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Traitor > Shot Down > Reviews > DeathRiderDoom
Traitor - Shot Down

Unrefined, Though Catchy LA Metal - 67%

DeathRiderDoom, June 11th, 2010

*Written for the 10th MA Virgin Reviews Challenge

Since I’ve been reviewing a couple of traditional US metal bands of late I thought I may as well take a minute to provide a few descriptive words about this little EP from Traitor (USA). Another act from the LA scene, the region’s sound is ingrained in their sound from the get go. I’m talking Luv Hunter, Maxx Warrior, Armored Saint etc, you know the score. It’s slightly powery metal, with a feel much like glossed up heavy metal in the Armored Saint vein. There’s always an air of the glammy sound that dominated the city in the power metal bands from the city – even the one’s from out in Long Beach – apparently.

Traitor struck onto the LA scene with what would apparently become their only official release – a lonely EP by the name of ‘Shot Down’ in ’85. The songs are a mixture of the early ‘80s glam sound of LA as well as some pretty awesome power leanings much like Luv Hunter. Production is kinda shoddy, but far from the worst I’ve heard (Serpent’s Knight anyone?). The drums sound very rattley and tinny – it’s kinda gross, and elsewhere, nothings too crisp or clean either, and there’s not much going into the songs additionally – maybe just a phaser effect here or there.

The name of Traitor’s game is very melodic catchy heavy metal with powery/glammy tinges. We start off with ‘The Way It Used To Feel’ – a song built around a catchy chorus, with love song subject matter, but some pretty cool glam metal guitar solos, and sweet little scale trail-offs on guitar, paired with a rather gallopy USPM main riff under the chorus. Token slower number ‘Have you Ever’ follows up – which takes a while to get going, but when it does it offers a moody feel, and a strong emotive vocal performance by frontman Tim Karr. We’re definitely in a blend of heavy/power metal here, not unlike Luv Hunter or Attila. Things toughen up with ‘Feel the Steel’, but the tinny drums don’t help. Anyone can hear it would sound a lot ballsier in a later more refined version with much better production. A touch of comparison to Armed Force shows through in moments. Elsewhere ‘Traitor’ and ‘Shot Down’ are decent cuts, but held back by the production.

All round, this record is quite promising, but feels like a demo through and through. The songs themselves have good promise – especially if you find the aforementioned blend of sounds intriguing. However, the recording quality is quite awful, with lots of distortion blurring shit up. Though the songs are rockin and catchy (I especially like ‘Shot Down’), the feel a wee bit unrefined also. On the plus side, there’s 6 tracks on here, which is pretty generous – and none of them are outright awful cuts – points for that. This one is only really advisable for collectors of the obscure and those who don’t have an aversion to pox-quality recording efforts that seem to suck the life and energy out of things.