Long out-of-print on vinyl since their original release, Between the Buried and Me’s sophomore album, The Silent Circus, has recently been re-issued by Craft Recordings. This recording features Tommy Giles Rogers and Paul Waggoner, but with Jason Schofield King, Mark Castillo, and Nicholas Shawn Fletcher rounding out the band. The album has been remixed and remastered by longtime BTBAM producer, Jamie King, but Matthew Ellard produced the original release of The Silent Circus in 2003.
When it came time to revisit the record, the band turned to their longtime collaborator to put his signature on these songs. King remixed and remastered the record at The Basement Studios in Winston-Salem, NC. Dedicated fans of the album will notice shifts in the sound on some of these songs, mostly for the better, with the result enhancing the listening experience. The mix is sharper, and there is more room present in all of the songs – something that certainly comes out on the new vinyl pressing.
Between the Buried and Me are a band that has advanced so far beyond their original sound and style, it’s hard to say whether fans of Coma Ecliptic (2015) and Automata I & II (2018) would care much for this album. Perhaps they haven’t strayed as far away as bands like Opeth and Mastodon have (two groups that Between the Buried and Me have toured with, by the way), but they have strayed enough that I’ve read comments on their socials from fans saying they miss the band’s “old sound.”
For those fans, this remastered debut vinyl shall be a genuine treat. The increase in their proficiency, highlighted here by Jamie King, is worth it. King’s advancements in production technology combine to punch up these original recordings. Hint’s of where BTBAM were heading are present on The Silent Circus; “Mordecai” remains one of the band’s most requested singles and showcases all of the elements that BTBAM fans yearn for on their current releases.
A limited-edition version of The Silent Circus pressed on purple marbled-coloured vinyl can be found exclusively on the band’s website and is still available to order today. Along with a standard black vinyl pressing available in stores, these re-issues of The Silent Circus are part of the band’s 20th-anniversary celebrations. Initially, the special release of The Silent Circus was to include extensive touring. A North American retrospective tour, where the band would perform the entirety of their epic 2009 LP, The Great Misdirect, was on the books but is now shelved around Covid-19. Whether these dates will get rescheduled remains to be seen.
Original pressings of The Silent Circus have been fetching inflated prices on the aftermarket for years. Now is your chance to experience the album all suped-up and remastered for a fair price. If you are a serious collector, get in on that purple marbled-coloured vinyl version from the band’s website before they are gone and fetching double price on the aftermarket.
Loudwire included The Silent Circus on their “25 Best Metalcore Albums of All Time” list and praised the band’s “forward-thinking intricacies and ideas in their review.” The gatefold packaging and updated sleeve artwork, along with the Jamie King production, make this re-release of The Silent Circus a must-have for BTBAM completionists. My only gripe is the 5 minutes of dead space on the D-Side after “The Need For Repetition;” It feels unnecessary.
The Silent Circus Track Listing:
1. Lost Perfection a) Coulrophobia
2. b) Anablephobia
3. Camilla Rhodes
3. Shevanel Take 2
1. Ad A Dglgmut
2. Destructo Spin
2. The Need For Repetition (song ends at 6:17, a hidden track entitled “The Man Land” begins at 11:14.)
Run Time: 52:52
Release Date: July 31, 2020
Record Label: Craft Recordings