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MARTYR

Tech/Extreme Prog Metal • Canada


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Martyr biography
MARTYR is a progressive death metal band from Quebec, Canada. The band was created by founding members Franįois and Daniel Mongrain in 1994. By 1995, MARTYR had already released their first demo tape.

In 1997, MARTYR released their debut album, "Hopeless Hopes". Later that year, drummer Patrice Hamelin joined the band after Franįois Richard's departure. After two critically acclaimed albums, Pier-Luc Lampron left the group in 2002, only to be replaced by Martin Carbonneau.

MARTYR's music is highly influenced by that of ATHEIST and CYNIC, and specially, DEATH. Their style is highly technical death metal, which combines clean vocals with death-growling. In the lyrics department, MARTYR "explore the human psyche, mostly its darkest corners, giving the listener a cynical view of humanity in general". (From Wikipedia)







Why this artist must be listed in www.progarchives.com :
MARTYR's music could easily be considered extremely technical death metal, with odd time signatures and abrupt tempo changes, dissonant chords and harmonies and complicated, nerve-shattering riffs, always with a superior level of musicianship from the members.



Discography:
Non Conformis, Single (1997 )
Hopeless Hopes, studio album (1997)
Warp Zone, studio album (2000)
Extracting The Core, live (2001)
Feeding the Abscess, studio album (2006)

...

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MARTYR discography


Ordered by release date | Showing ratings (top albums) | Help Progarchives.com to complete the discography and add albums

MARTYR top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.72 | 14 ratings
Hopeless Hopes
1997
4.29 | 21 ratings
Warp Zone
2000
4.21 | 28 ratings
Feeding the Abscess
2006

MARTYR Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.14 | 3 ratings
Extracting the Core
2001

MARTYR Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

MARTYR Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

MARTYR Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

MARTYR Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Feeding the Abscess  by MARTYR album cover Studio Album, 2006
4.21 | 28 ratings

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Feeding the Abscess
Martyr Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

Review by kluseba

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 www.metal-archives.com on August 13th of the year 2011.

 Hopeless Hopes by MARTYR album cover Studio Album, 1997
3.72 | 14 ratings

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Hopeless Hopes
Martyr Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

Review by Conor Fynes
Prog Reviewer

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.

 Feeding the Abscess  by MARTYR album cover Studio Album, 2006
4.21 | 28 ratings

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Feeding the Abscess
Martyr Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

Review by Conor Fynes
Prog Reviewer

4 stars 'Feeding The Abscess' - Martyr (8/10)

Canadian progressive death metal act Martyr is one of those bands that leave their influences out on a clothesline, all the while hinting at an original sound of their own. Already finding a great album with their second record 'Warp Zone', the band continues their aggressive style of technical metal with 'Feeding The Abscess', an incredibly heavy prog metal album that's nearly certain to spark the interest of quite a few extreme metal fans. Being hailed as a masterpiece by the band's fans, Martyr certainly has some incredible things going on for themselves here, getting the technical aspect of metal mastered to a science.

Something Martyr is incredibly good at is their ability to make classically-inspired technical passages sound heavy as hell. The guitars here are certainly the most noticeable strength here, constantly impressing me, even during the less vicious parts. To make things even better, there is an audible bass sound here that carries some tech weight of its own, and drums where are kept complex and constantly changing. Instrumentally, the band is one to be feared and keeps their sound constantly heavy yet always interesting. In fact, if the album had been made a solely instrumental record, I would have no problem calling it one of the finest instrumental metal albums I have ever heard. What I am getting at is that it should come as no surprise that the weakest element in Martyr are the vocals. Alternating between generic low growls and a form of shouting that sounds like Death vocalist Chuck Schuldiner yelling at his kids, Martyr could have easily done without any vocal delivery and been the better without it. Although it is the all-too Death-inspired shouting vocals that turn me off the most, even the conventional growls lack much substance or dynamic to them. While the Mongrain brothers blow me away with their instrumental prowess, it may have been a good idea to leave the vocals to someone better suited to it.

Although the album is weakened by vocals and a somewhat lacking sense of flow, there's no denying that I am awe-struck by Martyr's incredible grasp of technical metal, and their keen Voivod cover at the end does not hurt things at all! 'Feeding The Abscess' is a musician's dream metal album, and if one can look past the less glorious aspects of the band, there's sure to be alot of enjoyment found here.

 Extracting the Core by MARTYR album cover Live, 2001
3.14 | 3 ratings

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Extracting the Core
Martyr Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

Review by UMUR
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

3 stars "Extracting the Core" is the first live album by Canadian, Quebec based technical death metal act Martyr. The album was released through Skyscraper Music in 2001. In addition to the audio part of the album, "Extracting the Core" features a multimedia presentation for CD-Rom drive which includes live pictures and samples.

