Review Summary: So now, just look at your 90s catalog of thrash metal. If "Grand Voice Society" isn't there, give it a try first, who knows it will be your cup of coffee!
Honestly, Betrayer's debut album, Grand Voice Society
(1996), is quite enjoyable. It's definitely easy listening thrash stuff. Huh, it's real disgrace that the album is over so quickly. It's only twenty nine minutes of music with eight tracks inside it. In such duration, Betrayer offers a decent thrash with their both simple and complex songwriting composition. There are two or three simple songs but quite enjoyable. For the real example, just pick the opening track, Hypocrisy
. Yeah, the listener will find some tasteful and catchy riffs with a bunch of groovy rhythm in it. This song is "easy to sing along" type. Another song that has similar taste with Hypocrisy
is Bendera Kuning
(The Yellow Flag), where Betrayer arranged and delivered it in simple way, but smart!
While a half of the album is adequate simple in songwriting composition, another half is complex enough! Well, actually it's not so complex anyway, meaning that the listener would not consider it as the more technical-thrash stuff. However, it's more than enough to recognize it sincerely as crazy good work. The song such as To Defend The Violence
, although first half of it a bit boring with its kinda weak or less effective composition, but the rest half of it is quite amazing due to their twisting guitar solos. Then song like Sebelum Lahir Dan Setelah Mati
(Before Birth and After Death), where Betrayer's vocals delivery are a bit reminiscent of Rotor's style. Yeah, other songs such as Planet Dies
, Forest Amazed
, and The Human Right
, also follow similar formulas of Sebelum Lahir Dan Setelah Mati
song, where Betrayer composed them all in strong composition, although still, there are some minor weak sides that can be found entire the songs.
Regarding Betrayer's musicianship, looking at the fact that their debut album is so enjoyable, so it's safe to say that they are a step above generic and mediocre thrash metal band. Vocally, Frans Ndaru, possibly will remind the listener to Alexi Laiho of CoB. Yes, both Frans and Alexi are a bit similar in vocals signature. This is not about who influenced who, though. Both Betrayer and CoB have had already existed since mid-90s, so this is just about describing Betrayer's vocals in general. Then about guitar part, their solos are good with both melodic and harmonic approach. Yes, the solos are twisting enough, despite they don't provide it in "dozens" for each song of the album. Perhaps, if they provided more unique solos and rounded the album to around 40 or even 45 minutes long, it would be superb stuff! Then about bass guitar play, hmm, not so special but it was well-mixed then! Lastly, they also have a cool work in their drumming part, it's really well-delivered anyway.
Overall this is a solid debut album. With the more "easy listening" song such as Hypocrisy
and Bendera Kuning
, possibly it was Betrayer's market strategy to catch wider audience in their homeland country. Considering that Indonesian metal scene only produced a few decent thrash album in mid-90s, this reason is quite understandable and surely yes..., forgivable!