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Betrayer - Rusted Icons 2001 Indy Release --EC

Track Listing
1. Descendants of Death
2. Fire to the Coals
3. Tribulation
4. Waiting
5. Wretched Ways
6. Captive State Of Mind
7. Sands Of Time
8. Rusted Icons
I've often wondered what a marriage of Megadeth and Metallica would produce. A ton of bands have tried to find that sound, the mixture of Megadeth's raw energy and Metallica's machine like finesse. From US thrash bands like Exodus and Heathen to Laaz Rockit and Testament, many metal commandos have tried on the Metallideth attire, winding themselves up in a thrash metal frenzy but never really identifying themselves as their own band with their own sound. Canada's Betrayer mixes with that concoction, dabbling in the mid-era of Megadeth while taking the speed and velocity of "Ride The Lightning" into effect.

I'll be perfectly honest here. Betrayer are probably a better live band than they are on album. After playing their only release, "Rusted Icons", anyone with a brain will realize that the band is being held down because of the production. That isn't to say "Rusted Icons" is a bad album, but it has some serious production problems which is to be expected from an indy metal band with no label support. It is perfectly clear that the band have a tremendous amount of talent on display here, but with this type of production quality I really don't know how many times I'll be pulling this off the wall. Certainly one can argue that the band do exactly what they wanted to, creating a perfect blend of influences ranging from Megadeth to Van Halen to Megadeth to Scorpions. I appreciate all of those factors and I believe Betrayer are really on the right pace here. If they could get on an indy label it would probably help them achieve a moderate amount of success and open some more doors globally for them. Century Media or Metal Blade could take this band and run with it. Unfortunately in today's metal world Betrayer aren't yo-yo'ing it enough to fit into commercial radio. Nonetheless "Rusted Icons" is a good, fresh start for a band that shows me a whole lot of talent and skill.

Fans of early to mid-era Megadeth and Metallica should enjoy this metal romp. Bill Lozon and Jeff Klingbeil link up for some fast and furious riff combos including some breathtaking leads thrown in all over the place. Norm Michaud does a great job on his bass lines backed by Shawn Beastien on the skins. My biggest beef on this album is the production obviously and I think the biggest effect this bad production has is very shallow and hollow vocals. Klingbeil's vocals just come off way back in the mix. I like his voice and think is strong enough for this album, but this mix really holds him back. But enough of the negative, let's talk about some positives.

Betrayer are extremely tight and precise on every minute of this album. I can hear the obvious "traditional" influences but I also hear some modern day tendencies as well. "Descendants Of Death" has a catchy Iced Earth vibe running through it, especially with the haunting intro. The track moves through some mid-80s thrash with plenty of double bass and mid-tempo riffage. The same could be said for the Megadeth styling of "Tribulation" and the foot stomper "Waiting". But the band isn't always about break neck thrash pieces. The title track could have been lifted off of 'Crue's "Shout At The Devil", with plenty of hard rock gang vocals and a great hook throughout. Favorite cuts for me are "Descendants Of Death", "Fire To The Coals", and "Rusted Icons".

This is the band's debut and I think things will only improve from this point. Betrayer have displayed a great metal outlook and have crafted some fine passages. The group are working on a brand new EP now called "Shadowed Force" and I think you will see the band take the next logical step and shore up their studio performance and tweak the technical aspects of their sound. I'd love to see this band live to see how they compare to the studio work. In the meantime I'll take what I can get and look forward to the future.


--EC 01.25.05
About this Writer:
Eric Compton // Eric Compton lives in the most haunted city in the world, St. Augustine, Florida with his family and two yorkies. He has served as senior editor for MaximumMetal.com for nearly 10 years and is the author of the heavy metal book series--Denim & Letters. His reviews, interviews and social commentary has been featured on websites like Brave Words, Blabbermouth, Metal Temple, Metal Rules, Ultimate Metal, Metal Maniacs and Wikipedia.

Maximum Metal Rating Legend - Click for Full Details
5 Excellent - Buy it and say a prayer to the metal gods that you were tuned on to this masterpiece. A classic.
4-4.5 Great - Almost perfect records but there's probably a clunker or a lacking somewhere to keep it from perfection. You won't feel bad about dropping some bones on these.
3.5 Good - Most of the record is good, but there may be some filler. This is the OK range where you'd search for the record on sale or used.
3 Average - Some good songs, some bad ones at about a half/half ratio. Could show skills but be dull overall. Redeeming qualities for indy bands are effort and passion. Majors that don't try or suck outright end up here.
2-2.5 Fair - Worth a listen, but best obtained by collectors. There is much better metal out there.
1-1.5 Bad - Major problems with music, lyrics, production, etc.
0 Terrible or an otherwise waste of your life and time.

Note: Reviews are graded from 0-5, anything higher or not showing is from our old style. Scores, however, do not reveal the important features. The written review that accompanies the ratings is the best source of information regarding the music on our site. Reviewing is opinionated, not a qualitative science, so scores are personal to the reviewer and could reflect anything from being technically brilliant to gloriously cheesy fun.

Demos and independent releases get some slack since the bands are often spent broke supporting themselves and trying to improve. Major releases usually have big financial backing, so they may be judged by a heavier hand. All scores can be eventually adjusted up or down by comparison of subsequent releases by the same band. We attempt to keep biases out of reviews and be advocates of the consumer without the undo influence of any band, label, management, promoter, etc.

The best way to determine how much you may like certain music is to listen to it yourself.



ALL FULL REVIEWS FOR: BETRAYER
CD
TITLE BAND
DOR
REVIEWER DATE
Rusted IconsBetrayer
2001
Eric Compton1/24/2005


ALL SUMMARY REVIEWS FOR: BETRAYER

No Summary reviews currently exist for them.


ALL INTERVIEWS FOR: BETRAYER
INTERVIEW BAND INTERVIEWER DATE
Jeff KlingbeilBetrayerEric Compton2/15/2005


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