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Martyr - Feeding the Abscess  CD (album) cover




Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

4.26 | 34 ratings

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4 stars Here's another original and technically skilled band coming from Québec. Martyr delivers technically solid death metal with many experiments and surprises such as floating progressive parts, jazz sounds and calm interludes. The band follows the tradition of excellent technical death metal bands from the province such as Quo Vadis, Augury and UneXpect. Martyr is also clearly influenced by Voivod and especially the guitar sounds remind heavily of those of Denis d'Amour. This album perfectly shows and proves us that singer and guitar player Daniel Mongrain was the perfect choice to step in and take the place of this legend in Voivod recently. Let's even say that the Voivod cover "Brain Scan" on this release is one of the best cover versions I ever heard. It's close to the spirit of the original but has an own and unique approach.

The band kicks the album off with one of the straighter songs which is the well chosen "Perpetrual Healing (Infinite Pain)" where the introduction sounds like an old progressive Voivod track while the calmer passages could have been written by Metallica in their earlier years. "Lost In Sanity" also reminds rather of thrash or groove metal than of death metal and shows the band's multiple influences. "Silent Science" has completely unusual and original space sounds as well as frequent changes of rhythm and melody without sounding like endless progressive "wankery" passages. When other bands bore us in progressive attempts in songs that hit at least the ten minute mark, Martyr fuse and combine all of their ideas in five minutes or less. The problem is that the album may sound difficult and overloaded to some but I got used to their style after a few tries because these guys are completely unique and original. Let's say that the band sounds not overambitious as the latest works of Blind Guardian, Rhapsody Of Fire or Dimmu Borgir but rather like the Canadian bands mentioned above. But the album requests a higher amount of patience as well as concentration and an open-minded approach. This is surely not always easy to digest for the usual death metal fan. But don't be afraid to give this album some time and it will probably grow on you quickly.

Almost every song offers grace and aggression and this fusion has never worked so well together as on this record. The true highlights of the album are of course the four tracks that form the "Dead Horizon" epic. These songs sound as one but include various experiments and add something completely new to the entire extreme metal scene. The band sounds like a heavier version of old Dream Theater in those songs but the Voivod influences still shine through in these four tracks. This may sound as if the band wasn't much original and would copy the mentioned bands but that's only partially true as they sound quite unique and outstanding and the technical quality is so elevated that you just don't care. You don't listen to high quality records like this every day. Usually, I don't care much about death metal and my first impression of the album was that it was overloaded and hectic but it really grew on me and requested and deserved multiple listening sessions and approaches.

In the end, this album is almost close to perfection apart of the fact that it's heavy to digest and the kind of masterpiece that you would listen to on special occasions but not frequently. Concerning the technical, creative and innovating point of view, the band is at a very high level and defends the French Canadian heritage and legacy that bands such as Voivod and UneXpect built up within the last years and decades. The best extreme metal music comes from Quebec and Martyr only underline this status with brilliance, grace and controlled aggression.

Originally published on on August 13th of the year 2011.

kluseba | 4/5 |


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