Colors: A Perfect Piece of Art


Colors Cover

Daylen DeKeyrel

Between the Buried and Me’s most well known piece of art, that is a complete masterpiece. That is the record Colors and is the most technical piece(s) of music, or should I say piece. That is because the record is one massive song, every single track transitions into the next track. It’s not just a play of production and mastering, every song is written perfectly to transition effortlessly. Sixty-four minutes of perfection and I have the opinions to prove it. From piano solos, clear vocals, to the hardest riffs, drums, and vocals ( vocal transitions) that transcend even the highest standards of any genre. Progressive Death Metal that has time to include what sounds like psychedelic rock, space journeys, jazzy melodies, and at times something I can only describe as circus metal. It covers so many genres and it is so absurd that it’s laughable how crazy this record can be. Colors, by Between the Buried and Me is a life changing experience piece of art.

[I didn’t give Alaska the love it deserved, shuffling it along with the first two albums seems to devalue the record. That doesn’t mean it was solid, it was a 8.5 (Close 9) out of 10 for me. If you were doing your homework for this album you can hear tid bits of Colors in resemblance to the old records. That doesn’t mean the record doesn’t deliver originality, it’s the brainchild of creativity.]

“Foam Born (A) The Back Track”: One of the most iconic openers of music, and even more iconic I’d say is the transition of the song itself. This album starts with the piano and ends with it. Setting the tone of the album, it is a tidal wave of efforts in such a short track. This extends to greater heights in the coming tracks proceeding. Clean vocals to harsh false chords that are now stuck in the heads of many, many listeners of this record. Especially me for this record, I am obsessed with the vocals/lyrics with every play of words. The lyrics are ironic in what it references at times, also how it was and is still received today. The composition of this record is beyond my ability to express in simple terms. That is because it’s not simple, it is absurd how technical even this little over two minute piece is. One of the only bands I can think of that comes to this level is Cult Of Luna with their layers. This track embodies what Between the Buried and Me means to me. Crossing every genre, beat, and tone in a matter of a few short moments. Going from the classical feel of Tommy’s vocals and the piano notes grooving throw. The beating of the drums alludes to a breakthrough of melody, when it does it almost represents an orchestra of sound. What continues is the highlight sequence is very reminiscent of  how “Selkies: the Endless Obsession” keyboard sounded like. Transition from old to new, I love the transition from the melody to the rest of the track. Which yet again turns around and transitions to the now iconic Between the Buried and Me sound. (This two minute track is three songs in one)


Favorite lyric: “I’ll just keep waiting…”

Highlight sequence: 0:00-0:53, 0:54-1:34, 1:35-2:14 (The entire song)


While not completely connected to a full story lyrically. The album is very similar to how The Ugly Organ by Cursive is presented. They were all heavily inspired by Pink Floyd’s Dark Side of the Moon. Some songs tie into each other, but are not entirely connected. This still remains a concept album and the origin of conceiving this entire piece is undeniably inspiring.

“We were writing a musically conceptual, no rules, nothing left on the table record. We weren’t only going to write a record, we were going to live in it; eat, sleep and breathe it. We were going to push ourselves and no one was going to hear from us until we’d brought the album full circle and delivered it as a complete piece.” -Dan Briggs (Bass)

They captured the essence of the record by working on a track called “Ants”, and the now known track “Ants of the Sky.” They got the idea to continue each song to transition. They committed to it and worked, and worked on it, until they were done. It is inspiring how this was just a spark that turned into this entire perfect piece. This is why this album is such a good story, even historically. It wasn’t young minds hitting gold, they were making gold. In the future they’d go to better themselves and develop diamonds. By which only they could beat themselves, only they can out do themselves.


“(B) Decades of Statues”: Obsessed is an understatement to the amount I listen to this record. It is up there with records like; DeathconsciousnessSomewhere Along the HighwayOpposite of December, and a few more I’d mention. The classic Between the Buried and Me has been perfected and finally listening to those debuts have paid off. Their first few records of music sound familiar, but none were this good. Alaska was a great album and had amazing tracks. That doesn’t mean they can’t top them, and they did. It is my least favorite track, I use that very lightly. It’s still a near perfect track on this record. The track is not just a lyrical sequel, it is actually a full on continuation of the first track. If the album wasn’t split by track, the album wouldn’t sound any different in context. Yes every song is its own, the album isn’t in all necessarily one song. It still undoubtedly is written to sound like one. When they play live they never truly stop, it is beat for beat in sequence to the studio record. A work of art in studio and live performance, it’s the work of geniuses.


