Between the Buried and Me is a thinking man's hardcore unit hailing from Raleigh, North Carolina. The band began in 2000 after the dissolution of vocalist Tommy Rogers and guitarist Paul Waggoner's previous group, Prayer for Cleansing. Rogers and Waggoner completed their new lineup with the addition of guitarist Nick Fletcher, bassist Jason King (ex-Azazel), and drummer Mark Castillo, formerly of Bury Your Dead. An eponymous debut soon appeared, issued through the German indie Lifeforce, and the band supported its release with an avid tour schedule. Between the Buried and Me signed with Chicago hardcore powerhouse Victory in the summer of 2002 and began work on their debut for the label. The Silent Circus appeared in late October of the following year and showcased a more focused fusion of the group's math rock, heavy metal, and post-hardcore influences.