Automata I

Last updated
Automata I
Automata I.jpg
Studio album by
ReleasedMarch 9, 2018
RecordedAugust–September 2017
StudioThe Basement Studios, Winston-Salem, North Carolina
Label Sumerian
Producer Jamie King, Between the Buried and Me
Between the Buried and Me chronology
Coma Ecliptic
Automata I
Automata II

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]

Progressive metal is a fusion genre melding heavy metal and progressive rock that combines the loud "aggression" and amplified guitar-driven sound of the former with the more experimental, cerebral or "pseudo-classical" compositions of the latter.

Between the Buried and Me American metal band from North Carolina.

Between the Buried and Me is an American progressive metal band from Raleigh, North Carolina. Formed in 2000, the band consists of Tommy Giles Rogers Jr., Paul Waggoner, Dustie Waring, Dan Briggs, and Blake Richardson (drums).

Sumerian Records American record label

Sumerian Records is an American independent record label based in Washington D.C. and Los Angeles. The label was founded in 2006 by Ash Avildsen. Fellsilent became the first non-US band to be signed to the label, in 2008. Sumerian's roster includes a number of progressive metal bands, notably in the djent subgenre.


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]

The Dear Hunter is an American progressive rock band originating in Providence, Rhode Island. It began as a side project of Casey Crescenzo when he was a member of The Receiving End of Sirens, before becoming his main band in 2006. The band's sound features a wide variety of instruments and styles.

Leprous Norwegian progressive metal band

Leprous is a progressive metal band from Notodden, Norway, formed in 2001. The group was founded by singer and keyboardist Einar Solberg and guitarist Tor Oddmund Suhrke. Their style is often classified as progressive metal or progressive rock, but encompasses a wide array of influences and sounds.

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.


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

Paul Waggoner musician

Paul Waggoner is the lead guitarist of American progressive metal band Between the Buried and Me. A fan of progressive music, he is heavily inspired by John Petrucci, Pat Metheny, Allan Holdsworth and Steve Vai, amongst others. He formerly played guitar in the metalcore band, Prayer for Cleansing. He played live guitar as needed for Lamb Of God between 2010 and 2014. Waggoner is vegan and straight edge. Waggoner also owns and operates Nightflyer Roastworks, as well as Queen City Grounds, a small-batch specialty grade coffee roasteriy and cafe, respectively, based in Charlotte, NC. He is married with no children.

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.


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]

Tommy Giles Rogers Jr. American musician

Tommy Giles Rogers is an American musician, most notable for being the lead vocalist, keyboardist, and founding member of the American progressive metal band Between the Buried and Me; Currently residing in Laguna Niguel, CA with his wife and son. His vocal style combines death growls and screams with peaceful clean singing melodies, sometimes including falsetto. He is a vegan and straight edge.

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 taken 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.

Depression (mood) state of low mood and aversion to activity

Depression is a state of low mood and aversion to activity. It can affect a person's thoughts, behavior, motivation, feelings, and sense of well-being. It may feature sadness, difficulty in thinking and concentration and a significant increase/decrease in appetite and time spent sleeping, and people experiencing depression may have feelings of dejection, hopelessness and, sometimes, suicidal thoughts. It can either be short term or long term. The core symptom of depression is said to be anhedonia, which refers to loss of interest or a loss of feeling of pleasure in certain activities that usually bring joy to people. Depressed mood is a symptom of some mood disorders such as major depressive disorder or dysthymia; it is a normal temporary reaction to life events, such as the loss of a loved one; and it is also a symptom of some physical diseases and a side effect of some drugs and medical treatments.


Professional ratings
Aggregate scores
Metacritic 70/100 [9]
Review scores
AllMusic Star full.svgStar full.svgStar full.svgStar half.svgStar empty.svg [10]
The A.V. Club C+ [11]
Exclaim! 8/10 [12]
Metal Injection9/10 [13]
MetalSucks Star full.svgStar full.svgStar full.svgStar full.svgStar empty.svg [14]
PopMatters Star full.svgStar full.svgStar full.svgStar full.svgStar full.svgStar full.svgStar full.svgStar full.svgStar empty.svgStar empty.svg [15]
Team Rock Star full.svgStar full.svgStar full.svgStar full.svgStar empty.svg [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] .

1."Condemned to the Gallows"6:35
2."House Organ"3:41
3."Yellow Eyes"8:45
5."Gold Distance" (instrumental)1:02
Total length:35:13


Between the Buried and Me

Additional personnel


Chart (2018)Peak
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

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Glass Casket is a deathcore band from Winston-Salem, North Carolina. They were originally called Gadrel when releasing their first demo To Cherish a Falsity. The band formed after several members' previous band Narayan broke up. Dustie Waring and Blake Richardson are also members of Between the Buried and Me, and Adam Cody is a member of metal band Wretched and the grindcore band Columns. Jake Troth, who joined Glass Casket prior to the recording of A Desperate Man's Diary, also played in Columns, but left the band in 2007.

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