REVIEW: Traitors - Self-Titled

Genre: Deathcore
Label: We Are Triumphant
Date of Release: February 25, 2014


Down-tempo deathcore militia Traitors formed in 2013 in Tampa, and was not too long ago signed to We Are Triumphant (Breakdown Of Sanity, Immoralist). For their first offering, the quintet would start their tracks with a self-titled EP containing five songs that seek to obliterate, annihilate, and repeat.

As a down-tempo deathcore release, "Traitors" is slow, crushing, and unwavering in its attack, plowing listeners down like a tank with pretty much no mercy in sight. The brutally low-ranged vocals have no trouble in joining ranks with the chug-heavy guitars to wreak havoc, on top of the drums acting as a simple framework. Breakdowns and brutality galore, and deathcore fans looking for something sluggish and violent will probably get good vibes out of this.

With that said, however, this release sadly isn't totally without its faults, the first and most obvious one being that the music is not very original. While uniqueness is not exactly kind with the deathcore genre in this day and age, it would help matters if the music tried to have some sort of identity to expand the down-tempo mold. 

The other problem is that the music really could use more variety outside of mainly consisting of slow, ravaging breakdowns. Whether it be inserting faster moments into the canvas or being a bit more creative with the breakdowns while still maintaining its sheer heaviness, mixing things up a bit is a more than welcome concept for this type of music. Because of this, the songs do tend to get a bit stale and dull at times.

That isn't to say that this album definitely has its stand-out moments, though, especially with the last two tracks "False Intelligence" and "Dead Nerves." "False Intelligence" explodes upon impact, loaded with an abundance of demolishing riffs and breakdowns to show just as much pleasantness as when it initiates. "Dead Nerves" is a potent grand finale for this EP, and this is helped much by the guitar dissonance echoing in the background of the tar-soaked breakdowns to increase the atmosphere.

Speaking of atmosphere, the sound production is also perfect for this type of sound. The vocals and instruments sound rather crunchy for the sake of making the music's brutal aura more compelling, but they sound clear enough to still be listenable. This mixing provides a very nice balance, and it benefits the music quite nicely.

As a debut release, this EP is a pretty enjoyable first step. It could certainly benefit from some more interesting ideas for the sake of identity and variety for the sake of a more energizing sound; "Traitors" definitely has plenty of room for improvement. Aside from that, this is overall a relatively strong start that die-hard deathcore fans will especially take pleasure in punching holes in walls to.

Score: 7/10 (Solid)

Featuring Terra from Teen Titans.