BETWEEN THE BURIED AND ME has had quite a run of phenomenal albums. This time the band decided to have a little fun with "The Anatomy Of", an album of 14 cover songs from a varied group of acts. Rather than rendering the originals unrecognizable, the quintet took songs from groups like MÖTLEY CRÜE, PINK FLOYD, QUEEN, METALLICA, and BLIND MELON and stuck closely to the original arrangements, albeit with a dab of BTBAM's unique character. As far as cover albums go, this one is a lot of fun.
A song like METALLICA's "Blackened" comes off nicely with, dare I say, better drumming, deathly vocals, and soloing that departs from the Hammett style. It is one of many cases in which you don't mind that BTBAM did not try to slice it up into unrecognizable pieces. Somewhat surprisingly, MÖTLEY CRÜE's "Kick Start my Heart" is one of the album's most entertaining moments. Tommy Rogers does a fine Vince Neil impression, tweaking it a bit with a lower, more controlled register. I caught myself several times forgetting that it was BTBAM and not the CRÜE. Great fun.
Most amazing is the band's ability to take risks with songs that in no way, shape or form are run of the mill rock/metal songs. You'll be shocked at how well QUEEN's "Bicycle Race" comes off. Complete with piano and operatic harmonies, and a few minor twists, the rendition is pulled off with aplomb. Of course, Rogers doesn't even try to imitate Freddie Mercury's voice, but does it justice just the same. SOUNDGARDEN's "The Day I Tried to Live" is also virtually identical to the original, except for the mid-range screamy vocals and death growls that alternate with clean singing on the chorus. Tackling KING CRIMSON's "Three of a Perfect Pair", PINK FLOYD's "Us and Them", DEPECHE MODE's "Little 15", and COUNTING CROWS' "Colorblind" (bonus track) is no easy feat, but BTBAM nails each composition, incorporating acoustic guitar and keys whenever necessary. If I had to point to any disappointments, and we're talking minor ones, it would be the covers of SEPULTURA's "Territory" and PANTERA's "Cemetery Gates". It's not that these versions are bad by any means, only that something gets lost in the translation.
So how do you rate a covers album anyway? You tell me (and I'm sure you will). Unless the album stinks, I'm not sure that it means a whole hell of a lot. We'll go with a 7. How does that grab ya?