Gig Review: Between the Buried and Me, King Tuts, Glasgow, 23rd September 2011

Technical metal gigs are hilarious affairs. At any rock show, if you look around, you see hundreds of punters headbanging. At a tech-metal gig, you’ll see the same thing, but everyone is headbanging at different times.

First to give our rhythm keeping skills a work out are Animals as Leaders (8). Essentially a solo project for guitarist Tosin Abasi, the instrumentalists are captivating to the point where you’re unsure whether to headbang or gape with awe. The lack of vocals takes a few tracks to get used to if instrumental music is new to you, but once you embrace it, you can’t help but appreciate the sheer skill of not only Abasi, but the rest of the band too. They are tight, impressive, inspirational, heavy, melodic, and at times more emotional than bands with even the greatest vocalists.

For Between the Buried and Me (7) it proves to be a bad choice of support. Animals as Leaders are simply the better band. BTBAM are full of musical contrasts, so it seems only right that so too is tonight’s gig – while their passages of brutality hit all the right spots, their melodic meanderings seem to get lost amidst a particularly poor sound quality. Tommy Rogers’ town-crier-like screams unify everyone in the room, but his actual singing voice seems to lack the confidence to carry the melodies with conviction.

After the audio mix problem is fixed (to an extent) the band do gain more momentum. By the time “Prequel to the Sequel” appears, Rogers has developed a swagger that manages to captivate just like Animals as Leaders did before him. From then on, not even a few technical difficulties can halt the energy in the room.

However, there just seems to be something off. Something that makes the gig good, rather than great. It may have been the audio problems. It could have been the lack of crowd interaction (a drunk Glaswegian crowd on a Friday night is either a God-send or the worst audience ever). Or, unfortunately, it could simply be that Between the Buried and Me were upstaged by their support band.


About Scott Wilson

Having spent the last twenty years of his life telling his friends his opinion of the latest release by every band he has ever heard of, Scott is an enthusiastic journalist and keen writer. A fan of every genre of music, though his heart firmly belongs to rock, he has been spending far too much money on gigs and not enough on digs. Reachable by either email or Twitter where copious amounts of commentating and general excitement can also be found.

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