Musicians face a tricky road when it comes to crafting albums. If they release a debut album that’s hailed as a fantastic release that does something wholly unique, expectations are placed upon their shoulders for an even better follow up. The flipside to that is that the debut sort of lands with a thud, thus, the next release could be completely different and no one may notice. When it comes to French metalcore outfit Betraying the Martyrs, their debut album Breathe in Life is highly thought of with fans in the deathcore scene. With their sophomore release, Phantom, the outfit went towards a more approachable sound that left fans feeling divided. As their third album, The Resilient is set to be released, the band has continued down the path they started with Phantom, combining crushing heaviness and beautiful melodic moments that make for an album that may not be treading any new ground, but manages to captivate and entertain listeners.
One of the things that makes The Resilient a great album is in its ability to showcase haunting and melodic ambiance while still maintaining the neck breaking heaviness that fans have become accustomed to. With their third release, Betraying the Martyrs have included more clean vocals and for the most part, its to the bands benefit. Due to the higher inclusion of cleans, the band teeters more on the metalcore spectrum than the deathcore one many times throughout the album with “Lost for Words” and “Take Me Back” being two prime examples of this with both being haunting and melodic instrumentally, while utilizing a relatively even split of singing and crushing vocals. Often times, deathcore bands cause controversy with the inclusion of clean vocals in their music, reasons that are different to everyone, but fans can’t be help but be pleased with how Betraying the Martyrs executes it.
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One of the standout aspects of The Resilient lies within its extremely strong guitar work that strays from constant chugs and breakdowns, rather it employs fantastic and differentiate leads with constantly evolving riffs. Songs such as “Dying to Live” and “Unregistered” are showcases that let the guitarists talent shine through vividly. Another important element of the record is the bands backing orchestral and key elements as Betraying the Martyrs has quickly been making a name for themselves and it’s hard to think of the band without thinking of those utilized elements. “Wont Back Down” and “Behind the Glass” showcase the orchestral elements front and center while still remaining true to their heavy roots. With all of that being said, there is no denying that Betraying the Marytrs aren’t treading any new ground as they continue moving towards a more traditional songwriting formula in structure and sound. At times, things do tend to blend together, but it’s so few and far between that the casual listener may not take much notice.
Overall, Betraying the Martyrs have continued off the success of Phantom and have created a well crafted album. The album is heavy, melodic and atmospheric thanks to the excellent foundation in instrumentation and orchestral arrangements. While there are sure to be fans bemoaning the good ole days of the bands heavier sound and more intricate, progressive songwriting, the majority are sure to be pleased with the direction the band continues to take.