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Betrayer - "Betrayer" (CD)

Betrayer - "Betrayer" CD cover image

"Betrayer" track listing:

1. Beyond The Grave
2. World Of Misery
3. Convicted Soul
4. Innocence Forgotten
5. Transformation
6. Fire To The Coals
7. Spirit Of The Maker
8. Love Is Pain
9. Ages Of Defiance
10. New Horizons

Reviewed by on October 10, 2014

"Betrayer holds true to an early '80s classic metal style on this self-titled album."

Canadian classic metal act Betrayer serves up a solid slab of early '80s bombast, both vocally and instrumentally, on its self-titled second full-length album. If you're looking for soaring vocals and seriously sick guitar solos, this is the album for you. On the other hand, if you're looking for something that goes beyond the template set by the likes of early Priest and Maiden, you'll likely come away a little disappointed.

Instrumentally, the band is spot-on, with even the lesser tracks ("Love Is Pain" and the overindulgent "Spirit Of The Maker") redeemed somewhat by the killer guitar work of Bill Lozon and Jeff Klingbeil. The instrumental "New Horizons" is easily the disc's best track, with some excellent bass fills, courtesy of Norm Michaud.

Klingbeil is also the band's singer, and he delivers consistently excellent work, with a tone and style that feels almost like a cross between Stryper's Robert Sweet and the Scorpions' Klaus Meine. His best showing comes on "Transformation," as he sings that "there's no resistance if they kill everyone." If I had one complaint, it's that he sometimes goes a little too far into what one might call theatrical territory. As noted above, "Spirit Of The Maker" definitely tries way too hard for an epic sound, as does the album's opener, "Beyond The Grave," albeit to a lesser extent.

I was also a little disappointed with how closely the band chose to hew to formula. There's absolutely nothing that feels like it could have come from the 21st century here. That may not be an issue for some listeners, but, for me, it almost made the album sound and feel dated.

Betrayer holds true to an early '80s classic metal style on this self-titled album. Fans of that style will find plenty to love here -- and even casual listeners will likely be impressed at the vocal and instrumental chops on display.

Highs: "New Horizon" and "Transformation"

Lows: The overly theatrical "Spirit Of The Maker"

Bottom line: A good disc full of '80s style sounds -- but one that can feel a little dated at times.

Rated 3 out of 5 skulls
3 out of 5 skulls

Rating Description
Rated 5 out of 5 skulls Perfection. (No discernable flaws; one of the reviewer's all-time favorites)
Rated 4.5 out of 5 skulls Near Perfection. (An instant classic with some minor imperfections)
Rated 4 out of 5 skulls Excellent. (An excellent effort worth picking up)
Rated 3.5 out of 5 skulls Good. (A good effort, worth checking out or picking up)
Rated 3 out of 5 skulls Decent. (A decent effort worth checking out if the style fits your tastes)
Rated 2.5 out of 5 skulls Average. (Nothing special; worth checking out if the style fits your taste)
Rated 2 out of 5 skulls Fair. (There is better metal out there)
< 2 skulls Pretty Bad. (Don't bother)