So you might think I’m crazy, but this is my favorite album of 2005. It’s got everything I want/need in a band, and it gives you what you need. 2005 has had some really good cds like Ghost Reveries and Frances the Mute, but I like this more than those. I never had heard of these guys until about 2 weeks prior to the release of Alaska. I can’t remember where I heard of them, but I thank that place for showing me one of the most talented bands to grace my ears. Next to Mr Bungle, Dillinger Escape Plan and Opeth, BTBAM are the hardest band to categorize. While playing mostly death metal, they will throw in bits of jazz, prog, hardcore, and melodic metal. I didn’t really know what to expect from these guys, but they exceeded whatever it was and knocked me on my ass. Now I will inform on each and every one of the songs. Be warned, if you think these guys are soft and are fragile to loud, heavy music, don’t get this. Otherwise, buy this!!
1. All Bodes – My favorite song, mainly thanks to the outro. Starts off with a heavy riff and breaks into their brand of death metal, which you will hear all throughout the album. A minute later, a nice breakdown comes in, followed by my one of the best melodies I’ve ever heard. Oh, and when these guys make a melody, they don’t just sing nice, they play nice/arpeggio lead lines over it. Then comes the amazing outro starting around 5:30 to the end. It starts with a `hey, hey’ chant, then breaks into that melody.
2. Alaska – The first single/video from the album. The intro is what made me listen to the rest of the album. It starts with a progressive rhythm and a sweeping lead line. Then it goes into another death metal section. After the `verse’ comes the awesome, heavy, head banging `chorus’ which is basically one heavy palm muted riff with a random harmonic thrown in. The song actually sings about staying awake while driving at night, surprisingly.
3. Croakies and Boatshoes – The shortest song at 2:24, and the most hardcore. Pretty much stays heavy all the way through and has some nice riffs here and there. Probably my least favorite, as it doesn’t change very much.
4. Selkies: The Endless Obsession – This is probably tied with All Bodies for my favorite song. Starts with a keyboard riff, then breaks into a 1:30 harmonized guitar part. Then the singing comes in and the song goes pretty slow, but picks up within 15 sec. It stays heavy until the 3 ½ minute mark where it slows down, goes back to the intro guitar riff, then breaks into a nice, slow, jazzy part. First comes melodic singing, then a jazzy solo, then an amazing melodic solo filled with sweeping and great rhythm. Great way to end an awesome song.
5. Breathe In, Breathe Out – First instrumental. Just a 1-minute slow song so you can catch your breath and prepare for some more chaos.
6. Roboturner – While it has its moments, I don’t like this as much. It doesn’t drag on nor suck, but it’s one of my least favorite songs on the album.
7. Backwards Marathon – The longest song at 8:29. Starts heavy, ends heavy. But for about 4 minutes, it’s soft in the middle. My favorite part in the song is the riff around the 2-min mark, just badass. Tommy says `it’s raining’ over and over until he hits a real high falsetto note, then it goes back to where it started.
8. Medicine Wheel – The 2nd instrumental. This one’s longer (4:20) and it’s my 2nd fav of the 3 instrumentals. It’s pretty much the same line played over and over, but it’s really good and nice to relax to.
9. The Primer – One of my original favorites. Maybe I’m a sucker for melody, but who cares, these guys can do it with style and it gets me every time. Starts with feedback then breaks into, wait for it…..MELODY. Then it does what they do too often, death metal. The lyrics are of 2005 and what we have become and what this world’s about (sex, drugs, etc). So after 2 ½ min comes a guitar line that leads you into my favorite part of the song. Whenever Tommy says “2005 welcome to perfection” I have to sing along and I just love it. And while this is going on, the intro is being played again.
10. Autodidact – One of the heaviest songs on the album, but I don’t really like it as much. Sure it’s got a sweet heavy part near the end, but it’s not one of my favorites. The thing you will notice most about this song is the crazy use of harmonics throughout.
11. Laser Speed – Great way to end a near-perfect album. Starts slow (who woulda thought?) then gradually gets faster until it goes into something I like, but can’t describe. Every time I hear it, I think of the weather channel for some reason.
So that’s my basic review of this amazing album. If you don’t have it or haven’t heard (of) it, go listen to it now. This is the next generation of great metal with brains, so don’t miss out. If you liked this, go check out Dillinger Escape Plan’s “Miss Machine”.