Metal heavyweights Betraying the Martyrs bring forth another one of the most anticipated albums of 2014: Phantom. After their last record — Breathe in Life — Betraying the Martyrs was the band to look out for. After the addition of Aaron Matts, the band received an invigorating breath of life (no pun intended) that propelled them onto the forefront of the metal scene. This time around the band has honed their craft, and produced something that will probably be heralded as one of the best that 2014 has to offer.
The album begins with the first two singles that the band released, “Jigsaw” and “Where The World Ends”. Both songs demonstrate the unrelenting brutality that BTM has to offer while also throwing in the alluring vocals of Victor Guillet. The rapidly shifting guitars, and destructive drums, continually prove why Betraying the Martyrs is great. Aside from the recordings, BTM’s live show is one of the best in the metal scene. Their intensity and energy is only rivaled by artists such as Volumes and Nothing More. There’s no doubt that the musicians of the band (Baptiste, Lucas, Victor, Mark, Valentin) are masters of their instruments, and that mastery translates into their live performance.
Something that was out of the ordinary for a release like this was the inclusion of a cover of the extremely popular Disney song — “Let It Go”. The fact that Phantom contains this song is not the issue, but it is right in the middle of the album, which took me out of the full listening experience. Despite my personal opinion on the placement of this cover song, there aren’t many other reservations I have about this album. Betraying the Martyrs has proven once again that their combined talents truly surpass that of many of their counterparts. Still, I am still left with the feeling that Phantom is missing that “wow” factor that Breathe in Life had.
Betraying the Martyrs doesn’t simply stick to repetitive breakdowns and monotonous screaming, but the intricate keyboard leads and carefully-placed synths liven up the music in a way that only they know how. Phantom is operatic, and creates an atmosphere that remains unique to the group.
Pick up Phantom on iTunes now!