Sound — 10
Lostprophets have been walking the line between alt-rock and alt-metal for 6 years and The Betrayed stays the course. While it's not the incredibly heavy album that everyone's expected, it certainly does have its moments that'll get you headbanging (see "If It Wasn't for Hate", "Dstryr / Dstryr", and "It's Not the End of the World" for these). And if you wanna get technical, according to the 6 Welshmen, the New Wave-ish interludes are here to segue you from one song to the next. However, on the whole, the four years that people have been waiting for payed off with the kind of album everyone was hoping for. Inspiration from the album has allegedly drawn from Faith No More and Refused, but it seems more like the band has simply solidified its own sound to make it. (A good thing, too, after hearing that the Prophets spent $500,000 their first run to make an album that had trumpets in it.) The song titles and outward portayal of the album sounds like a darker Liberation Transmission, whereas the music brings you back to the Start Something days. Lostprophets have a knack for creating songs that'll get stuck in your head. From the heavy to soft, their music is catchy, but not off-putting enough for you to dismiss them as just another, say, pop metal band. They've got their it-wouldn't-be-Lostprophets-without-an-anthem, "Where We Belong", but also dabble in their punk-ish side with "Next Stop Atro City". And the downturned ballad-y "The Light That Shines Twice as Bright..." is a great closer to the album.
Lyrics — 10
This time around, Ian Watkins brings his lyrics to a darker, more cynical tone. There's even a few instances where profanity is used, which is a first. Nonetheless, some songs are just outwardly brutal, such as the aforementioned "Dstryr / Dstryr": "Destroyer, destroyer. Religion needs a new employer. I've got the rope to hang your Jesus even higher!" Others hide behind a happier sound, like "For He's a Jolly Good Felon", but still remain witty but dark: "Mikey, oh where'd you get those Nikes? 'Cause I know you ain't got the notes to drop, Left alone you'd take the fucking lot!"
Overall Impression — 10
The Betrayed doesn't sound like anyone else what it does sound like is Lostprophets, and kudos to them for that. Nowadays, it takes a real talent to be a part of the alternative rock genre and still be known for something. These aren't just "those guys who sing 'Last Train Home' and 'Rooftops'," they're a band who aren't afraid to be who they are, get a little experimental but be comfortable in their own shoes (sound?) at the same time. What I personally love about this album is the heavy beginning to it, and how before you know it, it's mellowed out in the sound that Prophets fans have grown to love. If I could change one thing, I'd say include another 1 or 2 songs that have Jamie Oliver screaming again. Not totally necessary, but hearing it again does bring back memories. However, The Betrayed is such good music that I'd buy the CD again if it was ever stolen or lost. All in all, I'd say that The Betrayed is solid solid music, solid vocals, solid personality. This would be a great place for someone to discover the band, but also is an invaluable collection to a hardcore fan's library.