|Review: Backstabber - Conspiracy Theorist|
Year released: 2019
Genre: Death Metal
Review online: January 22, 2019
Reviewed by: Michel Renaud
Rated 3.6/5 (72%) (5 Votes)
It isn't that this is a death metal band that caught my attention here (you know how many of those I get each week?) but rather the fact that Backstabber hail from the northern city of Rouyn-Noranda, Québec, Canada, which is roughly a 3.5-hour drive from where I grew up (a place so remote that this was considered a relatively short drive), and I almost went to college there waaayyy back in 1987. OK, enough about me. ;)
As the album title hints, Backstabber are into conspiracy theories and they throw in some spoken passages here and there—some original, some recordings from past presidents—and that stuff usually annoys me, but the band has managed to make those flow very smoothly along with the music, to the point where you expect it like it was just another instrument. Nice.
Backstabber's death metal is more of the modern variety (in a good way) with a very clean yet brutal sound and speed aplenty. The playing is insanely tight at times and it's often hard to believe that this is only the first album of a relatively young band, their first demo having been released in 2016. Some passages are a little on the thrash side but for the most part this is heavy, pounding, fast death metal driven by a drummer who is really asking for a speeding ticket. The vocals are sometimes regular death growls, sometimes practically barked with furiousness and anger, which really matches the subject matter. All throughout this speedy onslaught, the band throw in some wicked solos sometimes reminiscent of 80s classic metal and the occasional melodic passages, going all out with this on the very quiet "The Hum," stuck in the middle, which gives you a bit of a breather before the craziness fires up again. The title track closes the album and is yet another quiet acoustic track that shares the same sadness and somewhat depressing vibe as "The Hum". Another breather, and then you hit play again and you're fucked. ;) Nicely done.
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