As the vocalist/keyboardist for progressive metal titan Between the Buried and Me—whose Automata sequence ranked at #1 in our Best Progressive Rock/Metal of 2018 retrospective—Thomas Giles repeatedly showcases a singular vision. Of course, his solo outings are no different, offering essences of his Between the Buried and Me persona while feeling quite different from those records and from each other. His recently released fifth collection, Don’t Touch the Outside, is perhaps his most masterful merger yet, and in the track-by-track walkthrough below, Giles takes fans through the processes and purposes of the material with insightful humility.
Having worked with Devin Townsend, the Safety Fire, and Arjen Anthony Lucassen (Ayreon) in recent years, Giles is no stranger to guest appearances within the genre. Don’t Touch the Outside proves that he values collaborations just as much when he’s steering the ship, with Einar Solberg (Leprous), Kristoffer Rygg (Ulver), Carley Coma (Candiria), and Wes Hauch (Alluvial, ex-the Faceless) joining Between the Buried and Me bandmates Black Richardson and Dan Briggs on certain tracks. Together, they make Don’t Touch the Outside as engaging as it is earnest in its explorations of family, “social media overload”, self-doubt, and more.
Giles’ breakdowns are nearly as fascinating as the music he’s describing, so check out his candid guide below and grab hold of Don’t Touch the Outside (released last month on Sumerian Records) here.