I, The Betrayer
Seven songs from a rock band based in Oslo, Norway and in a suitably bleak and black album package. They look as though they have come to kick your door down. I always wish with metal bands that just one member would have a Fairisle sweater on, or a trilby hat…
The group’s sword logo is rather effective. As I put the record on, I am not expecting to hear a banjo or accordion…the lineup for the record is Christopher Wiborg vocals, Alex Bjorklund guitars, Geir Johan Prytz guitars, Terje Hoias drums and bassist Kyle Sevenoaks.
Credulity is a crashing and emphatic opener, a strong vocal but also one of those growler types in the mix. This one sounds like a pirate. The juddering guitars attain a dramatic and the drumming is relentless. At 2.00 a menacing guitar run jumps out of the melee. The lyrics are very small as printed in the booklet, but a ‘cavalcade of spectrelight’ is mentioned, that fires the imagination!
Selfish Ride has weird fantasy lyrics about someone going fishing and toads, with the chorus of ‘Die Die Die, Selfish Pride’. The energy shown here is fantastic and a jumbled guitar solo just adds to the frantic vibe. If this fast metal is your thing, this band is really one to check out. They sound cohesive, committed. There is just a hint of Detroit on the second guitar break. Conformity is spooky, more restrained and evokes Uli Roth. The drums are steady and spot on. To me this is much more listenable. About 1:20 the franticness and growly chap are back. The words do capture extreme paranoia very well. The guitar solo uses space as best it can at this quick chugging tempo.
Humanity has a delicate bass figure as its intro and conjures up an air of mystery, chorus’d guitar and all. The vocal here is splendid, he is not fighting the backing. I wonder if they are Alice Cooper fans? Soon the heavy cloud of fuzz is blaring out again. It’s not compulsory, lads!! Unless you make it so. Creatures Of Hate goes for the soft intro ruse again, fine guitar textures that ring out. Seems to be a song about hate, war and turmoil which they don’t like at all. But where would you be without all that to sing about, chap? As a song with a message and in the context of their world, I The Betrayer can claim success, here.
Boaster has a burning riff that reminds me of Alice In Chains, a group I really rate. More great singing, here but the guitars wodge together into one fat fuzz sound. Take one of them off the distortion and you would immediately deepen your sound, amigos. The set ends with Ignorance Pt.1 which starts with the eerie riff thing and Christopher still sounds down. It’s his best vocal, here.
Strangely, it’s at the moments when they are not obliged to bash away at speed that this group sounds its strongest. They are not alone, here, in the World of Metal. I bet they go for it on stage but they seriously need to separate the guitar sounds and enrich what they are doing.
(Thanks Tom, another find)
I, The Betrayer’s new EP ‘7’ is out now on Darkspawn Records.
For band information and live dates, head to www.ithebetrayer.com