Behead the Betrayer: Distinguish Hate Through Aggression

Attention all metalheads- There is a new band out of Hanover, PA called Behead The Betrayer that is causing quite a buzz. To say these youngsters are making waves may very well be the understatement of the year as they are hitting with all the crushing force of a 100 ft tsunami, laying waste to every stage and venue they play. The band formed in 2009 after the demise of Thy Kingdom Come and have just self-released their stunning and long awaited debut Distinguish Hate Through Aggression. It was engineered by Jason Hiner at Lady Of Noise recording studios and mastered by Brad Vance at Red Mastering. It also features mesmerizing cover art by Mike Botler at Dogskull art studios. Distinguish Hate Through Aggression is nearly two years in the making and well worth the wait. The songs are short, vicious and straight to the fucking point. Leaving no room for filler of any kind and considering the average age of the band members when these songs were originally written, this debut is infinitely better than you might expect it to be and is leaps and bounds beyond their average contemporaries. BTB have already shared the stage with metal luminaries like Black Dahlia Murder, Texas In July, Whitechappel, The Browning, Rivers Of Nihil and Skeletonwitch. The band is comprised of vocalist Scott Adams, guitarists Mark Groft and Kory Smith, bassist Kyle Wagner and drummer Kyle Duble, who had this to say about the album: “We recorded the album live in the studio to give it a more organic and natural feel and the final product is angry and in your face.” The album eerily begins with a demonic intro that is the perfect segue to lead single “Extinction.” It’s heavy handed down picking and propulsive rhythms are a white knuckle ride into oblivion. From there, “Spit On Your Grave” kicks out a dense barrage of belligerent riffs, copious amounts of turbulent double kick and a vocal performance that refuses to be ignored. The decimating riffs and emotionally charged vocals in “Start The Massacre” allow these mosh merchants to conjure up musical images of death. “John Deere Is Not A Fashion” is next and, while it may have a comical name it’s no fucking joke. It creates an acrid wall of noise that is tempered with metronomic blastbeats and pays tribute to the bands deathcore heritage, further driving home the undisputed truth that they are the brightest hope to carry the metal torch. From there the album switches gear with “The Kill,” an ominous passage that traverses the abyss to “Intestinal Drapes” which goes by so damn fast that if you played it in a microwave on high, you would actually be transported forward through time and space. At the same time, “Oh How She Screams” is a kinetic maelstrom of absolutely feral apocalyptic rage, delivered with visceral intensity and a steely resolve. “Open Door, Closed” pairs dissonant angular grooves with gravel throated vocals to create a vortex of darkened aggression and features a breakdown that will stick in your head for days and leave you begging for more. “The End?” draws the album to a close just as creepy and unsettling as it began with the same demonic voice from the intro that made the hair on the back of your neck stand up. Here’s the bottom line- If you worship at the altar of such bands as Emmure, Parkway Drive, Miss May I or Devil Wears Prada then you owe it to yourself to give Distinguish Hate Through Aggression a honest listen as Behead The Betrayer are the future of melodic deathcore and if anyone says otherwise…Off with their heads! Rating: 8.5 out of 10. -Eric Hunker