A simple CD-R with a few boring A4 pages was dropped into my post-box recently. Thoughts Betrayed is the band name and it is a two piece, made up of guitarists Dave Cardwell and Zack Uidl. One should not be prejudiced but somehow my expectations weren't too high. Ha! How wrong can you be? Never judge a book by its cover is proven right once again here. Bloody hell, what an album 'Recollection' turns out to be! As Dream Theater is very often mentioned as an influence, a band like Nevermore is also mentioned more and more. Cardwell and Uidl added some Symphony X and I also hear some Devin Townsend-like things here and there and so it is obvious that this album is of high quality.
Thoughts Betrayed is the first real band with these two guys, but both of them were active in the circuit already as session and instruction musicians. The decision to form this band will be proven right and wise because there is a great interest for music like this. Too bad that the promo was so low key but that also reinforces the fact that it is the music that is most important. A visit to the website shows that there ís a good and well fitting image given to the band. 'Recollection' sounds great, direct, full and in your face. The recording experience of these two gentlemen can be heard easily. The music features some great guitar solos and apart from that Dave Cardwell sings very well too! I'm quite amazed that this album has been created by just two guys because I hear a firm band with their feet firmly on the ground here. I'm very enthusiastic about this album and when they will tour in the summer of 2008 I hope for all prog metal fans in Europe that they won't be left out.
Rating: 91/100 - Winston from Lords of Metal
Again there is hope for American metal! Welcome Thoughts Betrayed to the great American metal fold, and we are blessed because of their entrance. Thoughts Betrayed is the result of a partnership between two midwestern guitar virtuosos, Zack Uidl (guitars) and Dave Cardwell (vocals, guitars, production). And they easily rise above their (so called peers) in this field. Both gentlemen are both players and instructors offering numerous instructional materials including videos. Mr. Cardwell has also released three metal albums under the name Raise The Shield in the six month period of September 2006-Febuary 2007. Cripes that's more amazing than Todd Rundgren in the Seventies. I could go on with impressive biographical information about these two young men, but that would negate the point of this article: it's a CD review after all. I would (strongly) encourage you to visit the Thoughts Betrayed web site for more information.
Calling such bands as Nevermore, Dream Theater, Symphony X, and Outworld (wow, great band!) as influences, Cardwell and Uidl deliver sophisticated metal with a range of style: progressive, power, and pure power metal. Mr. Uidl is a master on the 7-string guitar (yes, this is new to me, too.), and he plays with skill and acumen. Mr. Cardwell reveals in his skills that he probably has more talent in his little finger than most musicians (particularly, the current trend of American rock and metal musicians) have in their whole being. He provides the vocals and does exceptional job, although I can (as always) do without the dirty vocals. Yet, Cardwell is consistently passionate and profound in his vocal delivery. Now on to the songs ...
There is no great mystery as to what is occurring here: this is an expression of the genius and creativity of two formidable talents. 'Disorder' begins the album and proves that these boys know basic melodic metal. After this is 'Reign' where you have your first taste of Mr. Cardwell's gruff vocals and the song is heavy, nearly raw, in performance. But let's move on to one of my favorite tracks. 'Long Days' is one of those highly unexpected numbers that throws you off kilter. In a short period of time you are blessed with a brilliant arrangement with smooth vocals. Another significant track is 'Retribution.' It has a more modern American metal feel without losing the melody that is so inherent in the stateside genre. Both Uidl and Cardwell really rip it up too. 'Vision' is the only instrumental track on the album and this duo truly shine. They could do this sort of stuff all day and I would be immensely pleased, another fantastic cut! My favorite song is, without doubt, 'Time' thanks to its intricate keyboards, soaring vocals, and Uidl's stirring fret work. 'Passage' is another song with a true progressive nature. Some may find it too complex to listen to. However, if you give it a chance you will be pleased. The work concludes with the melancholy 'Life,' a song that, on the surface, seems dark and foreboding, yet still reveals a spectacular mix of subtlety and focus.
