Martyr "Feeding the Abscess" CDPosted on Thursday, January 4th, 2007 @ 12:24pm » permalink
It's almost inexcusably ridiculous that it's been six years since Martyr released their last full-length – the impeccable technical death metal classic "Warp Zone" – so to refer to their third album, "Feeding the Abscess" (Galy Records), as "long overdue" is an understatement to say the least! Of course, as is often the case with such long-awaited efforts, said passage of time can create unduly high expectations for an album – which, following a masterpiece such as "Warp Zone", was no small task from the start! So despite the fact that I don't enjoy this offering as much as I did "Warp Zone", I do want to throw it out there that Martyr is still among the finest technical, melodic death metal acts of this day and age. Still in place are plenty of wicked picking patterns and a slick sense of dual guitar interaction, not to mention amazing solos and some truly creative uses of discordant melody, though one could perhaps argue that the band has reigned in the over the top complexities of their approach just a tad in order to streamline certain facets of the songwriting – but I don't view that as a negative statement, mind you, especially given the obvious fact that this is still a very technical album.
In terms of areas that I'd like to see improved upon, the recording, for example, is rather crisp and clinical – which actually helps to allow the vocals to settle in amidst the music a bit better than on past efforts. But the basslines – which are quite ripping when evident – are all too absent throughout most of the album's mix, thus leaving somewhat of a "thin" sheen to the end product that feels like it needs some filling out. There's also not exactly a ton of variety from song to song (though this has also been the case with the band's prior albums), so you can lose interest at points over the course of nearly 50 minutes. But beyond that, I mainly miss some of the lush clean passages and such, as the band has exhibited some impressive talents with those dynamic shifts in the past, and the sparse appearances of violin and whatnot on this particular outing just don't capture that same vibe in my opinion (though thankfully the four-part "Dead Horizon" does at least touch on some of those finer atmospheric elements of the band's repertoire). All that being said, there are definitely some killer tracks here, and it's awesome that they close things out with a cover of Voivod's "Brain Scan" in memory of Denis "Piggy" D'Amour, complete with Jean-Yves "Blacky" Thériault on bass!
This one seems to have been selling out pretty quickly from several US distros, which comes as little surprise given the six-year wait and all, so make the grab while/when you can, otherwise you might have to wait even longer!
Now let's just hope another Martyr record hits the streets before 2012, eh!?