Looking back at other reviewers takes on Lostprophets earlier albums; one word comes up repeatedly that actually seems a little bit out of place. The thing is, reviewers keep describing them as metal. I don’t know if their singles have been giving me the wrong impression about them, but metal is one word I would never use to describe Lostprophets. Well, not until their fourth release, “The Betrayed.”
Before I get onto the metal content of this album, let me quickly just judge a book by its cover, or rather an album by the same. “The Betrayed” has one of the most pretentious album covers I’ve seen in a long time. The front cover is not too bad, the album title and artist are in the centre, backed by dark bird wings on a black background, it’s maybe trying a little too hard to be edgily epic, but it doesn’t come across as too bigheaded. No, the big problem lies with the back cover of the album. It uses the layout of a movie poster, with the band members in the centre looking moodily into the camera. The album title sits in front of them, and beneath this the track names are disguised as movie credits. It just makes the band seem really bigheaded, which casts a bad light on the album in terms of first impressions. This is a pity, as “The Betrayed” is a legitimately darker album.
Ok, so metal then. I would certainly say that at the very least, this album starts off sounding like metal. It actually gradually softens up over the course of the album, but manages to retain a darker feel than much of the rest of their material. Even if there is a gradual softening, the songs “If It Wasn’t For Hate We’d Be Dead By Now”, “Dstryr and Dstryr”, “Next Stop Atro-City”, and the lead single “It’s Not The End Of The World But I Can See It From Here” all sound either mostly or totally like honest to goodness metal, making almost half the album full of darkness and distortion. Many of the rest of tracks hark back to their softer hits, but without going quite as poppy as songs such as “Last Summer” or “Last Train Home”. There are even a few little Ska influences in a couple of the tracks, and moments that bring to mind other British Indie bands like Futureheads and Fratellis, albeit with that “dark” vibe that Lostprophets have overarching the entire album. Even if musically, a song sounds like it should be jolly fun, the lyrics turn this the happiness into melancholy. If the lyrics aren’t quite doing it, there are some little industrial flourishes in the background of some songs just to add to that sense of unease and darkness.
Despite not having any songs that stick in the head quite as well as their earlier singles, and being stuck inside a very pretentious cover, “The Betrayed” is a thoroughly enjoyable turn from Lostprophets. They were trying to go darker, and they delivered, at least for the first half of the album.
It’s Not Of The World But I Can See It From Here
Next Stop Atro-City
Streets Of Nowhere