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Martyr Hopeless Hopes album cover
3.79 | 21 ratings | 3 reviews | 43% 5 stars

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Studio Album, released in 1997

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Hopeless Hopes (6:01)
2. Prototype (4:27)
3. Elementals (4:40)
4. Non Conformis (6:39)
5. Ostrogoth (4:36)
6. The Blind's Reflection (7:14)
7. Inner Peace (5:01)
8. Ars Nova (4:29)
9. Nipsk˙ (7:55)

Total Time 51:07

Line-up / Musicians

- Daniel Mongrain / Rhythm and lead guitar, clean vocals
- François Mongrain / Bass guitar, death vocals
- François Richard / Drums
- Pier-Luc Lampron / Guitar

Releases information

CD (1997)
CD Re-issued by Galy Records (2006)

Thanks to The T for the addition
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MARTYR Hopeless Hopes ratings distribution

(21 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(43%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(38%)
Good, but non-essential (19%)
Collectors/fans only (0%)
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)

MARTYR Hopeless Hopes reviews

Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by UMUR
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars There is only one review of this album before mine and it´s a real shame I tell you because this debut album from Martyr is well worth you attention if you´re into tech death metal.

The music on Hopeless Hopes is not overtly complex like many other tech death metal bands. It´s more in the vein of Death´s approach to the genre which relies more on power and aggression than on complex playing. This is not to say that the playing isn´t technical here on Hopeless Hopes. I just appreciate that the songs on Hopeless Hopes is written with the intension to blow your mind and your body, and if some technical riffing helps this cause then it´s just fine.

As mentioned Martyr is very influenced by the legendary tech death metal band Death. The riffing and jazz influenced drumming is very much in the same vein as Death. The vocals on Hopeless Hopes is a study in itself. I have a tendency to complain about the vocals on many tech death metal releases as I think too many bands use the very deep subwoofer or cookie monster vocals if you will. It´s very seldom this works for me. On Hopeless Hopes the vocals are sublime and thankfully pretty varied. On Hopeless Hopes and Inner Peace which are the most Death inspired songs on Hopeless Hopes the vocals sound very much like Chuck Schuldiner, while the vocals on other tracks sound like a young Glen Benton from Deicide. There are even some more hardcore call and respons vocals in a song like Elementals. The music is really powerful IMO and it´s very enjoyable to me.

The musicianship is very good and I like the guitar riff and the soloes, The drumming is also very good even though I don´t enjoy the badly produced click track bassdrums. Badly produced might be a bit to harsh said, but I´m not too fond of the sound on the bassdrum. The production is pretty good though.

Having listened to Hopeless Hopes a lot lately I´ve realised that I really like Martyr a lot and I think this debut album is really good. I will only rate Hopeless Hopes 3 stars. It´s 3 big stars and almost a 4 star rating though. Even though I think Hopeless Hopes is a very good album Martyr still need to improve a couple of places. This is a very promising debut though and very recommendable to fans of the band Death.

Review by Conor Fynes
4 stars 'Hopeless Hopes' - Martyr (7/10)

When I listen to music, technicality and instrumental prowess is something I will always notice, but I cannot always appreciate. It is one thing to respect a musician or group of musicians for being able to play things that I admittedly cannot, but when it comes to actually enjoying the music, alot of these technical bands miss their mark. Hence why I have never been big into technical death metal; the bands achieve marvelous things on an objective front, but the lack of feeling and melody leads it to be predictable for me. Martyr are indeed a tech death band, but they take the genre from a bit of a different angle than some of these other bands. Instead of attempting to wow the listener with an unrelenting foray of solos and mindless arpeggios, Martyr takes the core of songwriting as a necessary element of what they do. Martyr's work would improve over the course of their next two albums 'Warp Zone' and 'Feeding The Abscess', but from this album alone, I would consider Martyr already to be a clean step above many of the others.

The band that Martyr reminds me most of here is Death, the quintessential death metal band. Certainly having taken a few hints from the latter part of Death's career, Martyr's music on 'Hopeless Hopes' is executed with the prowess and precision of tech death, but without much of the mindless self indulgence that bands like Braindrill bring to the table. Martyr's debut picks up where Death's 'Individual Thought Patterns' left off; concise compositions with plenty of powerful riffs blistering away, and some solos that never ceased to impress me. The death vocals of Francois Mongrain are actually fairly comprehensible; you can actually hear what he is trying to say through his growls, which are quite powerful for the genre. Thankfully, all of this is done with a very nice coat of production.

One thing I could complain about with the album is the length, which feels about ten minutes too long. This is due to the band's sound being fairly static; it is always very impressive and well-executed, but Martyr does not bring anything more to the table than death metal, and being a listener who craves dynamic and variety in his listening experience, that was something that kept me from really loving what Martyr are doing here. As far as technical death metal goes though, this band is excellent, and they really shine at what they do.

Latest members reviews

4 stars this album came out in '97, so considering that time frame, it is eons ahead of the pack for technicality, songwriting, playing ability/musicianship. Granted it does not have the greatness of later albums, but it still holds steady as a great album. Of particular note is the drumming on here, ... (read more)

Report this review (#149162) | Posted by avalanchemaster | Monday, November 5, 2007 | Review Permanlink

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