Martyr A.D
Human Condition in Twelve Fractions

Rising from the ashes of Minneapolis’ Disembodied comes Martyr AD. Although Martyr continues in a similar vein of heavy hardcore, this is clearly a new band. Naturally, traces of the deceased unit still surface (mostly in the form of dissonant guitar shrieks and pounding palm-muting), but Martyr is faster, smarter, better, and (believe it or not) even heavier. Martyr Ad’s Ferret Records debut, The Human Condition in Twelve Fractions, mixes high speed chaos and off-time rhythm twists with super heavy breakdowns. So what, you say? Well, get this: these guys actually write songs, as opposed to barrage after barrage random riffs. Check out the glorious intro and In Flames-worthy chorus of “Seventyfive – Twentyfive.” Didn’t see that coming, did you? Martyr also hits the spot with nail-biting, vicious neo-thrash like “The Montreal Screwjob” and “Brokenmouth.” Their catchy rhythm riffs are as crushing as they are refreshing in this day and age of the “Dillinger Escape Clone” hardcore trend. Guitarists Joel and Charles Johnson spend most of the album doubling guitar riffs over Tara Anderson’s sub-sonic bass work, but there are moments of shrewd interplay, like the dissonant trade offs in “Withered Monarch.” Justin Kane drums brilliantly throughout, nailing shifting beats and quick fills with inhuman precision. This guy must have been genetically spliced with a metronome. Michael Fisketti belts out an ironlung howl that lands between Gomorrah-era Earth Crisis and that scrawny guy from Gorefest. His vocals get a little one-dimensional, but they definitely compliment Martyr’s “take no prisoners” intensity. Brief gang shouts and the occasional spoken word passage help liven things up. Martyr AD serves up just the right combination of metal speed, hardcore grooves, and kickbox-worthy slamfest slow parts. You can hear the tremendous focus and thought that went into these songs, from seamless changes to contrasting sections, from hints of melody to the sheer volume of quality riffs. Nothing sound “tossed off” or half-hearted. This disc very well might be Ferret’s finest release since For the Love of…’s Feasting on the Will of Humanity. To say The Human Condition leaves Disembodied’s work in the dust would be an understatement: this album leaves pretty much EVERYTHING in the dust. A must own.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Jay Paiva
December 5th, 2000


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