The Eyes Of A Traitor – By Sunset

One could say that The Eyes Of A Traitor is making music for a preexisting audience. That is, they adhere pretty to strictly the conventions of melodeath/metalcore on ‘By Sunset’. As I always say, this doesn’t make music bad necessarily, unless originality is a prerequisite to enjoyment for you. It’s not for me, so I can look at this for what it is and say, yeah, it’s a decent listen.

If you know the genre you know what to expect. There’s a few surprises: essentially no breakdowns, and it’s not very openly hardcore derived, but otherwise this fulfills most of the general aspects of the style. There’re a lot of twinkling lead guitar lines over chug riffing harmonizing with bass drums, and vocals that switch between low growls and high rasps. There’s a bit more emphasis on soloing than completely typical, with some fair displays of sweep picking and a fairly good melodic sensibility. This is, fortunately, not too Gothenburg in nature, opting for more of a straight melodic death sound. This is sort of a melodic death/metalcore band for people that hate metalcore: it avoids most of the typical pitfalls of that genre and just uses it essentially as a rhythmic and to some degree melodic base for the music to build upon.

The songwriting is solid throughout the five tracks. I can’t say there are a lot of musical curveballs, but the riffs are quite good and the EP as a whole is very listenable. I like the guitar work in the opening track, ‘Disremembrance’, with its Detonation-inspired riffs and tiny sweep fills. The best parts of this are, unsurprisingly, the ones that shy away from metalcore: while I have no animosity towards the genre in and of itself, it seems that its influences are best used when employed sparingly. Less is more in this case, and it just adds enough thickness to the rhythms to take it up a notch.

So while The Eyes Of A Traitor aren’t doing anything new, they’re doing what they do quite well, and that’s the important thing. This is good not only for melodeath/metalcore fans, but also those who enjoy modern melodic death metal on its own. There are no stupid song titles or samples, which immediately puts these guys in the top 30% of the style.

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~ by noktorn on September 9, 2007.

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