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Betrayal – Disorder Remains Award winner

Disorder Remains
by Andrew Graham at 14 June 2021, 3:28 PM

Second release by Teutonic death-metallers BETRAYAL crashes and stomps through a dozen well-constructed tracks that subtly display tangible influences from thrash, black, and even melodic death metal. It's not so much hybrid-genres here, more like death metal with a dash of thrash, a pinch of black, and a smattering of melody. Truly outstanding stuff that would be reasonably expected from a band with many times their total output.

The intro track has a delightfully absurd ‘epic movie trailer’ sound about it – perfectly fitting for a genre that (let’s be honest here) doesn’t always take itself entirely seriously! The proceedings commence proper with “Rise”, opening on a definite blackened death metal note (fans of BEHEMOTH rejoice!), which continues into “War”. Of note already is Manuel’s drum work, which bears all the hall-marks one hopes for (and, I think, expects) of top-notch death metal drumming: surgical precision, relentless power, and groovy fills. “Ghost Of Mind” stands out as a high point, with a deliciously satisfying groove about it that would be familiar to fans of LAMB OF GOD and others of their kind. There are even flirtations with melody in a wonderfully felt guitar solo from Bastian.

“The Manifest” thunders into view with a bludgeoning series of blast-beats and chugging guitars before descending into very thrashy territory – there's a definite sense of fun in certain sections, which I hopelessly associate with thrash (just me?!) Drummer Manuel really has a lot of fun himself on this track, bouncing between a jarring, yet never inappropriate, variety of drum beats – even manages to shove a cowbell in there! Nicely done! The thrash train doesn’t stop here though. “Lost Promises” continues the vibe so expertly set up in the previous track, with the usual display of death metal brutality that really lifts this band – it's really very skilful! The solo even dredges into the power metal stream here, and to great effect. Just goes to show that if it’s done well, the genre boundaries simply do not matter.

Title-track “Disorder Remains” demonstrates the peak quality of the melting pot of sub-genre play we have seen up to now. Death metal, thrash metal, melodic death metal, power metal and more – these guys have transcended the genre limitations and made this sound truly their own! This leads into an acoustic interlude track, “Chaos Reigns”. Far from being calm or relaxing, this retains all the distressed and conflicted sensation that is present throughout the album. Rather it conveys the unshakable sense that something bad is about to happen. When “Devouring Nothingness” kicks in, the payoff is justified. Again, we have a solid groove influence at work, showing once again this is not simply for the death-metallers: there’s something here for everybody.

“Dooming Diversions” demonstrates another genre-blend. Here we have an almost symphonic death metal sound, which actually works really well in the context of the tracks we’ve heard up to now. More expertly crafted solo-work underlie the proceedings, with Alex’s vocals sailing ever-gracefully over the tempestuous sea of sound these gents have put together. “Insanity” gives the listener a more conventional death metal sound. There's something almost mischievous about this – as if the band are telling us “Yes, we can do a normal death metal song! Don’t believe us? Listen to this!” At least until the acoustic interlude, which then bounces back into a tremendous blast-beat. Very mischievous! The drum intro to “Oblivion” heavily evoked DEATH’S “Flattening Of Emotions”, which opens their (in the eyes of some) magnum opus, Human. I always enjoy spotting these little nods, whether they are entirely intentional or not! It's a nice way for musicians to pay respect to those who came before them.

With this seamless blend of death and black metal, we, the listener, ride out into the sunset on a truly extraordinary album. That BETRAYAL have managed to so perfectly and seamlessly blend together styles in a way that feels natural and not remotely forced is a truly remarkable achievement, and one that deserves wide attention from the metal world. To BETRAYAL I say, das ist wunderbar!

Songwriting: 9
Musicianship: 8
Memorability: 9
Production: 8

4 Star Rating

1. Intro
2. Rise
3. War
4. Ghost Of Mind
5. The Manifest
6. Lost Promises
7. Devouring Nothingness
8. Disorder Remains
9. Chaos Reigns
10. Dooming Diversions
11. Insanity
12. Greed And Oblivion
Alex Burkl – Vocals and guitar
Bastian Kraus – Lead guitar
Phil Valenta – Bass
Manuel Caccamese – Drums
Record Label: Rising Nemesis Records


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Edited 03 December 2022

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