The Nature of Betrayal from California's The Funeral Pyre is a brutal collection of melodic death metal mixed with a smattering of Nordic black metal influences. Think classic Gothenburg bands like At the Gates, In Flames, and Dark Tranquility, with a little Immortal, Dissection, and Emperor folded in for good measure, and you have sort of an idea of what to expect here. Lead vocalist John has a truly lethal growling bark, and combined with the sledgehammer rhythms from drummer Alex and bassist Adam, plus the pulverizing guitar work of James, makes for some seriously brutal listening. Tempering things a tad though is keyboard player Daniella, who adds in some nice symphonic and ethereal synth washes on most of the songs here. A song like "Here the Sun Never Shines" shows the band's ferocity, yet there are some great melodies contained within this death metal armageddon, as well as nifty keyboards, making for an interesting listen. James tends to lay down plenty of tremelo picked guitar lines, which are very prevalent in black metal, adding a cold & chilling element to tunes like the title track and "In the Wake". In fact, the insane blast beats from Alex on "Victims" will send chills up the spine of any metal fan who cuts their teeth on 1349 and Satyricon.
In short, a very impressive, and very European sounding release from this young American band, who show here on The Nature of Betrayal that refreshing new sounds can still be made using classic influences from the past.
1) 200 Years
2) In the Wake
3) Here the Sun Never Shines
4) The Nature of Betrayal
5) Plague That Leads to Extinction
7) Stealing the Air of Life
8) Ending the Eternal Reign