You may remember that I reviewed MdM’s single, “The Jackal”, not too long ago (click here to read it). It was a hard-hitting, catchy-as-the-flu rock leviathan… so is the band’s self-titled album (the album where “The Jackal” can be found) as good as the single would have you believe?
The answer is a simple, yet effective ‘yes’. Admittedly there are a couple of songs on here that haven’t instantly won me over and tattooed themselves onto my memory, but – on the whole – this is an extremely impressive release. The band’s version of Grunge festering with Metal tendencies works fantastically well and it suits vocalist Louis Hale’s voice supremely well. In fact, I’d say his voice was made for this genre.
The whole album is emotionally charged and this really enables you to relate the songs straightaway. Just to clarify, when I say “emotionally charged”, I don’t mean ‘emo’. Just thought I’d point that out before anyone got over-excited or over-upset. Lyrically, these guys really seem to write about what they know. It doesn’t feel like anything is on here just for show – this is the real deal, kids.
The songs are put together fantastically well and, the best part is that, (although each song can clearly be recognised as a song from this album and, most importantly, a MdM song) they don’t seem to follow any particular formula. They have a natural flow to them. Some are straight forward rock tracks, while others take a more progressive turn.
After having the pleasure of seeing the band live a few months ago, I’m pleased to say that the quality of the musicianship and the onstage camaraderie shine through on this album. Too many bands sound like ‘watered-down’ versions of themselves on record, but this is not the case with Martyr de Mona.
Highlights from the album include opener “Sever” (a shockingly strong track – this one was born to be an opener!), “End of Forever” (a soothing ballad that took a few listens to grow on me… now it has, it’s not letting go!), “Espirit de Corps” (absolute genius!), “The Jackal” (we already knew about this little beauty) and “Lycanthropy” (I love the dirty sound this one has!)… oh, and “Arms That Crave A War”… and… well, ok, it’s all rather good if I’m honest.
Martyr de Mona focus on good quality songs, rather than anything else. A true testament to the art of songwriting!
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