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Automata I

Automata I
Automata I.jpg
Studio album by
ReleasedMarch 9, 2018
RecordedAugust–September 2017
StudioThe Basement Studios, Winston-Salem, North Carolina
Genre
Length35:13
LabelSumerian
ProducerJamie King, Between the Buried and Me
Between the Buried and Me chronology
Coma Ecliptic
(2015)
Automata I
(2018)
Automata II
(2018)

Automata I is the eighth studio album by the American progressive metal band Between the Buried and Me. It was released on March 9, 2018 through Sumerian Records, their first release with the label. It is the first part of a two-piece album—the second, Automata II, was released on July 13, 2018.[1]

Between the Buried and Me began recording the album on July 31, 2017 and finished on September 6, 2017,[2] announcing it in January 2018 with 2018 tour dates set with The Dear Hunter and Leprous.[3][4] Longtime producer and collaborator Jamie King returned to produce the album.[5]

A music video for “Condemned to the Gallows" was released on January 19, 2018. On March 9, 2018, the band released the second music video from the album for the song, "Millions". The album was released later that same day.

Background

About the album, guitarist Paul Waggoner added as well:[6]

We never want to repeat ourselves. We’re always trying to do something different, and this album fell right into that sort of pattern. We push ourselves into new places, while retaining our basic sound. Musically, we go somewhere that’s fun and challenging. We never know how it’s going to turn out. These are uncharted waters for us. We’ve never written an entire piece and presented it in separate parts like this.

Concept

Automata is a concept album. According to an official press release, the album will revolve around the concept of being able to view the dreams of others, frontman Tommy Rogers commented:[7]

What if dreams could be broadcast for the purpose of entertainment? Could you consume the innermost thoughts of another person on screen? If you could, what does that say about an attention-starved audience? More importantly, what would become of the dreamer?

During an interview with That Drummer Guy, he also added:[8]

The protagonist in the story... his dreams are broadcast over the entire world as a form of entertainment and because of this he is taking an advantage of by a company called "Voice of Trespass". It follows one of his dreams where he is searching for a family that he's lost, [...] all those different aspects of the story and deals a lot with his personal well-being, corruption, depression, the audience's perspective on the whole thing, [...] it showcases his life in a way and things that he deals with.

Reception

Professional ratings
Aggregate scores
SourceRating
Metacritic70/100[9]
Review scores
SourceRating
AllMusic3.5/5 stars[10]
The A.V. ClubC+[11]
Exclaim!8/10[12]
Metal Injection9/10[13]
MetalSucks4/5 stars[14]
PopMatters8/10 stars[15]
Team Rock4/5 stars[16]

Automata I received generally positive reviews from professional critics, noting the band's continued technical proficiency found in their previous albums,[13][16][15][14] while some felt ambivalent of the album's significantly shorter length—drawing comparisons to their 2011 extended play, The Parallax: Hypersleep Dialogues, which is five minutes shorter—and the band's decision to release Automata in two parts.[15][17] Review aggregator Metacritic scored the album a 70 out of 100 based on five music critics, citing "generally favorable reviews".[9]

The Prog Report praised the album, referring to the song Blot as a "song [that] brings all the elements which one would expect—it doesn’t disappoint", comparing the track with the sound of bands like Haken and Nova Collective (bassist Dan Briggs being a member of this band). They also add that the song "shines as it has everything BTBAM has to offer at the highest level of musical performance. The ending chorus is epic; but, just when you think a conclusion is due, the abrupt ending reminds us the second part is just a few months away…"[18]

MetalSucks's Phil Boozeman gave the album 4 devil horns claiming "Automata is also a perfect jumping-on spot for new fans, as it winds up being one of the band’s easiest-to-digest releases" and that "Musically, BTBAM are already in outer space while every other metal band remains stuck on earth — and yet Automata finds the band somehow continuing to push themselves in new territory". He also added that the song Blot "may very well represent BTBAM’s strongest work to date".[19]

Track listing

All tracks written by Tommy Giles Rogers Jr., Dan Briggs, Blake Richardson, Dustie Waring and Paul Waggoner[20].

