I want to be honest: when I downloaded on Spotify this LP from the Canadian band Backstabber, I was initially afraid it was going to be just one of those many amateurish records that are released on every week by formations that have very little to offer more than the desire to get the attention of critics and record labels. One of the reasons for this feeling was the album cover, definitely unattractive, in addition to the fact that they were never tracked by my radar before. But once the introduction track ended, and the first couple of songs arrived with their energy and chirurgical riffing, I had to change my mind. The music played by Backstabber is anything but trivial and in the short time-span of just a few days, I have already listened to the album several times, not only with the goal of writing this review but really because I’ve been truly intrigued by their music.
Backstabber is a trio of musicians from Rouyn-Noranda, in Canada, and Conspiracy Theorist is their first LP. It follows their 2016’s demo (Revenge) and a single that was released in 2017 (Subterranean). Their music can be described as a fast and compact mix of death metal and thrash. The 32 minutes of their LP feature just a few interludes and melodic moments, and for the rest, we have a tight and solid flow of fast and heavy riffs with nice growling vocals that are always understandable, also for those who aren’t English mother tongues (like me).
The vocal part is one the things that I liked the most of the LP: Christian Mongrain-Thériault showcases a fairly effective ability to modulate his screams on every rhyme, and his vocals blend very well with the heavy riffs that he’s playing with his guitar.
On the contrary, most of the melodic and atmospheric parts of the album are quite weak (for example the title track which closes the LP): these basically have the side effect of bringing down all the intensity that was generated by the most furious pieces.
In summary: Conspiracy Theorist is really an intriguing LP from a band that’s absolutely worthy of being monitored in the future. The style of death metal played by these three musicians is relatively simple, but it’s enjoyable to hear and also fairly effective in terms of energy and emotional charge. My rating for the LP is 6.5/10.
My favourite songs are Whistle Blower and No Privacy.
Backstabber and their debut LP are featured in The DEATH METAL Radar, the playlist which collects all the best songs released since the beginning of 2019. Listen to it and follow it: it’s continuously updated with new tracks.