Black Magic Whore
Carlo Caci (Vocals/Bass)
John Caci (Lead guitar)
Phil Wright (Rhythm guitar)
Sam Ogden (Drums)
Betrayal are a Heavy Metal band from the UK, and their new album titled Black Metal Whore got both an intriguing name and a sinister tonality to it. Judging by their opening track (which has got the same name as this album) we’re talking the metal type of metal. Clean vocals, chugging and steady rhythms, and soaring, articulate vocals. The vocalist is an absolute champ.
It’s a traditional tone, mind you; For instance, any listeners will find parallels with much of the classic Judas Priest/Iron Maiden styled 80’s metal. That said, it’s a modern incantation of the genre and works. I mean, can we take a moment to appreciate the first proper lead line in said opening track – sweeps for days. The guitarists and the singer have both impressed me at this stage.
As I listen through Black Magic Whore, I wonder if this is the way that this album will continue. The second track, “I Don’t Belong” is an absolutely different beast altogether (in the intro, at least). There’s no distortion or gruff tone – it is made up primarily of a sick bass line and harmonic-laden clean guitar (which still includes a fair amount of shred, especially in the harmonized section before the drums enter). For the first 50 seconds, it’s chilled out, beautiful. And then the rest of the band comes in, there’s a shred solo and it’s back to business.
“And Now You’re A Slave” is the more anthemic of the content that I’ve listened to. It’s very catchy, especially in the bridge and chorus sections. The rhythm riffage in the verse is also pretty solid. It’s a song that really does show off the singers range in stunning ways. There’s harmonized lead melodies in the second half of this track that scintillate the mix. I see this as being the song they wanted as the single. It incorporates more mainstream elements although at 5 minutes 30 it’d be interesting to see if it’d be too long for that. Hopefully not, it’s cool music!
The final song I’ll discuss is “Vatican City Burns”. It’s a lot heavier than the one discussed previously. It’s more of a groover. I didn’t hear a solo (I may have missed it) and the focus is primarily on the angst and the tense atmosphere that this song is trying to portray. It brings to mind an image of a city in flames. Very effective.
All in all, I’m happy with this album. It’s not revolutionary, but it covers its bases well and it’s easy listening for anyone into the more mainstream metal. Lots of memorable hooks and moments of awe lie within. Have a listen, and show some love.
Betrayal – Stick To The Promise
So often do you hear stories of bands lasting 5 or so years and calling it quits, this is far from the case for Stoke based Thrash Metal Leviathans “Betrayal”, a band that have gone from strength to strength with each line-up change rather than considering calling it a day, it’s because of this that I sit here with a digital copy of their latest effort, “Stick to the Promise” a reworked and remastered edition of their previous release “Always The Underdog”. “Stick to the Promise” is the first release to feature new drummer Sam Ogden, and what a way to showcase such fresh talent than with this phenomenal effort. Consisting of only 9 tracks, this is clearly an album of quality over quantity, and this is evident from the opening of the first track on the album, “Stick to the Promise” is the title track, and it’s not hard to see why the band have chosen this to represent the album, it’s almost reminiscent of “Cemetery Gates” by Pantera, this is the first time since the early days that the band as a whole has ventured into more melodic territory, the first time being “See Beyond Sight” and more recently a solo acoustic performance of “Vertical Cuts” by frontman (Bassist & Vocalist) Carlo Caci. This track however sees a growth in the band, a venture into more technical writing and exploring new styles of writing. The track is an instant classic and sure to get the crowds head banging in unison at any venue these boys turn up at. The second track on the album is another new composition, “Outside Inside”, a technical and heavy onslaught of pure, unadulterated thrash, it’s clear that this band wear their influences on their sleeves, but with enough originality that these could be part of a new breed of Metal, and be a part of a “Big Four” all on their own. The Rest of the album is remastered and re-recorded tracks from the “Always The Underdog” album sessions, but that’s not to say they don’t stand up against the new material, the new recordings reflect the band on a path to glory, the tracks have been put on this album because it reflects each aspect of the bands career and yet it sounds more like a consistent release than a best of, from the blistering “Full Contact Contender”, to one of the bands earliest known songs, “Desolation” which is as much a timeless classic now as it was back in 2005, this band has continued to better themselves and their songwriting. I can only extend my gratitude to a band as consistent as Betrayal, having gone from strength to strength in the 8 years they have been playing the underground circuit; they have perfected their sound, and remained hungry for more, never settling with anything other than the best, and knowing that there is always something to improve on and a means of bettering themselves as songwriters, as a band, and as musicians and performers. This band has released something that is a testament to what was once envisioned by the masters of the genre, and not what now clogs up the airwaves and is marketed as “Metal” when all it is, is based on whether or not it can be considered radio friendly or has some selling point. This is Metal as it is supposed to be, Betrayal are the new gods and it’s about time people took note of this…
Gig review: LAWLESS, Betrayal – The Sugarmill, Stoke, 27 December 2014
Hailed as the album launch gig for R.I.S.E the new album from the mighty Lawless, it’s also a homecoming gig hence the sold out ticket allocations ensuring a packed night for all. Support tonight is from 2 local bands, both of whom have family ties with Lawless: The Event and Betrayal.
Betrayal, formed 8 years ago by twin brothers Carlo and John Caci, mix together the hard edge of Heavy Metal with the intricacies and shredding of thrash. Tonight’s set draws from their latest album ‘Stick To The Promise’.
Warming us up with the slow burning ‘One Man’s Heaven’ which sees Carlo battering out the bass line matched by Sam Ogden on the drums, all bought together by Phil on rhythm guitar.
Title track ‘Stick To The Promise’ gives us the first hint of shredding guitar before the might instrumental ‘Johnstrumental’ gives Caci the chance to show us how it’s done as he piles on the intricate licks. A damn good band who really need to play a longer set as there are great songs on the album including the MMA cage fighting theme ‘Full Contact Contender’.