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Betraying The Martyrs - Phantoms Award winner

Betraying The Martyrs
by Johnny Quid at 24 October 2014, 2:44 PM

Truth be told, I went through some things when I was writing up this review. I wanted to give the best, most honest review of the sophomore album “Phantoms” from Paris, France's BETRAYING THE MARTYRS that I could. There's so much going on in this album, so many layers, so much depth, heaviness, musicianship, and sheer chaos happening in this release that I had a hard time comprehending what I was doing…pretty sure I fell out of my chair at least once while listening to it.

For fans of this Deathcore quintet, this should come as no surprise, especially if

their 2011 release of “Breath In Life” was any indication of how ridiculously brutal this band could be (and it's not…they're even heavier still). Aside from the thick heaviness of this follow-up, the CD feels very full bodied, and not just from the bludgeoning guitars and thundering drums. I'm sorry, but there's something about the sound of synthesized choir instruments along side guitars downtuned to drop Q and pummeling double bass that just makes you want to stand at the top of a mountain, arms outstretched, overlooking a legion of demons as they attack a village…I mean, that's how it makes me feel, anyway.

From the very beginning, “Jigsaw” explodes like a faulty pipe bomb in your face. For those of you lucky enough to have seen the band perform this song live, this is probably when you and your girlfriend got separated. The monstrous growls from Matts and D'Angelo coupled with the powerful clean vocals from Guillet create the perfect combination of beauty through brutality. It's like a metal opera, melding the facets of black metal, death, grind, and Metalcore. There's no reason to listen to this album on any volume lower than “BALLS LOUD” (What, that's a setting on MY sound system). BETRAYING THE MARTYRS will obviously get compared to similar bands like OCEANO, BORN OF OSIRIS, or my personal favorite, ERRA, but that's okay. Despite playing a rather popular style of metal, they've successfully come into their own with this release, and could easily be picked out of a barrel of other like-sounding bands.

And just when you thought “Okay, they're pretty good, but it's still not exactly ground breaking”, they do something even more crazy…like cover Disney's current flagship sing-along “Let It Go” by Idina Menzel (originally written by Robert and Kristen Anderson-Lopez). Before you let out a frustrated “Oh GAWD”, LISTEN TO THE SONG FIRST. If you had never heard the original, you'd swear they wrote it themselves. The cover is flawlessly turned from sickly sweet to unfathomably savage, yet still retains enough melody from the original to truly be a solid cover. Your girlfriend will smile at you and mouth the words “The cold never bothered me anyway”, and you can consider yourself forgiven for losing her in that mosh pit earlier.

There's nothing generic about this band or this release, and those who think that are probably more sick of the genre itself. And understandably so. The world of metal and Metal sub-genres is getting rather crowded, and it seems like all these kids wanna do these days is use the same riffs, growls, and hairstyles to create music that you strangle grizzly bears to. Don't allow a heavily saturated music scene to stop you from getting into this band. Even miles from the United States, BETRAYING THE MARTYRS have captured the true essence of heaviness, technical skill, solid song writing, and catchy, metal-infused fun. Buy it, turn it up, and catch your hot, melting face as it slides off your skull.

4 Star Rating

1. Jigsaw
2. Where The World Ends
3. Walk Away
4. Let It Go
5. L'abysse Des Angels
6. Phantom (Fly Away) (ft. Gus Farias of VOLUMES)
7. What's Left Of You
8. Afterlife
9. Legends Never Die
10. Lighthouse
11. Your Throne
12. Our Kingdom
13. Closure Found
Victor Guillet - Keyboards, synthesizer, clean vocals, backing unclean vocals
Baptiste Vigier - Rhythm
Valentin Hauser – Bass
Aaron Matts - Lead vocals
Lucas D'Angelo - Lead guitar, backing clean and unclean vocals
Mark Mironov - Drums, percussion
Record Label: Sumerian Records


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