MARTYR A.D. – On Earth As It Is In Hell

MARTYR A.D. rose out of the ashes of the defunct metalcore outfit, DISEMBODIED, and quickly unleashed a promising debut in the form of The Human Condition in Twelve Fractions. The band hit the road on several high profile tours and upon being signed to hardcore heavyweights, Victory Records, MARTYR A.D. seemed poised for greatness. But after being plagued by line-up changes, the band was M.I.A. for three years until now. “Faithless pt.1” opens things up with a short instrumental that sounds like it would be more at home on a MY DYING BRIDE record than a metalcore album. However, “Bring Out Your Dead” quickly pounds the listener’s head in with punchy aggressive rhythms and some crushing breakdowns before heading in to SLAYER-esque bridge so blatant that these guys (and gal) should be writing a portion of their royalty checks to Jeff Hanneman and Kerry King for riff theft. Nevertheless, “Bring Out Your Dead,” “Hollow,” “Valley of Solitude,” and “Beneath The Plague” all offer punishing exercises in tight, catchy metalcore with both hooks and aggression to spare. For the uninitiated, MARTYR A.D. comes across as a mix of SLAYER, SEPULTURA, PANTERA, combined with a less frantic MESHUGGAH and some of DISEMBODIED-styled ear-piercing dissonance thrown in for good measure. If there’s anything lacking on the album, it’s originality as the band does veer a little too close for comfort to the above mentioned bands at times and some listeners may get the vague feeling that they have heard this all before. Regardless, On Earth As It Is In Hell is well-played and produced and contains some of the most devastating breakdown riffs heard in along time(at times even eclipsing current breakdown kings, HATEBREED). It’s these strengths that should establish both the album and the band as major contenders in the metalcore scene for years to come. (Victory Records)

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