'Recollection' is an exceptional accomplishment for Dave Cardwell and Zack Uidl. It has all the marks of significant American metal in a field where mediocrity seems to reign. Unfortunately, Thoughts Betrayed will probably be overlooked by both the American metal press and labels. It may only be embraced by our European friends 'across the pond' who have a sense history and an appreciation of melodic progressive metal. This is hardly for the American mainstream, even though it should be. 'Recollection' is great music. I encourage you to find and buy this album. (Check the Thoughts Betrayed web site to do so.) Highly recommended!
In Short: Thoughts Betrayed is the result of a partnership between American guitarists Zack Uidl and Dave Cardwell who are both phenomenal players and instructors. 'Recollection' heralds a promising future for American metal with exceptional arrangements and brilliant musicianship. This is pretty much a no-brainer; if you love progressive metal undergirded by amazing guitar work, you must find and buy Thoughts Betrayed first work, 'Recollection.'
Rating: 4.5/5.0 - www.dangerdog.com
This album is a very well put together selection of modern metal numbers comprising of outstanding lead and rhythm guitar playing and well considered and highly effective compositions. On the top of that you get great vocal melodies and odd time signatures here and there...
Those guys don’t simply follow the trends, they managed to create own quality music free of restraint. Thoughts Betrayed is unpredictable all the way through and deserve for attention of wide audiences.
My preferences on this album: are unbeatable “Disorder” which is a journey into the world of neoclassical metal, “Retribution” which certainly will please any Judas Priest fan on this planet, “Long days”, “Monument” and the album title track “Recollection” that is probably a trademark of this successful duet.
This album is a must have for every metal head or shred guitar maniac. Beware Dave and Zack are coming for You!!!!
GregX London, 12, 2007
“Thoughts Betrayed” is a phenomenal and unique collaboration between music powerhouses Dave Cardwell and Zack Uidl. Although the music on this album is heavily metal based, both musicians are highly trained and influenced by other styles of music. Dave Cardwell’s vocal style is just as versatile as his guitar playing ability showcasing his power, range, and ability to control timbre. Zack Uidl brings his virtuosic guitar skills and knowledge of odd meter composition techniques to the table to create a unique sound when combined with Dave’s talents.
In conclusion, I give this album two thumbs up and I highly recommend it to anyone interested in progressive metal or great music in general."
Energetic driving rhythms, duelling guitars, soaring vocals, and screaming solos, all combine to give a solid metal experience. Tracks that spread across the metal spectrum, from old school to new, soft to aggressive, clean to dirty, all come together to complete a sonic dreamscape that must be heard!
If you like progressive metal, written and performed by talented musicians who do what they do best, then this album is for you. All in all, a great debut from Thoughts Betrayed!
Highlights include “Disorder”, for its relentless energy and drive. "Long Days", for its dreamy vocals. “Rite”, for its thoughtful guitar playing and production.
Thoughts Betrayed's new CD is sure to stir up a huge wave of interest among not only lovers of virtuoso guitar playing and killer vocals, but also of anyone that craves music that gets your blood flowing and your senses reeling. This music digs deeper and satisfies your desire for layered compositions that present something new to you each time you listen to it!
This is some of the best guitar playing, vocals and rhythm sections I've ever heard. The sonic spectrum, composition and virtuosity musicianship is at the top of my list from anyone I've heard up to 2008 and will no doubt raise the bar higher for everyone else for 2008 and beyond.
Thoughts Betrayed is absolutely killer! The songs run the gamut from melodic, catchy power metal to heavy/ progressive/ thrash with odd timings. David Cardwell's voice is as powerful as ever and displays a much greater range than any of his prior work. I'm a big fan of vocal harmonies and this record is loaded with them.
The lead work by co-guitarists Cardwell and Zack Uidl displays their high level of proficiency on the instrument while still serving the songs.
All in all this is a very strong release. I highly recommend it!
"Absolutely phenomenal. I especially liked Disorder. Great vocal harmonies. Instrumentation could not be more perfect, timing is perfect and the balance across instruments and vocals is great. Very creative. Nice piano work. Great balance between shred and dramatic slower parts. Outstanding musicianship on the guitars. Very impressive guys, Great job."