Betrayer - Rusted Icons
Thrash / Power Metal
8 songs (43'38)
Release year: 2001
Reviewed by Marty
Betrayer is a Canadian band based out of Windsor, Ontario and was formed by guitarist/vocalist Jeff Klingbeil and drummer Shawn Bastien. Originally calling themselves Swarm and with bassist Norm Michaud now in the band, they recorded a three song demo followed one year later with this full length album Rusted Icons under the new name of Betrayer. Soon after, they recruited Bill Lozon as a second guitar player to beef up their live performances and to duplicate the dual lead guitar harmonies and solos on their debut album. Their music shows influences of classic 80's heavy metal and especially thrash metal with elements of Megadeth, Metallica and Iron Maiden flowing freely through much of their material. They've won or placed in the top three position in many battle of the bands competitions in and around Southern Ontario and have built up a strong fan base and ever expanding street team to help spread the word. Perhaps the band's biggest break came last year when they were the opening act for the Motorhead, Dio, Iron Maiden show in Toronto.

Right from the opening riffs and first couple of verses of Descendants Of Death, the Megadeth influence is felt front and center. You begin to wonder if these guys have been in suspended animation for the last 17 years and believe that we're still firmly entrenched in the glory days of the late mid to late 80's where heavy metal and especially thrash metal enjoyed some of their most productive years. From the riffs to the Megadeth's Hangar 18 style vocal delivery, the influences are very evident. This track has some great extended instrumental passages and lead guitar harmonies and shows lots of promise for an opening track. Another solid tune is Fire To The Coals which shows influences from both thrash and power metal and again shows Megadeth influences with the extremely tight syncopation of the stuttering guitar riffs and double bass drumming. Iron Maiden influences can be heard with the dual lead guitar attack and some great melodic guitar harmonies. The rest of the tracks all feature some great riffs and interesting rhythmic changes and a few songs use the ever so popular staple of 80's thrash with their mix of quieter and heavy parts including the use of acoustic guitar in some places.

The material suffers a bit from a weak and sometimes off-key vocal delivery by Jeff Klingbeil. As well as that, the guitar sound has a very dirty and distorted sound that takes a bit of getting used to. It's extremely overdriven sound needs to be cleaned up a bit and as a result will give it a bit more definition in the band's overall mix. The drums and bass sound decent for a demo and in fact sound better than most others that I've heard. All the key elements are there in the band's sound and from the abundance of great head-banging riffs, I'd say that they would be a pretty solid live act. The band has lots of great ideas but needs to spend more time on just how to properly arrange them into more coherent songs. Seeing that this album was recorded three years ago and the band has played over a hundred live shows since then, I can say with some degree of confidence that we haven't heard the best from this band yet. In the three years that has passed since this recording, I'm sure that Jeff's worked intensely on his vocal delivery and the rest of the band is in prime shape to take the band to the next step. Betrayer went into the studio this past weekend to lay down three new tracks as well as a new version of Descendants Of Death. According to press releases from the band, their sound is evolving and now shows more influences from European power metal as well as classic thrash metal. There are plans for the band to return to the studio in 2005 to work on their second full-length due out sometime next year. Lots of bands can get to the point where Betrayer are but it really takes something special to push them to the next level and with the live experience gained in the last few years as well as learning from the shortcomings of their sound and some of the material on this album, I think they just might have what it takes. Watch out for Betrayer!!!

Killing Songs :
Descendants Of Death and Fire To The Coals
Marty quoted 70 / 100
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