REVIEW: Traitors – Traitors [EP/2014]


Artist: Traitors

Album: Traitors – EP


It swept across the country like a frothing flood of fury—devouring cities, state capitols and small towns alike, encompassing the entire mindset of America’s malevolent youth. It lingers in the mouth like thick, acrid saliva and rolls off of the tongue like flesh-melting venom—The Hate Campaign. And finally, after weeks of isolated safety, it has come for your small, shit-streak, back-woods town. There is no escape. Traitors’ self-titled debut release tells the story of the purest, most bitter and resentful misanthropy known to man, and it does so with the most perfectly lacerating, bone-splintering and disembowlingly heavy onslaught of down-tempo deathcore musicianship the genre has ever seen. Traitors is The Hate Campaign, spreading across America until not even borders and oceans are able to keep them captive—no—they have risen not just to enslave America, but to enslave the world.

It was a mundane, good ol’ American day like any other—the sun was playing hide-and-go-seek behind cotton candy clouds and your entire town seemed to just feel like summer. Notice the tense—it was mundane. Out of nowhere, the distant rumble of overclocked engines and heavy equipment rumbled, looming closer and closer from an intangible, foreign direction. All the sudden there were explosions. All the sudden, there was blood. Traitors unleash hell upon the listener out of what feels like nowhere—bombarding them with cantankerous, down-tuned and destructive instrumentation that lights their neurons ablaze. “Dead Nerves” is home to a bizarre array of both prolapse-inducing, infinitely heavy guitar tones and surreal, echoed effects and mesmerizingly groovy riffs. “Irreversible” is similar—stacking moments of punctuated ethereality between sections of staggering heaviness and punishing, bone-busting breakdown. Indeed, each snare crack throughout Traitors sounds like a gunshot, and each pound on the kick drum sounds like a faraway atomic bomb—while the vocals roar overtop like the impending, dissonant atomic fallout.

You were huddled beneath your coffee table, rocking, gripping your wife and child’s hands tightly when they kicked in the front door. Faces covered, guns drawn, they made a b-line right for you—it wasn’t your wife, or your kid for that matter, that they wanted—they wanted to eradicate every ounce of masculinity this town had to offer. Throwing a bag over your head and binding your wrists with zip-ties tight enough to draw blood, they tore you away from your screaming family and dragged you outside. Blinded, beaten and bound, Traitors drag the screaming, squealing listener outside and lay into them with kicks, punches and pistol-whips of sheer, relentless vocal fury. Vocalist Tyler Shelton provides an insanely varied, if not consistently low-down-and-dirty vocal assault on the listener that leaves them completely miserable and ready to embrace death. As if that wasn’t enough, the guest vocal appearances from the voices behind UK’s finest in deathcore, Black Tongue and Acrania, Traitors provide a vocally immaculate performance that practically defines pissed off. Truthfully, Traitors has enough vocal variety on it to the point where one song doesn’t truly stand above the others—rather, each song stands rank-and-file, waiting its turn to shatter the listener’s bones and spill their blood.

Your body is—somehow—even more shattered than your spirit. Bone fragments poke from the seared skin surrounding your fingers and elbows. You cannot stand and it hurts your mouth as much as your dignity to beg for mercy. Without warning, you’re coated in a thick, bitter fluid. You still can’t see—but you know the smell—gasoline. With the strike of a match, Traitors light a fire of pure, limitless anger that swallows the listener whole. “Irreversible” and “False Intelligence” are two such tracks that show this better than others, turning a slow burn into a full-fledged blaze, catalyzing the incineration of the listener. By the time the last notes of Traitors’ EP ring true, the listener is mutilated beyond recognition—no longer a man or a homo sapien at all—but a molten smear to be scraped from the asphalt and forgotten.

The story of your small town becomes the story of towns across the country—and eventually, the world. Traitors have instituted a new world order in the form of their debut self-titled. Looming, unfathomable dissonance rules hand-in-hand with uncontrollable aggression and complete misanthropy. Even submission isn’t enough—the only end to their reign is the complete eradication of all who attempt to stand in its way.



For Fans Of: Immoralist, Oceano, Invoker, Varroa, Towers

By: Connor Welsh