Thursday, August 4, 2016

CD Review: BETRAYAL Infinite Circles

Infinite Circles
Transcending Records
This new full length from Germany’s Betrayal is what the video of Fighting Perdition (which I reviewed previously) was filmed to promote. Hearing the entire album gives me more of a sense of where Betrayal as musicians are coming from, as well as a wider spectrum of their musical diversity. Besides this, I’m given an opportunity to create my own visuals to accompany each track. The intro simply titled Prologue hearkened to Black Sabbath’s debut recording from 1970, complete with storm, rain and church bell effects. It somewhat leads the listener to believe the following songs will head into a certain direction until the above mentioned effects turn toward a lone heartbeat suggesting something other than you expected is about to be unleashed. This is exactly what happens with The Shell with its classical undertones beneath the tight, technical melodic death metal instantly assailing you after the intro. The riffs are arranged so tightly they feel like white hot razors slicing off pieces of your brain one at a time. And this is only the first song of the album; there are still eight more to numb your senses. In the video review, I mentioned there are death and black metal influences to be heard in the chord progressions, plus hints here and there of Amon Amarth and Iron Maiden; what really catches you off guard is the classical guitar excursion near the conclusion of The Shell, joined by a solitary saxophone of all instruments. This is something I hadn’t expected to hear but it works in its own way. It’s becoming more obvious the next generation of extreme metal bands are tightening their varying influences and songwriting, and the more talented and less mainstream friendly are increasingly establishing themselves. The genre is growing the proper way, becoming more sophisticated and refined, without abandoning their origins, as shown by Infinite Circles, Contamination, Fighting Perdition, Monuments, The Awakening and Order Of Chaos. Thrash has come a long way since the early 80s, and Betrayal shows new doors have yet to be opened. -Dave Wolff

Track list:
1. Prologue
2. The Shell
3. Infinite Circles
4. Contamination
5. Fighting Perdition
6. Watershed
7. Flagellation Of Mind
8. Monuments
9. The Awakening
10. Order Of Chaos

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