This band took the top spot as my favorite band in a matter of weeks. For decades, I was a Rush fan – I went to shows, got every record from 1980 to the end on the day they came out. Everything was about Geddy, Alex, and Neil (or Dirk, Lerxst, and Pratt as true fans know them).
My first Between the Buried and Me (aka BTBAM) track I found was “The Future Is Behind Us”. Everything clicked right away, and I found my next favorite thing. The second half of the song is something new for me – death growl. I never got into bands that rely solely on this delivery. BTBAM is different because they use death growl alongside singing most are used to, especially in this track. Clearly, they are all accomplished musicians and leave every door open to make their compositions interesting. All year my music consumption was on the heavier side with the likes of Rammstein, Ozzy Osbourne, Tool, and LoveBites. BTBAM crowns the year perfectly.
With the prog prowess of King Crimson, the complexity of Rush, and the melodic structures of Queen, BTBAM pressed all the buttons for me. I later found I wasn’t far off the mark in my comparisons. The Anatomy Of from 2006 had BTBAM covering both Queen (“Bicycle Race“) and King Crimson (“Three of a Perfect Pair“).
I also found a band that wasn’t accessible by most and didn’t have a rabid following. Which is good – they aren’t bowing to the masses, they’re doing what they want and you either like it or you don’t. BTBAM fans are pretty calm in comparison to most fans. In fact, to date I have not encountered a nasty BTBAM fan or someone I didn’t care for. I’m even on the band’s Discord server (I know, another first for me), and everyone I encounter has been welcoming and hospitable. Meeting other fans at the show in October was a very pleasant experience.
Guitarist Dustie Waring describes BTBAM’s sound well. “Some of our stuff can be pretty extreme and off the wall. I’ve found that some people just don’t understand it, or they’re just kind of like, ‘why?'”
I was lucky to see their latest tour in October. They opened for Trivium, and played about 45 minutes [setlist]. Totally worth it. And their closing song was “The Future Is Behind Us“. True to the studio recording and expertly delivered.
Two videos follow, one of the track and video that snared me to become a BTBAM fan, and an interview segment from 2021. Be warned – about halfway through the track, things take a hard left turn and become too much for most ordinary music fans to handle. Singer Tommy Rogers growls the lyrics home:
The future is behind our eyes
The future is behind us
Born of a dream
Born of a dream
We are lunatics
Open wide and let the pill slide down
Sink away from your nourishment
Sorry for the last year of bringing you down
My mind is to blame