CD Review: Betrayer – Betrayer
After a very long time in the making, Windsor’s longest-running band Betrayer has recently released their self-titled epic. And it was certainly worth the wait. Since they re-emerged onto the scene a little over a year ago, the band has been playing new tracks form the album, most notably Convicted Soul. From the first time hearing this new song, it was obvious that this new album was gonna kill.
Recorded at Spectre Sound with Glen Fricker (as most great local metal albums have been) at the time of it’s making, Norm Michaud was still on bass, but has since been replaced by Sinan Khalaf. On drums is Shawn Bastien, with Bill Lozon on guitar and vocalist/guitarist Jeff Klingbeil at the front.
From their previous recordings and numerous live shows across Southern Ontario fans were able to become familiar with Betrayer’s crisp classic-metal sound. Enthusiasts of Megadeth, and Iron Maiden certainly had nothing to complain about with these guys.
On the new CD, the band has stuck with their established sound, just shined up a bit.
Jeff’s soaring vibrato resonates across the entire album, backed by a bombardment of massive drums, bellowing bass lines, and scalding guitar riffs.
In a very smart move, the boys sent their tracks to Studio Fredman in Sweden for mixing and mastering. Handled by Henrik Udd and Fredrik Nordstrom, the songs came out well balanced and clear. A better studio could not have been chosen for this task, as these guys are behind some stellar product from the likes of In Flames, Arch Enemy, and Opeth, and Nordstrom himself is the guitarist for power metallers Dream Evil, another band who Betrayer likely takes cues from. A solid blast of sound from song to song, the heavily influenced 80’s style metal has been revamped with a modern twist thanks largely, in my opinion, to the mixing styles of those at Fredman.
While we’re on the subject of notable names connected to this album, let’s take a quick look at the album art. Relatively simple, a spider on it’s web (although why the body is not a black widow, yet the hour-glass has been used anyhow I can’t say). However, flip open the booklet, scan down, and see… Art Direction: Hugh Syme. No big deal, he’s only done album art for Iron Maiden, Dream Theatre, Megadeth, and every Rush album since 1975. Not that this contributes to the sound of the album at all, but it’s still pretty damn awesome.
Even looking at this disc without any of the fancy names attached, it’s an awesome collection of songs. This is a band that has been working hard at perfecting their sound for sixteen years, and the maturation of the group and its music is really showing here. For those heavy into collecting local albums, this one is a necessity. I’d say the same for those very into metal as well.
A few years back Betrayer was at the top of their game, winning numerous competitions and getting industry attention. This album has the potential to bring them back to that point, and hopefully carry them further.