The Betrayed - Album Playback

So, 2010. No hover-boards, robots or flying cars yet, but look a little closer, and I'll bet you find all that good stuff we're getting used to is evolving and improving rapidly. Mobile phones, computers, internet... and Lostprophets. January 18th 2010 brings the release of their 4th studio album, 'The Betrayed'.

Consisting of 11 brand new tracks, front man Ian Watkins calls the album "by far the finest, darkest and most real album" they have created to date. It's a fast-paced, energetic bundle of raw aggressive rock music, and it works. It's had long enough to come together, mind you. Having started writing and recording the album with producer John Feldman back in 2007, the band scrapped their efforts and reworked the album themselves in the studio. "We were just being taken in a completely different direction and became somewhat lost", said Watkins during the Q&A session that followed the pre-release album playback in central London.

'The Betrayed' begins with an epic, drum-driven intro that has a somewhat cinematic feel to it, a recurring theme of the album as the tracks flow seamlessly together. These interludes really do encourage a start-to-finish listen of the album, and each song is distinctive enough to make the listen entirely enjoyable.

It’s obviously an album to be enjoyed live too. The first single form the album 'It’s Not The End of the World But I Can See It From Here’ is crammed full of 'Woah’s' and various group vocals, and the anthemic choruses of 'Where We Belong’ and 'A Better Nothing’ will almost certainly be crowd-favourites. A perfect climax is achieved in the album’s final, and most dynamic track 'The Light That Burns Twice As Bright’. It’s intelligent and intriguing, holding out on the climax for far longer than you expect.

The album marches through catchy, dancy hooks mixed with full on hard rock, a difficult art to master, as proved by many a failed pop/rock band currently struggling in the UK scene. There’s even the odd ballad adding favourably to the album’s diversity. Despite the pop edge, this album has a certain brutality that wasn’t as present in the band’s previous work. It’s angry and bitter, while somehow remaining uplifting. Watkins obviously felt comfortable self-producing the album. 'Because we didn’t have a producer I could say what I wanted to say'. And that he did. At the top of his lungs.

'The Betrayed' is a massively encouraging example of a band that has progressed and evolved, without ever losing the spark that makes them who they are. This album is distinctly Lostprophets, and distinctly good. "Writing a song is about not being ashamed of where you’re from, and drawing from that." Watkins muses after being asked about the band's writing process. They’ve come pretty far from playing the clubs and bars of Pontypridd, and 'The Betrayed’ looks set to catapult them even further in 2010.