I remember seeing Martyrdöd at Maryland Deathfest 2015 — this was my second time seeing them; I also caught them at the Acheron in Brooklyn in 2012 — and thinking: “This is everything I want in a band.”
Can I quantify that? I mean, I can give it a shot. The Swedish quartet play a sort of melodic-death/d-beat/NWOBHM hybrid reminiscent of countrymen Disfear, but they go heavier on the sweeping, epic, humongous guitar solos. (FWIW, Disfear’s last LP, 2008’s Live The Storm, would be a contender for my 10 favorite albums of all time, so this is about the highest praise I can offer.) We had Martyrdöd’s 2012 LP, Paranoia, at #8 on our list of the year’s best metal albums. Their next one, 2014’s Elddop, came in at #12 on that year’s list. In both cases, those albums were ranked too low, but even so, their placement should reflect the band’s continued excellence. I wrote about Elddop around the time of its release, at which point I said:
I can’t imagine any generation of metal fan for whom Elddop would seem inappropriate — in many ways, it’s the very essence of metal. Or you could just call it essential.
Really, though, you could call it whatever the hell you like; as far as I’m concerned, Martyrdöd are 100% essential. Anyway, they have a new LP due next month, and I can’t wait. The album is called List, and Brooklyn Vegan just premiered the first single, “Harmagedon,” and the thing is a total fucking slaughterhouse. It rips from its first chord till its furious conclusion, but if you don’t get chills when they hit that breakdown at 1:45 — at which point the aforementioned “sweeping, epic, humongous guitar solos” kick in — then you and I just don’t hear music the same way. And, ya know, I’m really sorry for you.
Martyrdöd were everything I wanted in a band last May, and as we head into the final months of 2016, this remains the case. Maybe even more so. “Harmagedon” is a destroyer. Get destroyed.
List is out 11/25 via Southern Lord. Pre-order it here, NOW.