The long-awaited fourth Lostprophets album, The Betrayed, is well crafted and polished for commercial appeal like its predecessor yet darker and more apocalyptic in tone. The first half of the album is solid, boasting half a dozen great songs filled with punk attitude, overpowering riffs, and memorable hooks. In some ways, it's the best Lostprophets album. No question about it, the band's previous two albums, Start Something (2004) and Liberation Transmission (2006), were blockbusters. The latter was particularly successful. Produced by Bob Rock, famous for his work on Mötley Crüe's Dr. Feelgood (1989) and Metallica's Black Album (1991), Liberation Transmission topped the U.K. albums chart and won the Kerrang! award for Best Album of 2006. Moreover, the Lostprophets were named Best British Band by Kerrang! for two years straight from 2006 to 2007. At this point, the Lostprophets were eager to follow up the chart-topping success of Liberation Transmission with a new album. In 2007 they played several new songs live and began preliminary recording sessions. They wanted to work with Rock again, but the Canadian producer was unavailable. Ultimately, the Lostprophets produced The Betrayed by themselves at the Los Angeles home of the band's bassist, Stuart Richardson, between 2008 and 2009. Over the course of this multi-year recording process, they scrapped a lot of material, ultimately selecting a dozen songs for the 45-minute album. The first half of the album is uniformly excellent, in particular the full-throttle rockers "Dstryr/Dstryr," "It's Not the End of the World, But I Can See It from Here," and "Next Stop, Atro City." Though less invigorating and perhaps too pop-oriented for some fans, the U2-esque "Where We Belong" and the ska lilt of "For He's a Jolly Good Felon" are also first-rate.
AllMusic Review by Jason Birchmeier