Betraying The Martyrs
27th January – Sumerian Records
01. Lost For Words
02. Take Me Back
03. The Great Disillusion
04. Dying To Live
05. The Resilient
07. Won’t Back Down
09. Behind The Glass
10. Waste My Time
12. Wide Awake
Betraying The Martyrs have clearly learned a lot from their extensive touring and it shines through in the writing of this new record. The heavy parts, groovier and more focused, sit well next to choruses that are more memorable. This blend means that even those who may not be entirely comfortable with the more intense moments in their songs are rewarded with huge choruses that are impossible to shake; it’s just more cleverly crafted all round.
Contributing to these bigger moments is keys player and backing vocalist Victor Guillet, whose vocal contribution is upped from previous efforts. While the clean vocals may come across as overly Americanised, it doesn’t detract from the fact that these melodies are big enough to fill large venues.
With Aaron Matts’ bellowing growls punctuating the heavy rhythms and intense blast beats, the clean melodies weave around much more effortlessly than they did on their earlier albums. The addition of technically-minded Chimp Spanner drummer Boris Le Gal adds a consistent groove to the album.
Along with their blend of metalcore, deathcore, tech and hardcore, they have a subtle infusion of keys and electronics. The band’s wide range of influences is noticeable on more hardcore numbers like “Unregistered” and “(Dis)connected”, all the while maintaining their recognisable down-tuned timbre and crowd-ready choruses to help break up the album. Guillet’s synth parts add the usual epic element through a blend of huge choir pads, and the sharp electronic leads sit underneath the rest of the sound are subtle but have a huge effect overall.
In some senses, Betraying The Martyrs have taken the styles of bands such as Asking Alexandria and The Word Alive a step heavier by infusing lower tuned guitars, more deathcore and djent influences alongside the wide layers that fill the mix – but while they may be more accustomed to a certain market with their catchy approach to metal, Betraying The Martyrs do well to blur the lines between more popular metal sounds and more innovative underground elements.
The only personal qualm with the album is the missed opportunity to experiment a little more, which partly ties into the point above as it is understandable that they would want to focus their efforts towards their set audience, however it would be interesting to see Betraying The Martyrs play with the elements that they infuse into their sound. But all in all, a solid step up, cementing themselves as one of France’s top metal acts.