Martyr – Planet Metalhead

Martyr
Planet Metalhead
PT-78 Records / Rock Stakk Records (Japan)
February 24th, 2022
Playing time: 50:41

The Dutch Power/Speed Metal band Martyr has been on the boards that mean the world since 1982. All the more astonishing that they are apparently little known except in their homeland. Although many great Rock and Metal acts come from our neighbouring country to the west. During this time, only four studio albums have been released. But countless demos. And in the last few years, a few singles. Between 1989 and 2005, the band probably took a creative break. But now they are attacking again. And they have their latest work “Planet Metalhead” in their luggage.

After a short introduction with piano and an anxious sounding child’s voice, “Raise You Horns, Unite!” first leads into an epic part. Manowar send their regards. But then it’s over. The song really picks up speed. High Metal Screams by Rop van Haren let us go on a time travel into the 80s. And the High Speed Metal continues with “Demon Hammer” and “Children Of The Night”. But this is no wild banging like some Speed Thrash bands. Melodies play a major role. “Fire Of Rebellions” starts with spoken words, but later becomes hymn-like, without making big sacrifices in speed. The singer reminds me again and again of Rob Halford in his best years. Then with “No Time For Goodbyes” the musicians give themselves and the listener a breather. A great Power Ballad with a huge guitar solo. With “Metal Overdrive” and “La Diabla!” the Dutchmen swing back into Melodic Speed Metal realms. “Diary Of A Sinner” shows another side of versatility. Thrash elements are incorporated here. One is reminded a little of Metallica or Sacred Reich. However, the melodies are also in the foreground here, accompanied by high screams. Instead, “Church Of Steel” begins more calmly, with rhythmic drums, clean guitars and technically alienated vocals. But after about one and a half minutes this contemplation is over and the band switches back to high-speed mode. I don’t really know what to think of the last song “Wings In A Darkened Soul”. It is the second ballad of the album. The partly falsetto-like singing is accompanied by acoustic guitars. Later on, there are some sentence vocals. It doesn’t really fit in with the other songs.

After listening to “Planet Metalhead” several times, I ask myself why I haven’t heard of the band before. It’s probably because the two previous records were released six and twelve years ago. I was really enthusiastic about this album. You don’t notice that the band has been around for forty years (with some interruptions), the sound is so fresh. Top class.

Martyr – Raise Your Horns, Unite! (Official Video): https://youtu.be/OmS2VWj7LPA

Lineup:

Rick Bouwman – Guitars
Vinnie Wassink – Bass Guitars
Rop van Haren – Vocals
Rick Valcon – Drums
Geoffrey Maas – Guitars

Track list:

  • Raise Your Horns, Unite! 
  • Demon Hammer
  • Children Of The Night
  • Fire Of Rebellions
  • No Time For Goodbyes
  • Metal Overdrive
  • La Diabla
  • Diary Of A Sinner
  • Church Of Steel
  • Wings In A Darkened Soul
  • 9/10
    Album - 9/10
  • 8/10
    Cover-Art - 8/10
  • 9/10
    Song Writing - 9/10
8.7/10
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