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Harlots Betrayer

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01. The Weight Unweighable 02. Avada Kedavra 03. Full Body Contortion 04. Dried Up Goliathan 05. Building an Empire Towards Destruction 06. Consensus for the Locus of Thought 07. This is a Test, No Flesh Should Be Spared 08. The Concept of Existence 09. Suicide Medley
2007 Lifeforce Records
Our score 8

by Nick
10/28/2007

The hardcore and metal world is a fickle industry. While it seems that many bands are capable of releasing a worthwhile album, very few manage to maintain that level of success over a string of releases. With the release of their third full-length, Ohio's Harlots is the newest nominee for entrance into that elite group of consistently impressive hardcore and metal acts, and if Betrayer is any indication of the bands future potential, they'll be a mainstay in the genre for years to come. Given Harlots' past releases, the music progression of Betrayer was to be expected. 2004's The Woman You Saw... succeeded due to its raw mix of technical grind and hardcore. 2006's This is the Second Death showcased a move away from the grindcore influence and a continued improvement in their use of ambient passages and melodic songwriting, giving the album excellent fluidity despite the wide range of influences. And now Betrayer brings even more growth in terms of cohesive songwriting, with the disc's ability to shift from its spastic and heavy core to well-developed and memorable melodic sections being nearly unmatched amongst the output of like-minded bands.This is the band that those other genre benders From a Second Story Window can only wish to be. Betrayer also displays a production job that has been long since overdue for a band with a style as demanding as that of Harlots, a major benefit of the group's recent move to Lifeforce Records. The pure technical chaos of tracks like "The Weight Unweighable" and "Building an Empire Towards Destruction" is captured cleanly on the disc, with the slightly muddled sound of the band's other releases being nothing more than a thing of the past. The record's epic centerpiece, an eight minute long track by the title of "Dried Up Goliathan," is a perfect example of both Harlots' progressive songwriting abilities and the album's versatile production. Clean guitar parts with complementary ambience are layered over driving bass lines and drumming as the track slowly builds into a sonic climax accompanied by gritty singing. This disc is the improbable offspring of Isis and the Red Chord, a feat that should not, and will not go unnoticed. Betrayer has something for everyone, as technical instrumentation, subtle melody, impressive transitions, and even a hidden cover of Zao's metalcore classic, "Savannah," are all to be found on the album. Even listeners who haven't nodded their head to a breakdown in years might be caught off guard by the unbridled heaviness of Floor proportions at the conclusion of "This is a Test, No Flesh Should Be Spared." This is simply outstanding music. Bottom Line: Betrayer is a mandatory record for those who love intelligent, heavy music. Harlots' ability to move from technical chaos to developing melodic passages is the foundation of the record, and puts them far ahead of the majority of bands in the genre. These guys are doing something very right, and based on the success of this record and the band's evolution, their peak may still be yet to come.

Comments (21) post new comment
dibky_ 10/28/2007 11:01:14 AM

1st


girls who run_ 10/28/2007 12:12:34 PM

this is a 9/10 record


kingben_ 10/28/2007 12:59:52 PM

ummm... the slightly muddled sound of the band's other releases that seems awfully generous. production on past releases is absolute shit would be closer. also, excellent band


onemeansquid_ 10/28/2007 2:04:30 PM

great f*cking band. favorite record of the year, easily a 9


bombs_away_ 10/28/2007 4:16:03 PM

good ass cd


Phil_ 10/28/2007 7:46:57 PM

Harry Potter reference. Sweet Zao cover. Awesome CD.


blackasstim_ 10/28/2007 7:52:35 PM

absolute shit f*cking band, bunch of gay dudes, harry potter songs, we're mugger, f*ck you.


HB_Dad_ 10/28/2007 7:53:16 PM

Decent CD, but more of a 6/10 or 7/10. The production though better than past releases is still shit!! Very muddy and unfinished sounding. Also, there is not enough music on this CD with the longest track padding the track length with several minutes of non-musical noise. Then again, you guys had the nerve to give BTBAM's new one a 6/10 instead of the deserved 10/10 so I am not really surprised...


believeyoume_ 10/28/2007 7:58:13 PM

another great review sir, i agree completely


CAFROMVA_ 10/28/2007 8:12:47 PM

Then again, you guys had the nerve to give BTBAM's new one a 6/10 instead of the deserved 10/10 so I am not really surprised... posted by HB_Dad () on 10/28/2007 7:53:16 PM Quit crying about how BTBAM got a six and go listen to something different for once instead of the same rehased BTBAM riffs with out of place parts. It's not very good and if you are to deaf to hear it then you should stop making coments about music in general. oh yeah new harlots is sick too.


thetowerofrome_ 10/29/2007 1:05:08 AM

great album... can't stop listening to Dried up Goliathan..... wonderful review... digged this band alot since 'The woman you saw...." hopefully this band continues to put out wonderful music.


al_czervik_ 10/29/2007 1:20:59 PM

excellent album


toxicnacho_ 10/29/2007 9:20:37 PM

this is a fabulous record, i listen to it


Evilf22_ 10/30/2007 11:33:00 AM

i enjoy, but its not what everyone talks them up to be.


idxkx_ 10/31/2007 2:51:05 AM

solid release


thereapersson_ 10/31/2007 7:36:46 AM

Great band!


deadwithfear_ 11/2/2007 11:32:37 AM

i don't understand how the same reviewer that gave this an 8 gave the new animosity a 9. this > animosity by a long shot.


WhoMe23_ 11/2/2007 5:23:51 PM

Kick Ass album. Best I've heard all year.


ofgo_ 11/5/2007 8:57:22 AM

i don't understand how the same reviewer that gave this an 8 gave the new animosity a 9. this > animosity by a long shot. posted by deadwithfear () on 11/2/2007 11:32:37 AM


jake_ 11/8/2007 12:31:37 PM

great cd, what did that guy mean by zao cover?


onemeansquid_ 11/9/2007 3:13:06 AM

uhhh... maybe that there's a zao cover hidden at the end of the last track you f*cking idiot