No.TitleLength
1."Condemned to the Gallows"6:35
2."House Organ"3:41
3."Yellow Eyes"8:45
4."Millions"4:43
5."Gold Distance" (instrumental)1:02
6."Blot"10:27
Total length:35:13

Personnel

Between the Buried and Me

Additional personnel

  • Jamie King – production, engineering, piano
  • Kris Hilbert – piano, additional drum production
  • Jens Bogren – mixing and mastering
  • Kevin King – additional production
  • Cameron MacManus – trombone, baritone saxophone
  • Jonathan Wiseman – trumpet
  • Corey Meyers – art direction/layout, photography
  • Aaron Strelecki – photography
  • Andrew Strelecki – photography

Charts

Chart (2018) Peak
position
Swiss Albums (Schweizer Hitparade)[21] 88
US Billboard 200[22] 35
US Independent Albums (Billboard)[23] 1
US Top Hard Rock Albums (Billboard)[24] 4
US Top Rock Albums (Billboard)[25] 7

References

  1. ^ "Everyone, please welcome Between The... - Sumerian Records". Facebook. Retrieved 2018-01-17.
  2. ^ "BETWEEN THE BURIED AND ME Finishes Recording Its New Album". Metal Injection. Retrieved 2018-01-17.
  3. ^ "BTBAM on TwitterExcited to announce our two-part album Automata! Part I will be released on March 9th via @SumerianRecords and we'll be touring this March w…"". twitter.com. Retrieved 2018-01-17.
  4. ^ "We're excited to announce our two-part... - Between The Buried And Me". Facebook. Retrieved 2018-01-17.
  5. ^ "Between the Buried and Me are in the Studio Recording a New Album". MetalSucks. Retrieved 2018-01-17.
  6. ^ "Between the Buried and Me Announce 'Automata' Double Album + Tour". loudwire.com. Retrieved 2018-01-17.
  7. ^ "Between The Buried And Me Sign With Sumerian For New Album, Reveal Tour With The Dear Hunter & Leprous". Theprp.com. Retrieved 2018-01-17.
  8. ^ [www.youtube.com]
  9. ^ a b Automata I by Between the Buried and Me, retrieved 2018-03-10
  10. ^ "Automata I - Between the Buried and Me | Songs, Reviews, Credits | AllMusic". AllMusic. Retrieved 2018-03-10.
  11. ^ Staff, A.V. Club. "Ministry, Of Montreal, and more albums to know about this week". The A.V. Club. Retrieved 2018-03-10.
  12. ^ "Between the Buried and Me Automata I". exclaim.ca. Retrieved 2018-03-10.
  13. ^ a b "Album Review: BETWEEN THE BURIED AND ME Automata I". Metal Injection. 2018-03-04. Retrieved 2018-03-08.
  14. ^ a b Boozeman, Phil (February 26, 2018). "Album Review: Between the Buried and Me's Automata is No Glitch in the Matrix". MetalSucks. Retrieved March 9, 2018.
  15. ^ a b c "Between the Buried and Me's 'Automata I' Is No Misdirect". PopMatters. 2018-03-08. Retrieved 2018-03-08.
  16. ^ a b "Between The Buried And Me - Automata I album review". Metal Hammer. 2018-02-27. Retrieved 2018-03-08.
  17. ^ "BTBAM's 'Automata I' Is Brilliant But Problematic - Album Review". Loudwire. Retrieved 2018-03-08.
  18. ^ [progreport.com]
  19. ^ [www.metalsucks.net]
  20. ^ [www.ascap.com] THE BURIED AND ME
  21. ^ "Swisscharts.com – Between the Buried and Me – Automata I". Hung Medien. Retrieved March 21, 2018.
  22. ^ "Between the Buried and Me Chart History (Billboard 200)". Billboard. Retrieved March 20, 2018.
  23. ^ "Between the Buried and Me Chart History (Independent Albums)". Billboard. Retrieved March 20, 2018.
  24. ^ "Between the Buried and Me Chart History (Top Hard Rock Albums)". Billboard. Retrieved March 20, 2018.
  25. ^ "Between the Buried and Me Chart History (Top Rock Albums)". Billboard. Retrieved March 20, 2018.