When Opeth announced that their new album ‘Heritage’ would be devoid of death growls entirely, many fans of the heavier side of the band were severely dismayed. Never fear though, as up-and-coming Manchesterites Betraeus have appeared to fill the void left by Mikael Akerfeldt & co. ‘Towards The Sun’ is a very impressive debut for a band that have only been round 2 years. The ideas are well thought out, the songs fit together well and the production is also very good. If you heard them not knowing who they were, it would be easy to mistake them for a band on their third or fourth album, such is the maturity of their sound.
‘Towards The Sun’, the title-track, has been doing the rounds on Kerrang! as of recent, or if you prefer the longer ten minute version (both are included on the EP), then you will be impressed either way, featuring an obviously Opeth-influenced style of progressive death metal and infusing in slightly heavier elements that could almost be in Mikael Akerfeldt‘s other band, Bloodbath. Also thrown in there is a well executed Tool like outro.
The two other proper tracks are also excellent opening punches for a band surely destined to go far given the right support. ‘Frustrate Recluse’ is an instant headbanger anthem that will surely whip up a storm played live. It’s almost a surprise then when you hit track three, ‘Blossom Into The Void’, a ‘Heritage’-esque acoustic song that somehow is not out of place munched between two much heavier tracks. ‘Obsolete’ and ‘Locust’ are puzzlingly live tracks, recorded at Bloodstock in 2010. The quality however is very good, and it is very listenable at home while capturing well the cave like sound you get in the tents at festivals.
It would be a crime if a band like Betraeus doesn’t get recognition for their effort, as they have clearly put a lot of thought into creating something different for the masses. A support slot on the highly touted Decapitated/Aborted tour in February may be their ticket to a heap of new fans.
Written by Martin Savage