|Review: Betrayer - Rusted Icons|
Year released: 2001
Review online: October 18, 2004
Reviewed by: Michel Renaud
Rated 3.78/5 (75.56%) (9 Votes)
The Canadian band Betrayer has been known in the underground circles for several years now, but awareness by the metal community at large has been slow coming. It's a real shame because "Rusted Icons" is quite something, to say the least. I got this a few months ago and back then it didn't do much for me, especially on the vocals side and it ended up in the pile of albums to check out later. And now it's been stuck in my CD player for a couple of days, and my earlier impressions pretty much eradicated.
Betrayer is essentially an heavy metal band that also bears a lot of thrash influence, hence the Heavy/Thrash categorisation. "Rusted Icons" brings together the best of both worlds, with the "accessibility" of traditional heavy metal mixed with some aggressive thrash-inspired riffage omnipresent throughout the album. The vocals - clean and relatively high-pitched but not in a power metal kind of "high" - may take a bit of getting used to, to the point of maybe being hit or miss with some people. At first I didn't like them, but now that I've given this time to grow on me, I find the vocals are pretty fitting although there are a few rough edges here and there. Sometimes they're a bit too high in the mix, overshadowing the music is a little too much, but it's not bad overall. Some vocal parts remind me a bit of Goat Horn's singer, while some have a bit of a Black Album-era James Hetfield feel to them.
The album is quite varied, going from full-speed rockers to more tempered power ballads (very melodic and tame until the guitars crank it up a notch - very nicely done.) Sometimes the mix sounds a bit weird (not just for the vocals) and that takes some getting used to. The material is well-written, catchy and aggressive and things never get boring - this is one you can play on repeat without fear. Hopefully Betrayer will achieve some better recognition at some point, it's a crying shame that the talent and quality exhibited here is not more widely known by the many metalheads who have yet to hear of them due to a lack of exposure. With that said, I'll end up with the standard "Buy it now, biatch!" ;)
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|Review: Rusted Icons (reviewed by 4th Horseman)|
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