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Martriden – Martriden

Label: Candlelight
Format: CD
Released: 2007
Reviewed By: The Goat

Finally, America can lay claim to a band that can match the Scandinavians in its unerring blackened death (or deathened black, its hard to really tell here) metal. Hailing from Montana, Martriden strike with almost surgical precision. When you hear this album (and I recommend, with all the powers of hell at my command, that you do), you will be as shocked as I am that this is a debut.


The EP (and this is the saddest point of this release that it is only an EP) opens with 'Blank Eye Stare', a blasting, churning rhythmic anthem, which is more akin to Emperor or Zyklon or Myrkskog. The intensity and claustrophobic quality of this track cannot be fully described. It mutates and changes and continues to overwhelm the Central Nervous System. It has the jarring militaristic quality of Nile and the deathlike groove of say, Dismember. Yet, be warned, these comparisons do no justice. Martriden are their own beast.

Martriden then unleash clean guitars as part of the break down that is then swallowed by Will Thackery's or Shane Howard's melodic soloing (sorry guys I wish I knew who was responsible here). This is a brief respite. The tune slows as if to allow the listener to catch their breath and then it pummels with the most awesome of shredding guitar work and blastbeats this side of the Atlantic. Note: This is just the first song.

'The Art of Death Infernal' strikes like a something that Morbid Angel and Nile should have written - yet, Martriden put their own stamp (stomp?) on it. Michael Cook's vocals sound like Paul Kuhr of November's Doom with the same menace and authoritative edge. These are not vocals, these are commands and they are as much a part of Martriden's attack as everything else. The guitars and the blastbeats, once again, are an exercise in pummeling devastation.

My personal favorite song is 'In Death We Burn'. Once again, Martriden deliver a galloping, militaristic rhythm that would put many a thrash band to shame. As with their contemporaries, Opeth, clean, acoustic songs enter for a brief lull before the blasting returns - this brief blasting is much more like Anaal Nathrakh's style. The song changes to a gallop again, with the most amazing (to my ears anyway) shifting basting melodic march that truly needs to be experienced first person. This is truly a magnificent tune. The coolest lyric can be heard here: "You promised me eternity and that's what you'll give."

Finally, opening with a slow and deceptive intro 'Set A Fire In Our Flesh' rips through. This is a truly a song that will make certain you will keep your appointment with your chiropractor. If you don't have a chiropractor, you will most certainly need one after listening to this song. The destructive descending rhythm and the echoed chanted vocals will cause your body to convulse in glee - mine did.

Seriously, folks, this album is in the same caliber and quality as Opeth but that's where the resemblance ends. Martriden (and Loki bless Candlelight for signing them) need to be experienced by you… and you… and you… and you.

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