METAL MONDAY: Between The Buried and Me's "Colors" - A Perspective After 10 Years

This article is an analysis and perspective from Phil's listening sessions over time, since the album was released in 2007; it has been hard to decipher themes and lyrics in order to understand the album and its concept as a whole. 

Between the Buried and Me has been a raging force for metal as the face of progressive metal since their very early days, but has proven to grow as a band over time. In 2007, the band released an album that revolutionized the genre all around.

Colors, the monumental metal epic, was released on September 18th, 2007. It was highly praised by critics and metalheads alike.

Starting this record with “Foam Born (A) The Backtrack”, a slow soft melodic song that sets the mood correctly for this album, then transitions into a super melodic opening piece, “(B) The Decade of Statues”, which turns into an aggressive state of mass hysteria and chaos. 

As you listen, you start to notice like hey, there’s a lot of changes within each song; the reason why is that, being a concept album as described by Tommy Rogers, the band wanted to approach each song with different colors shaping their own emotions and feelings. They really wanted to break the boundaries of where they could push themselves as artists, and it was executed flawlessly. 

Different colors on this record from the tracklist include, in order:

  • “Foam Born (A) The Backtrack” and “(B) The Decade of Statues” – orange
  • “Informal Gluttony” – green
  • “Sun of Nothing” – yellow
  • “Ants of the Sky” – red
  • “Prequel to the Sequel” – aqua
  • “Viridian” – blue
  • “White Walls” – purple 

You definitely do feel the difference along the ride of the album, transitioning from one song to another. Noticeable highlights from the album, such as “Sun of Nothing”, include a very spacy part that feels like floating in space, as Tommy sings, “A spaceman. They say I am, a spaceman. Planets everywhere... my own destiny; I’m floating towards the sun, the sun of nothing. I have become the sun of nothing; nothing is here, memories are not clear. Floating to the sun, farther away.

Amidst this total chaos, the album seems to be following a person or an entity trying to overcome these obstacles, as what is mentioned in “Sun of Nothing”—being in space and being an explorer who wants to know life’s discoveries. 

“Ants of the Sky” is a huge chaotic mess of someone's life being torn apart, day by day, that they can't sleep or they can't seem to function, thus losing control of their mind and going insane like a roller coaster ride. The instrumentals and song structure of this track are beyond perfect. Such aggressiveness and chaos is just shown here as a whole and it’s enough to put a smile on your face. There’s one section of the song where it goes all hillbilly-rodeo, which transitions to “Prequel to the Sequel” amazingly and gives me chills every time.

“Prequel to the Sequel” delivers epicness whenever the first note hits, and that feeling of pushing forward achieving anything you can without anyone stopping you.

Then the monumental “Viridian”, with its calm melody and its sweet atmosphere, puts you at ease amidst all the chaos that was ensued from the beginning of the album, before building up to one monstrous thing that is “White Walls”. “White Walls” is a struggle between a man and himself; that one must break out of the closed off circle he is stuck in, much like in solidarity confinement, in order for one’s self-perspective to be rejuvenated and reborn as a whole, kind of like renewing one’s self for redemption. 

Between the Buried and Me never ceases to amaze me with their technical ability to create such a complex album, crazy and all over the place, yet still refreshing to hear even after 10 years. Seeing the whole thing live in Toronto also offered a whole other perspective. 

This record will always be, to me, the modern Dark side of the Moon from Pink Floyd—but more aggressive and more complex—being passed down as a legendary record that will still hold the test of time.