Showing posts with label Traitors Return to Earth. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Traitors Return to Earth. Show all posts

Aug 4, 2013

TRAITORS RETURN TO EARTH - Betting on a Full Collapse ...

Yep, Traitors Return to Earth are back, but unlike from what suggested by the odd name of this band, the sludge-doom metal quartet from Columbus, Ohio (USA) are not at all “betraying” the many fans gained thanks to their excellent debut EP Smoke Screen
 back in 2011.  Let’s remember the names of the “Traitors”: Chris Sherrod on vocals, Kevin Masters on guitars, Jordan Chasteen on bass and Justin Ringle on drums. Their new, stunning full-length album, Betting on a Full Collapse, “landed” or saw the light during late May 2013. Since then the band has been setting stages to fire during gigs around USA for promoting the new album and surely increasing the number of fans among sludge-doom maniacs with the charm of this new release.  The fact is that by looking at the colourful cover art of the new album as well as the amazing ethereal-looking, water green colour of the transparent vinyl version, the new listener would not expect the amount of heaviness actually materializing from the album right at the first spin. Not a surprise for a band openly declaring heavy influences from “Sleep, Electric Wizard, High on Fire, YOB, Sons of Otis, Weedeater and many more” as well as coming from Ohio, one of the finest heavy scenes in USA and beyond. I mean, Fistula, Sollubi, Morbid Wizard, Ultralord, Bibilic Blood, King Travolta, Pennsylvania Connection,  … In addition vocalist Chris Sherrod and drummer Justin Ringle are ex-members of sludge-doom act Tank Destroyer, and were in the line-up of that awesome album  Head Of The Demon


The singing style, with Chris’ harsh and sick roars, is surely the most obvious feature linking Traitors’ style to that album by Tank Destroyer. But of course every band has its own character and peculiarities.  Album Betting on a Full Collapse is further fulfilling the official “reason” for which this band started out back in 2010: “to play the heaviest music possible at the most unreasonable volumes”. Play the CD or the fancy green transparent vinyl out loud and the whole neighbourhood will be haunted. This album is so heavily dripping with Sabbathian blues that the waves that will disturb your vision are not heat waves but the vibrations of the guitar chords and your thrills to the surge of groove emanating from the Traitors’ propulsion. This is surely what happens by entering the almost 53 minutes of the album via its first track, which, by the way, is bearing a title that would fit industrial metal more than juicy heartful swampy sludge-doom metal: Human Drone. No problem. The whole album is lead by a dominantly downtempo rhythm with occasional accelerations, like for example in the refrains in EHM reminding of Weedeater and Down.  In spite of the general and quite traditional American, steaming hot, blues-drenched swampy sludge-doom features in the Traitors’ style, the band is able to introduce minor but significant variations.

For example in track Wall Street Swan Dive the band shifts from a dissonant yet classic Sabbathian riffing to a rather syncopated rhythm and post-metal dissonance thereby turning the starting simple melody into a quite technical, abrasive and heavily hammering mid-tempo charge reinforced by Chris’ nasty barking and not so far from Mastodon.  Tempo changes also work the other way round, i.e., when the band slows down dramatically and let the vibrations of the chords of guitar and bass as well as the hissing of the cymbal die out before a new wave of noise is built up, in a Sleep-like fashion. The blows on the drums keep the time and acquire a martial, or better ritual character. Your breath gets slowed down as well. This is, for example, what is happening again in track Wall Street Swan Dive after the exhaustion of the technical pumping rhythm. An equally slow and pounding rhythm dominates the closing track, the 11 minute-long imposing suite Betting on a Full Collapse. There Chris’ vocals get even more filthy but, above all, the sound departs from the typical swampy sludgy vibe, crosses the ocean like a restless creature of the sea and evokes the dark and heavy sound of War Iron, Slomatics, Conan and the like. Chris’ powerful vocals are, indeed, raw and filthy and, as expected, rather monotonic. However the chanting never gets boring because of the singer’s impressive ability in creating pathos, rage and a whole range of feelings. Maybe Chris’ roars are not as fierce as those by Bahb Branca in Fistula, but it does not matter.

But variations in style also involve the adoption of passionate, almost epic and groove-laden stoner melodies, like those driving tracks The Hollow and In Humanity in Your Name, where even warm organ-driven melodies are heard. Or else the band employs somber guitar solos creating the charm and the most atmospheric ambiance of psychedelic desert rock, like, for example, in  track Clawing for Scraps. All these features are added like precious spices to a boiling hot mass of totally genuine, mighty sludge-doom metal which will please any sludge-doom fanatics and certainly contributes to further establish band Traitors Return to Earth within the awesome, world-known Ohio scene.   And, again, one might ask: “what the hell are they eating / drinking / smoking up there?!?” Well, don’t further ask, just enjoy Traitors Return to Earth’s music and find out how many shades and features you will discover by multiple listening to their tunes!  This band is great, we knew that already. This is one of the many cool underground bands still unsigned but proudly able to craft excellent solid music, in any sense. So, catch this killer band live if you can and, if you haven’t done it yet, get hold of any version - digital, CD, classic or fancy vinyl with some cool bonuses – of this new release and debut full-length album by these four metallers.

Words:  Marilena Moroni

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Aug 14, 2011

Traitors Return to Earth - Smokescreen ...

Here is another great Bandcamp discovery; Traitors Return To Earth who are a 4 piece from Columbus, Ohio who play a great brand of doomy sludge in the tradition set by such greats as Sleep, Electric Wizard, Eyehategod and Yob. This 5 track album is up on their Bandcamp Page as a 'name your price deal.' Since this was recorded bassist Scott Simmons has left the band so I don't know what is happening with the band at the moment but after hearing this, all I hope is they carry on because this is a killer release with very good tunes, solid musicianship and awesome production values.

These 5 songs churn along in a very angry fashion with some great tempo changes from the slow and plodding to groovy mid-tempos that get your head moving. Something about these songs seems more epic than what their running times suggest not that the songs are that short, they just seem bigger and more adventurous than what they actually are. This is of course a huge bonus as these are five tracks are tunes you can get something different from on each and every listen. There is very much a retro-feel to a lot of the music, very sabbathian in many respects but at the same time, they sound modern and in-tune with the sludge and doom that is being released now. Chris Sherrod is a great vocalist that is perfect for the kind of psyche meets modern doom-sludge they present. They also have a wicked riff-merchant in guitarist Kevin Masters who obviously knows his way around a monster riff.

There is nothing here too spectacular in terms of originality and the playing isn't exactly progressive in any-way but these are just five killer tunes that are hard not to like. You know you are onto something good when the album always ends before you are ready for it and that is the case here. Stand-out track for me is 'Time Heals No Wounds' but really they are all good. Now this is a band to watch out for in the future.......8.5/10



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