For the first time on vinyl, remastered re-release of the debut full-length studio album by Chilean Thrash Metal band.
Brazil might have had the winning hand when it came to the 80s Thrash explosion in South America, what with its colossal leader in Sepultura and the likes of Chakal, Vulcano, Mutilator, Dorsal Atlantica and many more. Chile came a little later to the game with a solid roster including Necrosis, Torturer, and a little known band called Betrayed. Betrayed did not release a lot of material, just a demo and this sole album "1879 Tales Of War", but already the band showed a sense of refinement, with conceptual lyrics focusing on the War of the Pacific and a nearly endless onslaught of decent quality riffs that still maintain a rugged energy when listening 20 years after the fact.
The biggest influences we can hear within Betrayed are American bands like Anthrax, Exodus, Death Angel, Forbidden, and Slayer, delivered through crisp licks that often become a little more forceful or melodic than one might expect from the majority of the writing on this album. The one arguable link in this chain is vocalist Blas Mateluna, whose delivery and accent come across as rather lax, if not outright sedate. But listen long enough and he somehow magically transforms into a piece of the puzzle, and adds an element of distinction to the sound. Otherwise, "1879 Tales Of War" is some tight, engaging Thrash Metal with a good sense for dynamics and good guitar tones that maintain their fortitude.
Not every track strikes gold, but the band works best when they actually use the neuroses of Mateluna's vocal chords to create a sort of morbid, percussive dialect, as in the opening call to war "Fight for Your Land", a bevy of hammering riffs and some wild, Bay Area leads that blast through the battlefield before you can bite the pin off your grenade. "The Real Me" opens with a burst of melody across some epic, shifting rhythm work that cedes for arpeggios before the violence of the verse begins. Other ragers include "Betrayed", "Love and Pain", and "The First Desillution", with its extensive mosh stomp intro that mirrors the work of Anthrax or S.O.D.
It's refreshing to hear that such sounds were spread wide to countries we weren't used to hearing from in the 80s, and Betrayed are rather intelligent to boot, using their songs to tell a historical saga rather than the petty variety of topics typical to every other album of the day. "1978 Tales Of War" is both adequate and competent for any archaeological Thrasher digging through the more obscure species of South America. And, would you know it, the band is around again today!
180 g black vinyl includes inner sleeve with lyrics and photos.
South Of Heaven Records, 1990/2016 (SOH01). Made in Chile. Pressed in Germany. First press.
1. Fight For Your Land
2. The Real Me
3. Good Bye Friend
4. The First Desillusion
5. Human Madness
2. Love And Pain
3. The Message
4. Critical Situation