Champion / Betrayed - Split (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review

Champion / Betrayed

Split (2006)


The other of Rivalry's anticipated split EPs released on March 21st is the one between Champion and Betrayed, and it's important for respective reasons: It's Champion's final recorded output after announcing their demise this past January, and the next logical step, Betrayed offer a window into their upcoming debut full-length and first release for Equal Vision, Substance.

Champion take the bat first and deliver 3 bites of fast straight-edge hardcore not far off from 2004's Promises Kept -- even the recording sounds similar, with Jim Hesketh's vocals slightly muffled in the mix, and the guitars loud, raw and charged. Any fans of the band shouldn't be disappointed in the offerings, though these don't seem to quite match up with some of Promises Kept's standouts (the title track, "The Truth"). Still, these are competent, notably the uber-catchy "Now Is the Time." Their half sounds more like a section taken out of a larger album rather than a complete trilogy on its own, but it's solid, so further complaining can be forgoed.

The formula for Betrayed's side doesn't seem entirely different at first, but the band mix it up a bit by inserting some Dag Nasty-styled emo referencing; it's especially noticable in "Bring It to Life," which actually experiments a little with some more atmospheric guitars and reflective tempos. On the flipside, "Consequence" is less than two minutes of pissed off, sing-along fun that should work pretty well in the live setting. It's good to see the band deliver a second straight EP to further develop their style before Substance drops in July, because the progression from this is promising, especially as much of the cliché straight-edge rhetoric has been restrained.

So as we turn the final page on one chapter, another one appropriately begins, and if this one's climax is even more thrilling, we have more of a reason to keep reading on.

Or maybe you can just excuse my lame metaphors and check this out.

Champion - Break Through
Betrayed - Consequence