Between the Buried and Me are some of the finest musicians in the world of progressive metal, and are notorious for giving their fans one hell of an amazing live show. Their scope of music is breathtaking, ranging from death metal to classical and jazz transitions within one composition alone. Members of the band have explored jazz fusion, an example being bassist Dan Briggs who recently formed Nova Collective with some of his fellow prog-mates and also played in the jazz-rock combo Trioscapes.
In 2016, Between the Buried and Me were touring in promotion of their album ‘Coma Ecliptic’ and decided to shoot one of their shows for a DVD release. An inspired gig at The Observatory in San Diego on the 4th of October was chosen to be filmed, with the interesting approach of strategically placing a dozen-or-so fixed go-pro cameras very near the band members, which has the effect of planting the DVD audience right on stage with them in a very intimate style – so much so that every time the director cuts to the single moving camera behind the live audience, it feels a little disorienting.
‘Coma Ecliptic: Live’ DVD was creatively directed by Vince Edwards and is presented by Metal Blade Records and Goodfight Entertainment. With its imminent release, fans of Between the Buried and Me will cherish this live recording as it contains mercurial renditions of new and old songs from the band’s much-appreciated discography. The performance is stellar, opening the set with “Node” and its haunting piano & clean vocals from Tommy Giles Rogers. “The Coma Machine” follows with its grand opening and demonstrates how in-tune each musician is with one another.
No note falls short as they translate their studio recordings to the live stage. The electronic loop in “Dim Ignition” is even more hypnotic live than in the studio recording, giving the band a gothic vibe while still maintaining a prog sensibility. This DVD is a real fly-on-the-wall experience, there is no need for a flashy light show as the band makes the performance the main attraction. Stand-out songs from the show include “The Ectopic Stroll” and “Memory Palace”, both from the ‘Coma Ecliptic’ album. They sound just incredible live, and are pure prog bliss as their excellent musicianship boosts their showmanship. Of course on the obligatory heavy moments of the concert, we see the audience pogo-ing out of control. But refreshingly, there are moments where the audience are entranced and just appreciating the musical talent of Between the Buried and Me.
All in all, ‘Coma Ecliptic: Live’ is a technical feat, from the directing, editing, and audio mixing to the go-pro camera arrangements. If you then add the adrenaline-charged audience atmosphere and the band’s stirring performance, it is quite a special treat to sit in your comfortable chair at home and watch this on a widescreen TV with the surround sound at full blast. You’re getting an hour and ten minutes’ worth of quality music, and with 11 songs in total, it’s a musical journey from beginning to end.
Whether you’re a long-time fan or just discovering Between the Buried and Me, this DVD is a great document of the band’s music that shows how amazing they are as a live act.