Lostprophets, The Betrayed


The three year wait for this moment has been agonising. But Lostprophets seem to have this fairly justified after scrapping half a million worth of material, leaving record labels, producing and recording themselves, not to mention babies popping out here, there and everywhere. So it may have passed its due date, but the long awaited fourth album was finally born in the UK on 18th January 2010. Name: The Betrayed, weight: heavy, size: COLLOSAL. When questioned about their progression in the studio, the band explained that their new sound was going to be much darker and grittier than previous efforts. This unnerved me slightly as although I love the tough, progressive rock sounds of the first two albums, I also equally love the more mature, mellow sounds of Liberation Transmission. They received a lot of stick from fans and critics for that record but I do genuinely believe that elements of it are musically and lyrically some of their best work to date. However, that date was before my ears were introduced to The Betrayed. With this album, they have to my delight, successfully created an adept balance between all three previous albums. It’s almost as if it’s a fusion of them all, but significantly improved with a pinch of something new.

‘If It Wasn’t For Hate, We’d Be Dead By Now’ is the perfect opening track. Dominated by powerful guitar riffs, heavy drums and fiery lyrics to match, this song shows Ian Watkins getting everything of his chest right at the beginning. The most audibly and lyrically sinister tracks on the album are ‘Destryr Destryr’ and ‘Next Stop Atro City’. They both comprise of powerful choruses, screaming vocals and expletive lyrics. ‘Destyr Destryr’ in particular is full of provoked threat and vengeance: ‘I’ll load the truth and cock the lever, and then I’ll take my aim towards your fucking leaders’. It is comforting to see that they have captured the quality of their earlier sound and shown off their ingenuity instrumentally with more distinct guitar riffs, similar to those heard in ‘Awkward’ and ‘We Are Godzilla, You Are Japan’.Their trademark big choruses also feature heavily throughout, most notably in ‘Where We Belong’; a song revelling in poise and dignity. It is definitely the most uplifting song on the record and I can see it becoming a crowd favourite. ‘It’s Not The End Of The World, But I Can See It From Here’ really shows Lostprophets in their element: big hook, infectious chorus and heavy guitars. It is a winner from the beginning. ‘For He’s A Jolly Good Felon’ is very reminiscent of songs on Liberation Transmission and it helps balance out the disposition of the record. ‘Darkest Blue’, although still conforming to the dark theme of the lyrics, has a resonance that is somewhat heartening. It demonstrates the bands’ versatility, proving that they can produce a mega mid-tempo power ballad equally as well as a fast, heavy number. The more I listen to this song, the more it grows on me. I can see it quickly becoming one of my favourite songs on the album.

The Betrayed definitely satisfies by delivering the band’s renowned sound but it doesn’t fail to offer something new. ‘Streets Of Nowhere’ see the band going for a more cheery, pop approach (which sounds hugely ironic when you consider the lyrical content). The melody slightly reminds me of some material by bands like Jet and The Strokes. The beginning of ‘A Better Nothing’ is also a different style for the band but it really seems to suit them. The song then proceeds into a mammoth chorus and soon has Lostprophets written all over it. ‘Dirty Little Heart’ is probably the weakest track if there had to be one. It’s not a bad song, it just seems to lack the ‘oomphf’ that all the other songs posses. The album is concluded by ‘The Light That Shines Twice As Bright’, a poignant tale of emotional anguish: ‘You took apart my soul, I’ll never feel this way again’. It strikes me as being the freshest song on the album, simply because it different from anything they have ever done before. The gripping, climatic finale concludes the album perfectly, leaving the listener with one last thought ‘This is how it feels’.

After listening to every song, I can see that they definitely weren’t exaggerating when they said this album was going to be dark. Everything from the name, artwork, song titles and lyrics present some kind of philosophical dreariness. Stereotypically, for a rock band to lean this way isn’t exactly unexpected, but saying that I definitely think this is going to play a huge role in making this album a success; even if it does compel you into a great depression. The lyrics are simply brutal and honest and this makes the album so much more meaningful. The band have clearly been very ambitious with this album and this time no one has dared to stop them. I just hope it rubs off within our ever inequitable and manipulated mainstream; after 12 years, they deserve it.


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