Album Review: Vinyl Re-Release of "Colors" by Between the Buried and Me

In 2016, I reviewed a Between The Buried And Me performance in San Francisco (review here). When co-headliners August Burns Red took the stage, a sea of subwoofers and poor room design kept me from enjoying the musicianship presented—which was devastating because Found in Far Away Places was my go-to metalcore album that year (review here). When BTBAM took the stage, however, every note was crisp, every guitar solo crystal clear. Not only did BTBAM use in-ears, but the front of house volume seemed to be reduced by nearly 25%, eliminating the effects of the poorly treated venue… I reminisce to illustrate Between The Buried And Me’s passion for audio quality. This Colors 2020 remix/remaster continues on with that mission of providing their fans with the best possible sound.

Thirteen years after its initial release, Colors is still considered by many as the band’s Holy Grail. As frontman Tommy Rogers explains, “Colors was the moment we decided to put all of our creative energy on the line and just go for it. We wanted to create the most unique and diverse record we could possibly make, and at the same time, create something that represented us as a group more than we had ever done before. After all these years, I’m still very proud of this moment we created together. It’s been a blast digging in again and hearing it in this new light.” It was definitely a turning point for the band, adapting from hardcore with metalcore influence to some of the most original progressive metal in its era. It was well-received by critics, praised for its jazzy interludes and outside the box approach to time signatures, and continues to be a scene staple today.

Just as with the previous 4 re-releases, producer Jamie King (Glass Casket, He Is Legend) took a pass remixing and remastering this classic for vinyl. Listeners will feel more dynamic range than in the original release, along with subtle mixing improvements that make space for things fans may have missed before (did I seriously just hear horns on “Ants of the Sky?!”). Where King’s Alaska remix was more dramatic, this remix plays it safe, and it works. The best standout moment has to be the guitar polish in "White Walls," creating with more harmonic depth on the tail end of the track. The only gripe I have with this re-release is its low-quality artwork pressing, specifically the lyrics. Setting it side-by-side with its Victory predecessor (which unfortunately is for display only, as the label cut corners on the pressing), you can see the text is pixelated and hard to read on this new release.

Sometimes fans buy remixes because they missed out on the original pressings. Other times it’s because they just want to support their favorite band. Whatever the reason, this is the first remix I can say I will probably be spinning more than its predecessor.

See our previous BTBAM vinyl reviews below

Alaska (2020)

The Silent Circus (2020)

Between The Buried And Me (self-titled) (2020)

The Great Misdirect (2019)