Favorite lyric: “Obsessed / Obsessive / Abscessed”

Highlight sequence: 0:55-2:00


“Informal Gluttony”: The least connected song in the record, while both (A) and (B) tracks transition and so does with the rest of the record now pairing in some way; “Informal Gluttony” all the way to “White Walls.” This track stands out compared to the rest, and that’s saying a lot. One thing I love is the commentary of this album. This album is about how bad things can be or get, if you just look around and notice. It was written lyrically mostly in solitude, by Thomas. He was analyzing himself and at times humanity overall. (Us) The same would happen in little over a decade with the pandemic and Colors II was born. If the lyric, “Feed me fear / (Informal)” wasn’t obvious enough, the song is about the news and fear mongering. The opening of this track, the didgeridoo is played by Graham Bennett. One of two other guests to be present in this record. In the progressive metal scene or any technical scene of music, drums are prominently complicated. Every instrument in this record is complicated and technical beyond my ability to explain. Five seconds of this album is probably enough to make anyone second guess covering one of these tracks.  The composition is top notch, and the transition from drums…


Favorite lyrics: “(Re-build) (Re-Build)…” and “Feed me fear / (Informal)”

Highlight sequence: 1:50-3:10


“Sun of Nothing”: …Is unbeatable. This track is my absolute personal favorite, not just this in this record or for this band. “Sun of Nothing” is undoubtedly one of my favorite songs ever. From the length, goofiness, lyrics, vocals, everything; it’s unbelievable how odd this song is on paper. Every lyric is the highlight of this song, word for word it’s lyrical perfection. It’s poetic in how it’s not profound, yet beautiful in its absurdity. It also has the play of the “live, laugh, love” phrase  in the song. Listen to it for yourself you’d understand how a song from on paper to sound makes an infinite amount of difference. Every goofy melody and “La, La, La”s are perfectly produced and electronic. (Artificial) The clean and harsh vocals are my favorite set of vocals in a song ever. At the end of the track it goes back to a similar tone of “Form Born (A) The Backtrack” themes of our human species. The writer/narrator admits they are lonely and are drifting farther away. (When I refer to the writer I am referring to the concept writer in the album) The writer says, “I can’t believe that’s what it has come to… / I never really had it all that bad. / I just looked around and never thought about the blank stares. / (Blank stairs) / They were looking into something much worse than what I thought I was. / Selfishness is a very sticky quality of this species. / Looking around… I don’t see any faces… / Yes I am lonely. It’s to be expected. I’ll sleep now. / (Dream waves)” This is most definitely the middle of the second act of the album. A big twist of the album that then regains your immediate attention. Everything from the drums to the vocals are absolutely space like-


Favorite lyrics: [Every lyric, but here are my favorites] “My own plant. / I allow this wish . / Unexpected… Not knowing why.” and “I am floating farther and farther away. / I did love, I did laugh, I did live. / (Now I’m my own planet)” and “A spaceman. They say I am… a spaceman.”

Highlight sequence: Every single second


“Ants of the Sky”: -it’s fantastical. (and how good the transition is) This is an iconic track for good reasons. From the hyped up transition that just preceded. To the dream, that in your mind, you can fly. I am getting ahead of myself in the analysis of “Ants of the Sky.” The lyrics are yet again oddly absurd, but just work incredibly. In a dream sequence, it continues the narrative of the now titled spaceman. The song doesn’t necessarily transition lyrically, but it works. This song yet again, has some of my favorite sequences from this band and in music overall. The build up to “Sleep on… fly on. / In your mind, you can fly.” The background false chords on top of his own main clean vocals makes this an awestruck sequence of an experience. This song has an abundance of hard vocals that I’d highlight, but there are way too many to note. (Besides the sequence, “Across all oceans”) Unwinding towards the end of the track, it starts to play a bar scene. The only way to express what it sounds like, is carnival music. Similarly to what I noted of the song “Laser Speed”, I could listen to an entire record with them composing another genre. “Ants of the Sky” for me is the breaking point of its perfection, and we’re only thirty-eight minutes in. (That’s still only 60% of the album in length) I favor listening all through this record every now and then just to hear “Sleep on… Fly on.” (Many other tracks I have the same feelings towards, but in this case it takes every other place)


Favorite lyrics: “Sleep on…fly on. / In your mind, you can fly.”

