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Treachery - "Treachery" (CD/EP)

Treachery - "Treachery" CD/EP cover image

"Treachery" track listing:

1. Inception (4:48)
2. Kiss the Fist (1:27)
3. Bound in Your Entrails (4:01)
4. Could Not Find Her Heart (4:25)
5. Enter Dominion (8:39)

Reviewed by on December 15, 2008

"While the length of the album is lamentably short, the music contained in the small run time is worth a listen for anyone who enjoys black metal that goes in distinctive or unusual directions."

Black metal has a strong connection to both the ambience and drone genres as it is basically just a step or two away from them, and they all draw heavily on atmosphere over technical skill. The self-titled first release from Treachery dabbles a little with all three types of sound, switching back and forth between them and frequently blending them together into something altogether different. While the length of the album is lamentably short, the music contained in the small run time is worth a listen for anyone who enjoys black metal that goes in distinctive or unusual directions.

The opening track is appropriately labeled “Inception,” as it is much like an incubation period for the album, working up to something bigger. Oppressive and ominous sound effects of muted screams, distorted growls off in the distance, and evil laughter are used with long droning guitar riffs to give the feeling that the rules of reality have changed and the darker aspects of the mind have become the dominant force in the universe. At just under five minutes the song doesn’t have enough time to actually enter the drone genre which allows it to get the general idea across without changing the dynamic of the album or reaching an overly repetitive state.

“Kiss the Fist” is the album’s short interlude, but rather than being the instrumental it is the all out black metal track, complete with lower end production, blast beats, and a rasping growl that has no chance of being understood properly. There is a nice vocal layering effect and some unexpected slowdowns during the minute and a half intermission that make it much more interesting than it would be otherwise.

The sounds of the first two songs get entwined in “Bound In Your Entrails,” dropping the low production but keeping some of the black metal trappings along with the strong ambience. The drumming is very heavy on the cymbals, which gives a completely different vibe than in the earlier songs, and the effects go for a more electronic style. Darkened whispers and growls about tearing strips of flesh pop in and out throughout the track and some guitars get thrown in just when it appears the song will stay out of the realm of metal for good. Everything about the song seems to indicate a strong occult leaning, which may mean that the song title has more meaning than just being an amusing gore-based named.

The dual meanings continue with “Could Not Find Her Heart,” which is probably meant to be taken literally rather than metaphorically. The guitars are again used more for ambient effect rather than as a driving force, letting the strong drum beats lead the music. The song ends very abruptly, practically mid-riff, shifting directly into “Enter Dominion,” which travels back into the horror elements and drawn out sounds of the opening track. The final minutes of the album are presented as a combination of everything that came before, producing a strong mood with atmospheric vocals and an overall air of furious black metal.

With only five tracks that total less than half an hour of music, “Treachery” may seem like a wash, but the strong mood created by each song should be more than enough to entice ambient metal fans into giving it a shot.

Highs: Oppresive and evil moods, nice sound effects, and great twists on the black metal style

Lows: Very short and some songs have overly abrupt endings

Bottom line: A short but satisfying trip into ambient black metal

Rated 3.5 out of 5 skulls
3.5 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)