"Extracting the Core" features the three tracks "Inner Peace", "Hopeless Hopes" and "Prototype" from the debut full-length studio album "Hopeless Hopes (1997)" and six tracks from Martyrīs second full-length studio album "Warp Zone (2000)". Among others the brilliant and powerful title track. Martyr play a technical death metal style with varied extreme vocals and some great musicianship which includes some really excellent shredding guitar solos. Martyrīs musical approach isnīt completely unlike a more technical/complex version of Death (with a few twist and turns which provide Martyr with a sound of their own).

"Extracting the Core" is overall a pretty enjoyable affair but itīs not brilliant by any means. The playing is flawless and the vocals are strong but itīs like the atmosphere isnīt right. This could just as well have been a live in the studio recording with added muted audience noises and comments in french from the band. Iīm not really feeling the sweaty and intense atmosphere that Iīm sure Martyr are more than capable of creating in a live environment. With that said "Extracting the Core" is still worth a listen or two but I do prefer the studio versions of the tracks. A 3 - 3.5 star (65%) rating is fair.

 Feeding the Abscess  by MARTYR album cover Studio Album, 2006
4.21 | 28 ratings

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Feeding the Abscess
Martyr Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

Review by UMUR
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

4 stars Feeding the Abscess is the third studio album from Canadian tech metal band Martyr. Their previous studio album called Warp Zone was an album that really impressed me. Itīs not that Warp Zone is an especially innovative album but itīs such a powerful and aggressive yet sophisticated tech metal album that I canīt help loving it. itīs been six years since Warp Zone was released which is A long time between releases for any band. So whatīs happened with the music in those years ?

Well first of all itīs unmistakebly Martyr. From the first notes that are played Iīm right back into brutal tech metal heaven. The music is still pretty aggressive technical death thrash but there are some new elements on Feeding the Abscess when compared to Warp Zone. One of the most remarkable differences is the inclusion of a fusion element during the soloing which also has an almost Holdsworthian quality to them. A nice move IMO and Feeding the Abscess is undoubtedly Martyrīs most progressive effort to date.

The songs are all of equal high tech death thrash quality so I donīt feel the need to point out any particular song other than the Voivod cover of Brain Scan from Dimension Hatröss. The cover is great and powerful. Voivod is a hard band to cover but this version of Brain Scan is excellent.

The musicianship on Feeding the Abscess is excellent. Itīs thrashy, fast and aggressive. A real treat for someone like me. The vocals are very aggressive too, but you can easily make out the words which is a rare quality in extreme metal.

The production is excellent. Edgy sharp and brutal just the way I like it.

Feeding the Abscess is a great album and even though I like the more simple style from Warp Zone just a notch better this album is a good addition to any tech metal collection and well deserving the 4 stars that Iīll rate it. Highly recommendable to fans of tech death thrash metal.

 Warp Zone by MARTYR album cover Studio Album, 2000
4.29 | 21 ratings

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Warp Zone
Martyr Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

Review by UMUR
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

4 stars What a great release from Martyr. I was pretty impressed with their debut album from 1997 called Hopeless Hopes but this second album is even better. With Warp Zone Martyr takes a giant step up in the tech death metal world.

The music is still rooted in the tech death metal of the nineties with bands like Atheist, Cynic and especially Death being the most obvious influences. Martyr have their own style and sound though. They play really fast and their music is very agressive mostly due to the angry growling vocals which I find very satisfactory. This is how growling vocals should sound like. Extremely agressive yet understandable. I personally hate the deep subwoofer proccessed growls that many death metal and tech death metal bands seems to prefer these days. I want to hear some effort being put into the growling and thatīs exactly what I get on Warp Zone. Franįois Mongrain must have been spitting blood after this performance and thatīs the way I like it.

There are lots of different sections in the songs and even though they are about 4 minutes in average there are plenty of complex tempo and time signature changes here to make my head spin. It never gets complex just to show off though. This music is instantly likable because there are recognizable parts in every song that makes them memorable. The complex playing is just a means to an end. The music is powerful and brutal first and then complex. This is exactly how I like my tech death metal to be. I hate it when complex playing takes away the power in music and sadly it happens very often within the tech metal genre.

The musicians are outstanding on Warp Zone. Look forward to hearing these musicians play. Itīs impressive.

The production is very good and itīs easy to hear everything thatīs being played. With music this complex thatīs a very important thing IMO.

