For a young band to solidify their status and upgrade themselves from “ones to watch” to “key members of the metal scene” with a solid third album is quite a task. A listen to The Resilient, the third record in six years from French deathcore act Betraying The Martyrs, indicates that they have taken their song-writing to another level from their previous explorations on Breathe in Life and Phantom (all Sumerian). But does this release have the chops to propel them into the metal stratosphere?
In terms of musical composition this album is a wonderfully recorded piece of work. From the pitch-perfect placement of melodic chanting in opening tracks ‘Lost for Words’ and ‘Take Me Back’ to the cleverly atmospheric piano chords of ‘Ghost’, the listening experience is both crisp and thoroughly engaging. All of which serves to enhance the deathcore standard of vocal juxtaposition. Clean vocals from keyboardist Victor Guillet and harsh growls from front man Aaron Matts are embellished in this mix and thus given a tremendous gravitas.
There is however another element to The Resilient which imbues it with genuine class. The lyrical skill which has been employed in each track makes it possible for the album to be interpreted as a complete story. This is especially true of the mid-album movement consisting of the songs ‘Dying to Live’, ‘The Resilient’, ‘Unregistered’ and ‘Won’t Back Down’. Lyrically you may well enjoy these numbers together as telling four parts of the same story, with commentary on the refugee crisis and the Paris terror attacks only adding to the subtext. Add to this the context of drummer Mark Mironov leaving the band and being replaced by Boris Le Gal due to Russian visa issues and ‘Unregistered’ becomes an even greater layered expression of anguish.
A fantastic effort which firmly puts Betraying the Martyrs on the European metal map.