Betraying The Martyrs is a punishing symphonic deathcore band (with metalcore influences) from Paris, France. The band formed in December 2008, with their first EP “The Hurt, The Divine, The Light” being released in November 2009. It sold 2,000 units of the EP in France alone. The band’s name is a reference to betraying those people who try to make this world a better place. It is about kicking them in the teeth whenever they get something wrong.
There were some big changes in 2010 when the singer and a guitarist left the band. In a bold move, they brought in Aaron Matts (vocals) from England. The band signed with Sumerian Records in North America and Listenable Records for worldwide distribution of their full-length album ‘Breathe In Life’ (September 2011).
They use their music to deliver positive messages and “are looking to help people through their songs with words and idealisms that may help people figure out who they are and what they believe in, whether it be Christianity, a new way of life or just to help people find happiness for themselves”. Their sound could be compared to Whitechapel, Winds of Plague, Asking Alexandria and Born Of Osiris.
The album opens with a classical symphony with piano and strings in ‘Ad Astra’ before Aaron rips his throat out with guttural growling in ‘Martyrs’ and the sonic barrage ensues. There are also brief segments of clean vocals “Too many screams have been heard (what did they suffer for ?) / too many lives have been lost (they shall suffer no more) / they rise above, consume and cleanse / On this day, we will scream for them”. Whilst ‘Man Made Disaster’ starts off melodic with clean vocals, it soon descends into brutality.
‘Because Of You’ features both growling and clean vocals alongside metalcore riffing and pummelling drums underpinned by synth and containing numerous time changes. It has an epic quality about it as it packs so much quality into one track. And ‘Tapestry Of Me’ shows lyrical excellence with ”I can taste you near / In my heart you’re never wasteful / This earth’s not finished with you yet / You’re part of my fabrication / Sewn patches of my existence / Prints left for generations to see / You’re part of my fabrication / Structure of human tapestry to me”.
There is an instrumental ‘Liberate Me Ex Inferis’ that leads into ‘Leave It All Behind’ with its technical guitar shredding and melodic sections. This is contrasted by the crushingly heavy ‘Life Is Precious’ and ‘Love Lost’. Then there is the electronica ballad ‘Azalee’ with clean vocals throughout. Finally, there is the tour-de-force ‘When You’re Alone’ which includes guest vocals from Steve Garner (The Bridal Procession) and Kévin Travor (As They Burn).
Reviewed by Peter John Willoughby
01. Ad Astra
03. Man Made Disaster
04. Because of You
05. Tapestry of Me
06. Liberate Me Ex Inferis
07. Leave It All Behind
08. Life Is Precious
09. Love Lost
11. When You’re Alone
Aaron Matts – vocals
Victor Guillet – keyboards & clean vocals
Baptiste Vigier – guitar
Lucas D’angelo – guitar
Valentin Hauser – bass
Antoine Salin – drums