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Martyr - Hopeless Hopes CD (album) cover

HOPELESS HOPES

Martyr

 

Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

3.79 | 21 ratings

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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.

Conor Fynes | 4/5 |

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