Few albums in the pantheon of progressive metal have landed with the splash of 2007’s “Colors,” an eminently original and much celebrated work. Now, 14 years later, BETWEEN THE BURIED AND ME have boldly lowered the bucket back into the well, hoping to dredge up a sequel as refreshing as its predecessor. Clearly, the well has not gone dry. “Colors II” will surely sate the thirst of any prog fan, but how does it compare to the original? The characteristics of “II” that elevate it beyond the earlier offering are the same characteristics that hold it back—in a word, consistency. The song writing, performance, and production of “Colors II” are far more consistent. There are no duds, no filler, no blemishes, but alas, less goosebumps. With its superior production, inspired heavy sections and subtle allusions to the 2007 masterpiece, there is so much greatness in this album, but it never achieves the soaring, intoxicating heights of the original.

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OPETH – “Blackwater Park” (CHAMPION)

Vs.

GOJIRA – “The Way of All Flesh”

OPETH conclude our tournament of 32 with a 7-2 victory over the runner-up, GOJIRA. “Blackwater Park” is now and forevermore enshrined as the greatest prog metal album of all time. Finally, the masses give this oft overlooked album its due. Nobody thought it could win, but to all the non-believers out there, “they did it, baby!”