Manchester prog metal outfit Betraeus are fairly new additions to the uk metal scene. Formed in 2009 they have been build themselves a bit of a reputation lately thanks to a show stopping appearance on the New Blood stage at this years Bloodstock festival and support slots for the likes of Blaze and Beholder. Earlier this year they signed to Siege of Amida records and now have issued their debut ep. Towards The Sun.
Now there's a lot of good stuff going on on the old prog-death scene in UK, recently we've had some corking releases from the likes of Spires, Impaled Existence and Fornost Arnor that have really been showing what a depth of talent there is in the uk at the moment, and now we have this little gem to ally any doubts you may have that UK death-prog is here and means business.
There are three cracking tracks at the business end of this one. We start with Towards The Sun itself a true epic as just a few seconds short of the 10 minute mark. Sounding not unlike some of the early work of Opeth, this track alone shows what an interesting and versatile outfit Betraeus are. It starts out like Van der Graaf
Generator on a Behemoth trip develops through some tasty death metal passages with some licks and motifs that come straight from the Fish era Marillion song book, slides neatly through some good old school trashage and dark gothic acoustic moments before winding up with a section that reminds me of the sort of stuff Dream Theater used to cook up before they started the serious exploration their own backsides. Damn good it is too.
The other two studio tracks on offer are equally noteworthy, Frustrate Recluse is a touch less prog and more old school thrash, pounding Toranaga style rhythms and heavy bridge damped chuggs a-go-go; and Blossom Into The Void is a true classic with a beautiful acoustic vibe that feels very Wishbone Ash.
Add in two storming bonus live cuts, Obsolete and Locust lifted from the band Bloodstock performance, which show whatever this lot can do in studio they can do on stage and a shortened single edit of the title track to round things off and you have a cracking release from a great new band with a lot to offer. I got a feeling this lot could go places.
For fans of... Opeth, Spires, Impaled Existence, Elimination, Hammers of Misfortune.....