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btbambestIt’s always awkward when a beloved band switches labels mid-career, only to see their former label release a greatest hits set on or about the same date that their first album on their new label is set for release. It puts the most hardcore of fans in a pinch, as there’s always questions as to the reasoning behind the releases. Is it band-authorized? Is it a deal-breaker that allows the band to move on? Is there something here that I don’t already have? In the rock world, KORN, PAPA ROACH, FEAR FACTORY, ATREYU, and ROB ZOMBIE all come to mind as artists this has happened to.  Now, with the March 29th release of  The Best of BETWEEN THE BURIED AND ME approaching, we BTBAM becomes the latest addition to the aforementioned list, as Victory Records beats their first Metal Blade release to market by a couple of weeks.

While I can’t tell you whether or not this is backed by the band (I highly doubt it), I can tell you that it has material you probably don’t have, and it comes in one of the finest packages you’ll see this year. Collected in a 3-disc set (2CDs/1DVD), BEST OF is a good overview of one of the most unique acts in music, with a selection of tracks from their first decade of output. Unfortunately, being an overview leaves this feeling disjointed, as a BTBAM album should be played in it’s entirety, rather than broken into pieces. The inclusion of some live tracks and music videos makes this worth owning, but let’s not kid – this is a collection for listeners that are already fans of the band. It’s highly unlikely that new listeners will make this their jumping off point.

Since I wasn’t able to borrow that time-traveling De Lorean from Doc Brown, I can’t tell what the future holds. Perhaps this really will be “the best of” BTBAM… Either way, it’s an essential piece for completists.

Rating: 4/5

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