Photos by Dustin Schneider
Between the Buried and Me, The Dear Hunter, and Leprous
By Matt Stubbs from The Jerry Jonestown Massacre Show
The night of prog. madness at Canton Hall started with Leprous. This 5 piece from Notodden, Norway began their set with an eerie guest cello solo piece. I’m still not sure if the cello player is actually a member of Leprous, or just a buccaneer off Canton St. who snuck up to jam with the band. Leprous had a very melodic progressive sound. The vocals are big and impressive in this band. Keyboardist/ Lead Vocalist, Einar Solberg has a Maynard James Keenan (Tool) / George Michael / Matt Bellamy (Muse) sound to his voice. The vocal stylings compliment the bands unique song structures. Their set was laden with lots of big drums, synchronized headbanging, and a plethora of synth sounds. Leprous has been around since 2001 but really got amped up after their studio debut album “Tall Poppy Syndrome” in 2009. Their latest LP, “Malina” is a 2017 release. If you’re into Radiohead, Muse, or Perfect Circle, give these guys a spin, you will dig it. It was a nice start to the progressive rock journey at Canton Hall Tuesday night.
The Second band on the bill was The Dear Hunter. This was another solid act. Their music is like a movie treatment, storyboard, or some kind of description of an odyssey. It felt really good. The creator of The Dear Hunter, Casey Crescenzo, has an old school emo sound to his voice. The band, out of Providence, Rhode Island, has a set full of marchy progressions with scattered airy breaks. Sometimes the music takes a left polka-like turn, with almost a carnival sound. But almost every song The Dear Hunter performed Tuesday night had some form of a rejoicing, piercing, pronouncing, proclamation of beautiful chorus. The band’s set was full of cool crescendos and harmonies. It was weird to see a Between The Buried And Me show without hearing any guttural screams in the first 2 hours of the night. But, I liked it!
Between the Buried and Me was the main course of progressive music at Canton Hall in Deep Ellum this fine weeknight, and the prog. metal beast came a swinging. I knew we were going to get a solid BTBAM set when I saw the drummer, Blake Richardson, in the crowd air-drumming to Leprous and The Dear Hunter. Between The Buried And Me started their set with “Condemned to the Gallows” off their newest release, Automata 1. Like all of the bands songs, it rips. And it ripped loud live. This was the loudest BTBAM set I have ever witnessed. In regards to pure technicality and precision the band has not changed much. Each member still owns their own sound and professional skill of their instrument. I could listen to Paul Waggoner and Dustie Waring play guitar all day, and I have. Paul’s Ibanez and Dustie’s PRS are like progressive metal peanut butter and jelly. The guitar leads dance around the technical thick grooves on every song from every album of BTBAM. And this was right in your face during this show. Since, the release of Colors, the band has been putting more of a “astral-trek” type set together for their tours. It seemed that early BTBAM played every note on the guitar neck in each song. And they still do now, but they also take you on a musical journey into space while they do it. Tommy Giles Rogers vocals are a spectacle alone. He is a master at gargling death screams that transition to melodic falsetto chops. And he’s pretty darn good at keyboard wizardry as well. Tommy blasted and conducted all watching his band’s set in the crowded venue. BTBAM has a concrete rhythmic foundation, laid solid by bass player, Dan Briggs. He is one of the most precise bass players in metal today, and he was a champ during the show. Blake’s drums sounded like a machine gun at times. And the mix they got made sure you felt the sound bullets right in the chest. His blazing toms and blast beats were on full display during the set. He is the V-8 in the BTBAM star vessel and was roaring live and loud.
Since the origin of Between the Buried and Me out of Raleigh, NC, metal and progressive ears have been graced by their music. They brought that astral gift Tuesday night at Canton Hall in Deep Ellum. Now, if I could just stop this damn ringing in my ear.