empire to catch British Tech-metallers The Safety Fire.

In what felt like no time at all, they breezed through their set gracing the venue with a slick and vibrant composition of stop/start time signatures, Math Metal riffs and ecstatic drumming with metal core vocal transitioning between fury filled screams and clean melodies to counter balance each other that worked really well.

Throughout each song the music never seemed to lose itself in overly pretentious complexities nor lapse into singularity. What was on show was in fact a vast array of different styles and plenty of eyebrow raising guitar solos and plenty of noteworthy riffs and technical drumming that reigned down like a meteor shower from above.

Even, elements of progressive metal managed to find laden between the harsh grinding guitars and cathartic melodies and it is this juxtaposition of ideas and more importantly the band’s ability to pull it all off in as a tight unified package on stage that makes these guys a much needed band. Definitely looking forward to hearing more.

Between the Buried and Me
Between the Buried and Me

Periphery, hit the stage with a grand applause from onlookers as they bludgeon through their opening track, getting everyone into the Djent style groove with harsh-hardcore shrieks ascending throughout ’Ragnarok’. The group vocals intrude in full metallic-hardcore force with an elusive sense of electronic melody running subliminally across during the closing moments.

Old school track, ‘Buttersnips’ runs along with gravity inducing riffs and a drumming intro that gradually gallops along the clean vocal passages. Guitar-wise, there’s plenty of finger tapping moments that hark back to the days when Sikth were around and its good to see this level of music still shinning brightly.

‘Make Total Destroy’, also carries this concept forward with complex drumming, soaring clean vocals, heavy bass driven beats and an electro an breakdown that erupts into an all out hailing of deep throated vocals and tech guitar work.

The Safety Fire
The Safety Fire

But this clearly isn’t enough for the band’s enthused fan base, as when Periphery exit the stage, an encore explodes through out the venue. Interestingly enough, they return to the stage and crank things up with ‘The Walk’ an all out savage attack of guitar riffs and lead drive relentless onward, it seemed to be Periphery’s way of going out in style, and they did just that.

As the lights dim back down and Between The Buried and Me position themselves modestly on stage they open with the slow riff and steady drumming, of the 14 minute ‘White Walls’. Within the first few minutes an assault of complex guitar riffs and eccentric solos burst in vibrancy whilst the growling vocals keep the momentum going. The mid section is welcomed with a cheer from the crowd as Tommy hits his high falsetto notes with ease as the room sang along to the lyrics. But it is the last third of the opener track, with its drum solo, heavy riffs and epic solo which has everyone raising their fists an causing some mosh pit mayhem. Indeed a sure sign that Between The Buried and Me have certainly acquired a strong following.

Next up, they break into their new single ‘Astral Body’ with its Math-infused guitar riffs and Latino breakdown, which transitions flawlessly into the free-style drumming outro that keeps you guessing what they’re going to pull out of the bag next.

A return to their slightly earlier material see’s ‘Sun of Nothing’ becoming an instant hit. Opening with catastrophic drum’s and plenty of guitar grinding, this song could easily stay like this, until the clean vocals and guitar melody weave into the background. Vocally, everything fit’s the bill with their fans singing back “I’m floating towards the Sun, The Sun of Nothing” which builds into a finger tapping climactic ending from both Paul and Dusty.


Personal stand out track, ‘Disease, Injury, Madness’ pervades with a blast beat intro and time signature changes before dispersing into a dreamy ambient mid-section that grant Dan Briggs the right opportunity to leap forward with his fluid-like bass solo, as the lead guitar builds everything up to exhilarating height before pulling the song back up into its brutal tide of monstrous riffs and lung bellowing growls.

From their new album, the beast like prowess of ‘Telos’ with its deeper growling and tightly woven pauses between the drums, guitar and whistle stream together well. The mid blues guitar breakdown is accompanied with prog melody and clean vocals that drift through before pummelling back in the heavy bass slamming and drumming fury.

A cover of ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ turns into an all out stage invasion, as the band pay tribute to a band who they have been heavily influenced by and their didn’t appear to be anyone in the room complaining as the lights brightened to the sound of everyone singing along.

Closing off with ‘Mordecai’, from their second album (and the song most old school fans will recognise) the song plays out featuring many of the aforementioned transitions found in their more recent material. With a maelstrom different layers of technical chaos resonating in the first half, the song subsides into the band’s early utilization of blues guitar, which ascends into a drumming and solo induced crescendo. While this may be a very different sound from the band they are today, it does signify how far they have evolved as musicians and reveals where so much of their unique sound has grown from.

In a nutshell, this was a great performance by all three bands who display a passion and a talent for what they do. The only gripe is that it would have been nice to hear some more material from The Parallax Part 2: Future Sequence but with this in mind Between The Buried and Me put on an amazing show and their level of musicianship transmits as well live as it does on CD. It may not be the most accessible nor vastly well received music to come out but it certainly music that keeps you guessing and on your toes, that holds a complete disregard for genre conventions. In this light, the night itself felt like quite a unique experience and one that was utterly unforgettable.