I just finished watching the trailer for the book-to-film documentary American Hardcore and it got me thinking. Anyone that claims to be a fan of hardcore/punk is bound by an unwritten law to have read that book, as well as Get in the Van. Many - mostly the older blokes - feel that those times documented in those books were the heydays of hardcore and that they are long gone. In some ways they are correct. Hardcore is no longer the subterranean word-of-mouth genre it was during its early years. It has been polluted and commercialized; it has been wrapped up in a pretty package and is being sold at Wal-Mart for $6.99. But if you look deep inside the present-day representation of hardcore, there are still a fair number of bands and record labels continuing to spread the music, message, and ideals that bands like Black Flag, Minor Threat, Minutemen, D.O.A., and Negative Approach laid the groundwork for over twenty-five years ago. Betrayed is one of those bands.
Betrayed burst onto the scene last year with their debut EP, Addiction. The six-song EP was brimming with pure and heartfelt hardcore and boy did the kids love it. Then, earlier this year, Betrayed delivered three new songs on the flipside of a split with Champion and again the kids went crazy. Substance is the band's debut full-length. And to nobody's surprise, it is already being heralded as one of the best albums of 2006.
Right out of the gate, "Think Twice" smacks you in the face with fast-paced hardcore/punk. And while this element is a prime component to Betrayed's music, there is still that melodic undertone to it. This stylistic variation is found throughout the entire album, something that helps to distinguish the band from the countless others vying for the ears of listeners. The most distinguishing aspect of Betrayed's music is the guitar work of Todd Jones. Jones previously had a hand in bands like Carry On and Terror, so its no surprise to hear some slick riffs here. Most of the riffs move at breakneck speeds, but at times he does slow things down. He even throws in a few solos - "Consequence" and "Work for it."
Betrayed continue to separate themselves from the rest of their hardcore brethren as Substance unfolds. "The City Lights" and "Bring it to Life" trend towards post-hardcore with the combination of slowed down guitars and more reserved drumming. I found myself frequently referencing Quicksand while listening to these songs. Songs like these really drive home that Betrayed is at the top of the game when it comes to hardcore.
For me the highlight of Substance comes on the track "Understand." There is a break towards the middle of the song that enters into an amazing sequence of building instrumentation partnered with an opportunity to sing-along with incredibly honest lyrics. I shout along as the goose bumps appear on my arms: "Still growing up! Still fucking up! Still lost and desperate for answers!"
Aram Arslanian is quite the capable frontman. His style is the yelled shout that we here quite a bit. I did notice that at times he would make adjustments to the way he screamed and it vaguely reminded me of Snapcase's Daryl Taberski. On a lyrical level, Arslanian is top notch. He doesn't rely on clichÃƒÂ© sayings, nor does he rely on vulgarities. He covers topics that concern the everyday man - not just the everyday hardcore kid. His lyrics are direct, honest, and most of all, inspiring.
If you're sick of being bombarded with countless sound-alikes, then Substance is an album that you cannot do without any longer. Betrayed have amassed one of the best hardcore albums in recent years, so there is no reason why you should not own this.
9.0 / 10
Posted Jan. 12, 2011, 3:29 a.m.
Betrayed have just announced a rare run of dates on the west coast. Joining them will be React Records band Praise. Dates are below:
Posted Jan. 27, 2010, 2:40 p.m.
Betrayed will release a new EP titled Suffering through React Records. The group last released their only full-length effort, Substance, in 2006 before calling it quits shortly there after. Since ...
Posted Sept. 4, 2006, 7:42 a.m.
Well, the rumors have been confirmed. Betrayed announced via their Myspace that they have officially broken up. Here is the statement that be band issued: Due to members feeling like ...
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