Review TRAITOR ‘Exiled to the Surface’

Balingen is the home of the Bang Your Head Festival and Traitor also have their headquarters in the heart of Swabia. Andreas, Lorenz and Gerd started Traitor there in 2009, while guitarist Matthias joined the band in 2013.

With every album Traitor releases, the four Swabians solidify their position in the German metal scene. It all started with the debut ‘Thrash Command’ in 2012. In the last years two more albums saw the light of day and now it’s up to ‘Exiled to the Surface’ to add another chapter to the existing success story.

Traitor had their musical imprint in the second half of the 80s when bands like Kreator and Destruction brought thrash metal to the top in Germany. In this context Sodom should also be mentioned for good reason. Traitor managed to get none other than Sodom mastermind Tom Angelripper for a song. ‘Total Thrash’ is the title of this massive riff orgy and it couldn’t be more spot-on. Thundering beats and hard-hitting riffs roar out of the speakers and it’s evident that Traitor have taken the next step in their development.

After ‘Total Thrash’ has faded away, ’66 Exeter Street’ is the next highlight on ‘Exiled to the Surface’. Somewhat reminiscent of Kreator, Traitor reduce the speed but this does not detract from the powerful appeal of the track.

When I listened to the album for the first time, I had not yet taken a look at the track list. For this reason I was not aware that the album contains a cover version, but some of the melodies on ‘Careless Whisper’ seemed familiar. And indeed, it is the WHAM! classic that Traitor turn into a brute thrash metal anthem. No more softener is used and the result is a gritty metal tune that is fun to listen to.

And for those who are surprised to find a re-recorded version of a ‘Venomizer’ song on the album, ‘Teutonic Storm’, in its 2021 version, is bursting with power and is a definite game-winner.

‘Exiled to the Surface’ is an entirely enjoyable thrash metal album, from ‘Guilty As Charged’ to the closer ‘Decade of Revival (Traitor Part IV)’. The untamed approach of the four guys from Swabia gives the album the necessary power and dynamic. They don’t look for the quick success, but follow the metal heart. ‘Exiled to the Surface’ is honest, down-to-earth and authentic thrash metal, served raw and furious.

Rating: 9 out of 10.

Tracklist:

  1. Guilty As Charged
  2. Exiled To The Surface
  3. Total Thrash (Feat. Tom Angelripper)
  4. 66 Exeter Street
  5. Zordark
  6. Careless Whisper
  7. Teutonic Storm (2021)
  8. Metroid
  9. Into The Nightosphere
  10. Space Seed
  11. Decade Of Revival (Traitor Part IV)

Label: Violent Creek Records

Genre: Thrash Metal

Release Date EU: July 8th, 2022

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