Canadian thrashers Backstabber cross our palms with gold here with their debut album. Lets get this straight from the start. Get yourselves an pot, throw in Testament, Napalm Death, Anthrax, Pantera, Morbid Angel and Slayer, give it a good shake and you have Backstabber.
After ‘Inaugural Address’, which is a slow intro, that gives you no warning or inclination of what you are about to be hit with, you are attacked with ‘Whistle Blower’. A thunderous assault of speed, precision and anger. This is exactly what Backstabber are about. ‘No Privacy’s’ opening riff reminds me of Slayer’s ‘Angel Of Death’ and the sublime use of the double bass drum here is stunning. Thrash perfection here. Precision.
The first thing that hits you in ‘Subterranean’ is Christian’s gargling vocals. Proper ugly. There’s some cracking stop-start riffing going on under the solo here too. You get my drift as to what these guys are about? Good. The superbly titled ‘Ink Spill’ gives us more of the same. But what I like about Backstabber is that there is plenty of change within each song. It’s not all full out thrash. We have speed changes, stops, starts, everything that keeps you interested, and allows each song to tell it’s own story.
‘Disclosure’ follows interlude ‘The Hum’, and demonstrates how the production on this album captures a virtual live sound. Powerful in every way. So it’s easy to imagine how potent these guys will sound when you catch them live. Again, it’s more of the same formula but such is it’s power, speed and precision it just leaves you mesmerised. Very clever stuff, it really is.
‘Banksters’ opening riff has a touch of Maiden’s ‘Flash Of The Blade’. This doesn’t last long as we are pelted with some serious speed. The rest of this track is very Pantera in how it handles the speed changes and produces some nice guitar squeals. Check out the intense end to this track.
Title track ‘Conspiracy Theorist’ is a beautiful guitar ballad. It’s very much on par with ‘The Scars in Pneuma’s’ ‘Constellations’, giving us a perfect end to a flawless debut album. Congratulations Backstabber on what is a stunning debut album.
1 – Inaugural Address
2 – Whistle Blower
3 – No Privacy
4 – Subterranean
5 – Ink Spill
6 – The Hum
7 – My Disclosure
8 – Geo Engineering
9 – Banksters
10 – Conspiracy Theorist
Christian Mongrain-Theriault – Guitars / Vocals Eric Seguin – Bass Patrick Gagne – Drums