Highlight sequence: Every single second but especially, 6:28-11:30


“Prequel to the Sequel” has a guest vocalist from the band Fear Before the March of Flames. (Fear Before) They were touring together and the band suggested to have him contribute to a song. This is one of two credited collaborative works, meaning only seven people were involved in making this masterpiece.


“Prequel to the Sequel”: The melodic riff at the beginning of this track is a personal favorite of mine. Two minutes in it starts off very strong vocally and lyrically. This was one of the first songs with hard vocals that I couldn’t stop listening to for some odd reason. The vocals of  “A spectacle nonetheless”, was so unique to my ears. That and also the tracks before “Sun of Nothing”‘s melody, and “Ants of the Sky” “Sleep on… fly on” bridge. The track reinvites you right back into the amazing riffs and drums that are out of this world. Another personal favorite sequence of mine to highlight is, “Comfort (Comfort)” with both vocalists tackling the song. The album continues to thrive and bring originality. The title in and of itself is a classic alone, “Prequel to the Sequel.” The lyrics somehow perfectly pick up with “White Walls” in vague form. I think of Colors as an anthology of similar overall themes conversing with each other. Ultimately the album resembles one song, and to connect them lyrically wouldn’t be a stretch. This album is just beginning to climax, and this is a great closer for the second act of the album.


Favorite lyric: “A mixture of paintings soon took course in its body / A spectacle nonetheless”

Highlight sequence: 2:50-4:05

[Picking out favorite/highlight sequences was hard, because I felt every single part of the album was a highlight. So with that, I’ll continue it, but let it be assured the album is the highlight.]


“Viridian”: (An instrumental) This track was written originally as its own then became connected to what is now “White Walls.” As an instrumental it is so hype in build up, I could compare it slightly to the build up for “Ants of the Sky.” That is technically impossible in my books, so it’ll have to be the second best build up to a track or sequence. The song gently moves on from “Prequel to the Sequel” then towards the end in the background you can hear the riff creeping up.


Highlight sequence: 2:00-2:51


“White Walls”: This is the turning point of the third act, and is the real climax of the album. (‘It concludes their story’) The lyrical genius that is what was written, “We just need to throw some new ideas in…” / “We will be remembered for this.” The irony is that this record was so successful and put them where they are today. This record truly was what they’ll be remembered for. They always close with this song when they play live, even after playing an entire album that is LP length. The vocal roar of “White Wall” is earth shattering to my sense of hearing. When the part “Step back, recognize, evaluate” plays, it unwinds but simultaneously gets you ready for the big finale. Closing the record is an incredible guitar solo that rolls on, and on. No riff is written the same every ten or so seconds, it’s absolute bliss to the ears. Especially the real closing of the album, from where it all started- a piano with a G# chord. (Which began the album) Albeit not my personal favorite closer from this band, yet it’s undeniably hard to not fall in love with it. The song has some absence of vocals towards the end, but I personally think the vocals are not needed to be the highlight for closing the album. The solos and composition for the last four minutes of the track are works of art as I have touched on. This record will remain in history as the most technical album to date. The album started with a piano, and ended with a piano. I think beginning and ending the same is poetic for an album. It comes completely full circle.


Favorite lyrics: “We will be remembered for this.”

Highlight sequence: 5:10-7:45, 9:30-10:10


Conclusion: Between the Buried and Me were quite successful with this release. Even if that is said, it was too different at the time and some reviews reflect a sense of misunderstanding. Doesn’t mean they were wrong, but the dislike was pointed towards what people endear about this album today. It’s a rollercoaster of an entire album, the songs creak and sway then and there with goofs and melodies. Ultimately delivering some of the best composition of music to date. Their next records beyond this point would remain in the same formula of sequel songs, seamless transitions, and conceptual themes. The Grand Misdirect is the same pacing to Colors, but remains completely unique. Every album after this is undoubtedly some of the best albums in my overwhelming opinion. With Colors, it’s onward to the successor of The Grand Misdirect | Parallax I & II a three part record that is ultimately connected. Almost three hours worth of records under a single continuous narrative.



“How We Wrote Colors” by BETWEEN THE BURIED AND ME’s Dan Briggs:,it%20wouldn’t%20be%20connected.