Released: 2000, Independent
Wait a sec...what year is this? 2001? Are you sure? ‘Cause I just got finished listening to RUSTED ICONS and I could swear that it was 1987. Well, it must be, what with all the thrashy riffs, mumbled vocals, and speed. In fact, if I didn’t know better, I could swear that this CD was the lost cousin of SO FAR,SO GOOD...SO WHAT?. Still, the name on the CD says Betrayer, so this can’t be that Mega-band can it? Nah.
As you’ve probably guessed from my extended hyperbole above, Betrayer bear more than a passing resemblance to the mighty ‘Deth from the late 80’s. Yes my brothers and sisters, this is old-school thrash metal, without any attempt to modern up the sound. However, this is far from a bad thing, hell no! This is some entertaining shit! Besides, the leadoff track, “Descendants of Death” has a great build-up intro that hooked me immediately. The chorus of the song also sounds A LOT like another Megadeth song that I know of but can’t think of at the moment.
So, the band sounds like Megadeth, but is it tight enough to pull off this style of music? Without doubt. Even as a young independent band, Betrayer is exceptionally tight, with nary an error to be heard. Impressive considering the number of time changes that the band flies through over the course of the CD. Jeff Klingbeil’s lead guitar work is equally impressive, especially in “Fire to the Coals”. On the other hand, Jeff also handles the lead vocal work and he is not as impressive here. He often sounds out of key (hey! So did Mustaine! Shut up stupid!) and has trouble carrying the tunes. Perhaps the band should consider hiring a vocalist?
The other nagging problem with the CD is that after the first two songs, it fails to grab your full attention again until track five, at which point the band strings four slower and/or quieter songs together in a row. All three are good, but would have served better if the track order were switched up a bit. On the whole though, RUSTED ICONS is an entertaining romp down the memory lane of thrash metal. Considering the number of retro bands that have sprouted up in the last couple of years, it’s refreshing to hear one that actually has talent. Here’s to hearing more from Betrayer in the future!