When Between the Buried and Me went into the studio this June, they had a serious challenge ahead of them; recording the follow-up to Colors. How were they supposed to top what was basically a 64 minute death metal epic that also explored bluegrass, jazz, cabaret, and more? They answered with The Great Misdirect, and it doesn’t disappoint. In many ways, this album feels like Colors 2.0, both sonically and structurally. It opens with a soft buildup reminiscent of “Foam Born”, explores genres outside of the realm of metal, and ends with a long epic. However, this album is more “out there” than any of their previous releases. It is easily their least-heavy album to date, but they still preserve their death metal roots in songs like “Obfuscation” and “Disease, Injury, Madness” with their crushing guitar riffs, growling vocals, and thundering double bass drumming. The best way to describe the sound of the album would be if King Crimson joined forces with Slayer. Some highlights of the album are the solo in “Obfuscation”, not quite on par with “Selkies: the Endless Obsession”, but sounds very exotic and flows well. Also, Paul Waggoner reveals his vocal talents on “Desert of Song”, which is a nice break between “Fossil Genera – A Feed From Cloud Mountain” and “Swim to the Moon”. This brings me to my next point; the unavoidable comparison between “Swim to the Moon” and “White Walls”. Both Colors and The Great Misdirect end with an epic, but in my eyes, “White Walls” takes the cake. Don’t get me wrong, “Swim to the Moon” is excellent, from its King Crimson-esqe intro up until the final scream (Swim to the moooon!!), the song rocks. But it is lacking the raw emotion of “White Walls”, and it can’t compare with the incredible outro solo, in fact, “Swim to the Moon” doesn’t even feel like it has an ending, the music just sort of stops. Overall, even if you aren’t a fan of BTBAM, this album is definitely worth checking out, Tommy’s vocals are better on this album than any other, and the compositions are nothing short of mind boggling.
Tabor's Rating: 8.5/10