Dare I call this a tech death metal classic ? Well at least itīs very close to being one. It doesnīt quite reach the hights that Atheist, Cynic and Death did, but it comes close and I will rate Warp Zone 4 big stars. Iīm very happy that I discovered Martyr because their music will definitely be played a lot in my house in the future. This is highly recommendable to fans of tech death metal and especially to fans of Death.

 Hopeless Hopes by MARTYR album cover Studio Album, 1997
3.72 | 14 ratings

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Hopeless Hopes
Martyr Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

Review by UMUR
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

3 stars There is only one review of this album before mine and itīs a real shame I tell you because this debut album from Martyr is well worth you attention if youīre into tech death metal.

The music on Hopeless Hopes is not overtly complex like many other tech death metal bands. Itīs more in the vein of Deathīs approach to the genre which relies more on power and aggression than on complex playing. This is not to say that the playing isnīt 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 itīs 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. Itīs 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 itīs 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 donīt enjoy the badly produced click track bassdrums. Badly produced might be a bit to harsh said, but Iīm not too fond of the sound on the bassdrum. The production is pretty good though.

Having listened to Hopeless Hopes a lot lately Iīve 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. Itīs 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.

 Hopeless Hopes by MARTYR album cover Studio Album, 1997
3.72 | 14 ratings

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Hopeless Hopes
Martyr Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

Review by avalanchemaster

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, with jazz influenced cymbal work and crazy fills galore. Their are exceptional (lengthy) guitar solos aplenty on this offering. Really this album is criminally under-rated and overlooked in the history of the band and the history of Tech Death Metal......but it is a great place to start with the band, as it will only whet your appetite for more. Than, when you graduate, you can move on to the sheer insanity of "Warp Zone", after that, they turned up the the intensity and complex complex complex songwriting on "feeding the abscess", which in my opinion is their finest moment; they get better as they age.

I got a chance to see them at Chicago Powerfest '07 and was not dissapointed, they do pull this stuff off live and it is a treat to watch all of the musicians noodle away (with purpose and direction though-). I talked to the lead guy, Daniel Mongrain afterwards and asked if he was a fan of Allan Holdsworth (as I hear it in the leads), and he claimed he "loves the colors Allan uses". He also teaches Jazz guitar in Canada.....awesome guys and excellent, years ahead of the "metal" crowd musicians....

Canada is a hotbed of tech metal activity in North America and Martyr is leading the pack. Buy ALL of their discs!

 Warp Zone by MARTYR album cover Studio Album, 2000
4.29 | 21 ratings

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Warp Zone
Martyr Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

Review by avalanchemaster

5 stars If you are a fan of tech death metal with intricacies galore, tastefully placed dissonance, excellent understandable (though gruff) vocals with great social satire lyrics.....insane drumming...insane leads, excellent bass playing....this has it all (get it). It is also highly influenced by Jazz (believe it or not). You could call this a heavy fusion album if you were so inclined....I do.

far and away the best tech death band going, aside from the godly Gorguts (Obscura, From Wisdom To Hate- on which Daniel Mongrain of Martyr played leads on).....

absolutely essential for tech death fans....

 Feeding the Abscess  by MARTYR album cover Studio Album, 2006
4.21 | 28 ratings

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Feeding the Abscess
Martyr Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

Review by Tapfret
Prog Reviewer

5 stars Wow!

I am the kind of music listener that is the ultimate consumer. The "music as a pharmaceutical" listener. I therefore want more and more when it comes to technicality. And that doesn't just mean technicality of the individual musicians. It means the composition has to have a firm direction, regardless of what weird places it takes you.

First off, Martyr is not for everybody. I myself am required to filter the vocals. But it is a minor inconvenience for such extraordinary musicianship and composition. I justify the 5 stars by saying this is a 6 star album with a minus for the vocals. And this is brutal, intense metal. This, despite being in the same genre, is not Dream Theater. They might be compared with the likes of Meshuggah, but with far more Watchtower/Spiral Architect style intricacies. Even the simpler songs like "Feast of Vermin" are relentlessly intense.

The highlight of the album (or should I say, the highest light) is the quadrilogy "Dead Horizon". In actuality, "Dead Horizon" flows seamlessly from the previous song "Felony". Though lyrically disimilar, it seems musically intertwined making it a 5 piece movement.

Last, but not least, the album closes with a cover of my favorite Voivod song, "Brain Scan" from "Dimension Hatross". It is pulled of with precision, tempered by the spacemetal openness typical of late 80's, early 90's Voivod. A fitting tribute.

If you like being tossed about the room by an album, like me, this is the album for you.

Thanks to The T for the artist addition.

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