Thursday, April 3, 2008

Album Review - Thoughts Betrayed "Recollection"

Thoughts Betrayed is heavily influenced by such luminaries as Nevermore, Dream Theater, Symphony X, and Outworld. Core members Dave Cardwell (vocals, guitars) and Zack Uidl (guitars) formed Thoughts Betrayed in the summer of 2007 and set to work on what would become their self-released debut album “Recollection”, a thundering, bone crushing album with laser precise guitar work, complex rhythms and strong melodic sensibility.
Dave did all the vocals, rhythm guitars, bass programming, production and mastering, while both Zack and Dave programmed the drums and keys, and shared guitar solo duties.
Lookout for tour dates for the summer of 2008 as well as a music video.

Let’s look at the tracks:

After 5 seconds, you’re deep into super-technical European-style power metal terrain. Dave’s vocals are incredible, he has a broad range and his vocal vibrato is spot-on. The solo’s from both Dave and Zack are as terrifying as can be expected, but the scariest part of the song is the second half of the intro melody which Dave wrote for keys but Zack decided to play on guitar instead!

This track is all about these guy’s prog-metal influences, with a nod towards Nevermore in the form of a brutal rhythm guitar assault, and a doffing of the hat to Symphony X in the form of a strong piano melody. Naturally, Dave’s guitar solo is mind blowing.

More crushing rhythm guitar and accessible vocal melodies from Dave with blazing solo’s from both maestros after a wicked breakdown.

Long Days
I was almost thrown by the ambient intro to this track, but once the driving rhythm guitar section kicked in, I was back on planet TB. Dave’s vocal harmonies work really well on this track, and the breakdowns reminded me of Dream Theater.

Diving deep into Symphony X territory here, this tracks intro is my favourite part of the album. The rhythm guitar is also very Mike Romeo. Dave keeps the vocals mellow, but somehow haunting. Zack’s solo stays true to the vibe of the vocal melody, chilled.

With an interesting strings section on this track’s intro, the guys drop us smack-bang in the middle of the early thrash metal style power ballad. Then, about 2 minutes in, Dave comes out with a deathly snarl, very cool.

The heaviest song on the album is all double kick-drumming and sinister riffage. Dave showcases his vocal abilities ranging from deathmetal growls to high pitched wails. Possibly 2 of the most ferocious solo’s ever recorded can be heard at around the 3 minute mark.

Fading Thoughts
This track, the most subdued on the album, is held together by a consistent piano melody, making for the perfect backdrop to a heartfelt vocal delivery from Dave and a stunning solo from Zack.

A trek into the dark realm of odd meter, this track is not really suitable for background music at your next dinner party. But if you’re interested in some intricate guitaring, this instrumental track is where it’s at.

Another intense and complex rhythm, based on a dominant piano melody, allows dave to launch into a massive vocal ballad while Zack throws down the best, but not the fastest, solo on the album.

Possibly the most progressive song on the album in terms of form, this track cycles through many different sections without much repetition. The last solo section is in 7/8 time, and the vocal harmonies that follow it recall Lane Staley.

The album finishes off with another rhythmically complex track. I liked the tone of Dave’s vocals on this track the most. It was a fitting end to the album as well.

A lot more influences than those mentioned above are prevalent, but I’m not going to talk about what’s in my record collection, or what might be in Dave and Zack’s. These 2 guys took what they know and love, and made it there own. All in all, a strong metal album. 8.5/10