For Fans Of
When it comes to cookie cutter metal, Betrayal fit the mould. They’ve got the brutality of a Born of Osiris, even if they adopt a more breakdown happy sound, as opposed to riffing intricacy. They’re not just a stock standard hardcore group, though, as their brand of beatdown two-step isn’t, at all, dissimilar from the likes of The Acacia Strain. In that, the record has potential to be unpredictable, and volatile – which it somewhat lives up to – though outside of some chunky breakdowns, I failed to be entranced by their record, ‘Abandonment’.
A majority of the tracks follow the expected, straight from the textbook, formula. A handful of riffs, breakdown, riff, riff, breakdown; it’s all fairly underwhelming, in that sense. The tracks have a fine flow, and when it comes to blending two-step beats with hardened breakdowns, Betrayal have to be considered as professionals. “Low Expectations” is a solid opener, but its real highlight comes two minutes in with an ominous guitar detune preceding a monster breakdown, as vocalist Brendan Foley bellows “expect the worse.” Fortunately, this wasn’t exactly a foreshadowing of things to come for ‘Abandonment’.
Lyrically, the album is no worse than anything you’d hear on a Parkway Drive record. I mean, it’s not poetry – no-one expects that – but it’s coarse, harsh and thematically pretty heavy. Foley, who also is the lyricist, does a pretty respectable job considering he was juggling writing and school at the same time.
Some of the two-step sound first comes to the fray during the last half of “The Good Die Young” as the song takes on an almost punk-rock sound, complete with full chorus chanting. It’s feel-good stuff, and it’s pretty obvious the moments like this in songs would mean a lot to the band, as well as their fans. “Revolution” is practically a three minute long breakdown, as I literally was able to let it play, hit a random spot in the track on my player and it almost sounded uninterrupted; needless to say, it wasn’t my favourite track of the record.
“Interlude” is almost out-of-character compared to the remainder of ‘Abandonment’. It runs the gamut from heavy to clean, as acoustic guitars make a strange cameo playing prelude to a pretty corking solo. It, admittedly, was one of the more fun tracks on the record, but seemed almost out of place.
If you were an avid fan of ‘The People’s Fallacy’, you wouldn’t kick ‘Abandonment’ out of bed. It retains a lot of the elements that made Betrayal enjoyable to begin with. It’s not perfect, but they show a considerable amount of growth and maturity with this release. Minor inconsistencies and some instances of poor songwriting keep this metal record from being a straight-edge marvel.
1. Low Expectations
2. Without A Doubt
4. The Good Die Young
7. Human Nature
8. Empty Hands
9. Worth It All
10. Death Of A Memory