Freedom To The Slave Makers

Written by: AP on 04/05/2011 21:01:07

Betzefer must have spent countless hours of their childhood cranking Entombed and Pantera, no doubt as a consequence of the social and political circumstances of their homeland, Israel. While the vast majority of bands (read: Melechesh and Orphaned Land) from the region are keen on incorporating rich ethnic traditions in their music, Betzefer have opted for a far more simplistic approach on this second album of theirs, "Freedom to the Slave Makers".

Vocally the album is best placed among such bands as Crowbar, Down, and Kingdom of Sorrow, with a touch of nu-metal in the likes of "Backstage Blues", while the emphasized rhythm work and slamming riffs pay homage to the blue collar metal of Pantera and Damageplan, particularly on the hard-hitting "Feels So Right". Aside from wearing their influences on their sleeves with pride, however, Betzefer bring little fresh to the table, settling instead for quality fluctuating between from solid to clichéd dreck. What is refreshing is that, against all odds, the fiercely political rambling that one might expect from a band based in as embattled a nation as Israel is nowhere to be heard; instead, Betzefer simply focus on hammering out heavyweight bangers for the mosh of heart. "Doomsday" and "Empty Magazine" are fine examples, the former a fan-friendly live anthem; the latter pulsating with thrash metal fury.

Unfortunately the vocals grow dull and lifeless in a heartbeat, and drag the otherwise sound compositions down with them. I say sound, but stress that there are no innovations or miracles taking place; Betzefer remain comfortably in the shadow of legends, lacking the sparkle, nimbleness, inventiveness, and total aggression that once defined the blue collar metal genre. There are glimpses of hope scattered amongst, such as in the brilliant "Song for the Alcoholic", but too few to raise an eyebrow. "Freedom to the Slave Makers" fails to make the seismic ripples needed from a band working with such heavy materials.


Download: Empty Magazine, Doomsday, Song for the Alcoholic
For the fans of: Entombed, Pantera, Sepultura
Listen: Myspace

Release date 18.02.2011
AFM Records

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