Martyr Defiled


Written by: BL on 16/12/2010 19:43:02

Martyr Defiled are a Nottingham, UK based deathcore band of whom I am somewhat familiar with having heard their previous EP "Ecophagy". It wasn't anything terribly original nor exceptional, but it had a nice mix of pure heavy aggression with some interesting melodic passages and had a fairly good level of technical instrumentation and overall pretty decent songwriting by deathcore standards. "Collusion" being the followup, is an album suitably taking the band's established now sound and shifting a few key aspects around while trying to take themselves to the next level, or does it?

"Enigma" is one of those introduction tracks, and perhaps might give some people the wrong impression. It sounds like what you might hear off the very first album from Born Of Osiris, an admittedly well worked synth lead over a gnarly breakdown more or less for the entire track. You might slightly be tempted to roll your eyes and think "Okay another heavy trendycore band with keyboards?" - but that would far, far from the truth. In fact, while the opening half of the album does seem rather awash with the deathcore genre staples of fast samey scaling dissonant guitars and an (albeit reduced) array of breakdowns and meaty chugs - becoming ultimately a forgetful half - things change when "I:Zealot" comes rolling about though, and the band really starts to stir into life with some fast melodic guitars that are reminiscent of the EP. "II:Excommunicate" the following song takes things into a more progressive and even more melodic realm. Here Martyr Defiled can really start boasting their tasteful use of clean guitars amidst the heavier sections, drawing out a thicker atmosphere as a result of the stark contrast.

The album titled track would seem maybe a backwards step until late into the latter portion of the song, where again the band cleverly slow things down, build some soft tension, before unleashing a crescendo in the closing segment of the song. It plays to their strengths - again bringing in melody to be juxtaposed alongside the aggression. Next up "The Sectarian State" perhaps is a good middle-ground, a sequence of technical guitar riffs strung together to be the backbone of the song instead, and not allowing the breakdowns to simply fill the gaps as so many bands would resort to doing. That and also utilising more melody at the midpoint in the shape of a wicked guitar solo that just pierces through the peaceful calm before it, leading a storm of faster and more blistering guitarwork to follow through. When the breakdown at the end rolls through, you're only briefly reminded of those fairly average by the numbers sort of songs you heard in the first half of the album, before a mellow and rather haunting guitar lead takes you into the closing song, and perhaps the most daring track so far.

"Archae" is the finishing song, and is as slow and brooding as it is masterful and gut-wrenchingly beautiful in it's soft to loud transitions and overall composition. It starts peacefully, a lone clean guitar slowing picking away over and over until suddenly the song suddenly bursts into full swing with strings, more guitars, and heavy on the heart kind of drumming, where you can really hear the emphasis on those crash cymbals, every note. There isn't any vocals in this track, and it would perhaps seem rather harsh of me to say that while I have nothing particular against vocalist Matthew Jones's performance on this album, his vocals fairly decent in most songs - beefy and low while actually not resorting to sounding more deathcore than is good for the band, the song is great because the lack of his prescence allows the rest of the band to really break free of their genre shackles and really create something a little more special. Stuff that reminds me a little more of Opeth and Insomnium, yes please. All things considered at the end, "Collusion" is a fair entry into the Deathcore scene. It's an album that takes time to really get going, but certainly gets stronger on the home run, definitely worth checking out if you're a fan of the genre.


Download: II:Exocommunicate, The Sectarian State, Archae
For the fans of: Carnifex, Suicide Silence, Eternal Lord
Listen: Myspace

Release date 25.08.2010
Siege Of Amida Records

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