Martyr - Planet Metalhead - Reviewed By Hellfire ! Check it out here at this link: https://www.hellfire-magazin.de/martyr-planet-metalhead/
The Dutch heavy metallers MARTYR were founded in 1982. After a few demos, the general public first got to know MARTYR in 1984, when Roadrunner Records released their song "Snow And Fire" on the "Dutch-Steel" compilation album. A year later, the title "En Masse (Stand Or Die)" was featured on the "Metal Massacre VI" album of the legendary US label Metal Blade. Also in 1985, the debut "For The Universe" was released, followed by "Darkness At Time's Edge" a year later, which even gave the band airplay on MTV's Headbanger's Ball. Despite the growing fan community, the band decided to go their separate ways at the end of the 80s. It was not until 2005 that MARTYR reunited to play at some festivals (including Keep It True). After the compilation "Fear The Universe" in 2009, which included five new tracks as well as a remastered version of the debut album, two more studio langrilles followed in 2011 and 2016, before "Live In Japan" was added in 2019. In the course of 2020, three new tracks were gradually released, but only with a little more than a year delay the new record "Planet Metalhead" will be released.
The name of the album definitely says it all, because MARTYR deliver nothing but Pure Fucking Metal on "Planet Metalhead"! Although the piano intro with the crude children's vocals at the beginning of "Raise Your Horns, Unite!" may seem a bit weird, the guitar fade-in and the Manowar-like choirs (keyword: Battle Hymn) quickly turns the tide and at the latest when the band really starts after about a minute, you know what the hour has struck! The immediately roaring shouts in the chorus do the rest to turn the opener into a real anthem.
"Demon Hammer" chooses a Priest-like introduction a là "Painkiller", but does not pull the tempo over the entire duration of the game, but creates space for a more thoughtful part in the middle part and only returns to the original vehemence in the further course. "Children Of The Night" is a bit straighter in its approach, but without losing its force. The chorus immediately catches the ear and the spoken, ominous female vocals give the piece an impressive atmosphere.
"Fire Of Rebellions" is also introduced with a few spoken words, then lingers more in medium tempo and otherwise moves somewhere between Priest and Crimson Glory. While "Metal Overdrive" presses the accelerator pedal properly again, the Dutch on "La Diabla" ensure an official thrash demolition. "Diary Of A Sinner" is hardly inferior to the two previous titles in terms of force, but "Church Of Steel" surprises with an intro reminiscent of old Queensryche, before the song develops into another real neck breaker.
As much as I appreciate "Planet Metalhead" up to this point, two smaller swings downwards have nevertheless crept in, in the form of the two (power) ballads. Although "No Time For Goodbyes" with its Helstar flair is not really bad, but the sometimes somewhat oblique vocal interludes of fronter Robert van Haren – who otherwise delivers an impeccable performance and reminds me a little of Ripper Owens in his way – spoil the listening pleasure a little. In the final scrap of shame "Wings In A Darkened Soul", the whole thing is taken to the extreme by the squeaky "Ouhououuuuu" chants. Nothing against a neat ballad, but that can't grab me.
Apart from that, "Planet Metalhead" is an extremely digestible old-school metal bite, which I can highly recommend despite the latter two songs! Goed Gedaan, Jongens!
From me there are 8 out of 10 Hellfire points - Hellfire
Release Date: February 24, 2022
FFO: Judas Preist, Iron Maiden, Helloween
Location: The Netherlands
WELCOME TO MARTYR - METAL TORTURE SINCE 1982!
Martyr is a heavy / speed / power metal band from Utrecht / The Netherlands that exists since 1982. During their career, a few demo cassettes were released as well as a number of long players. The general public first became acquainted with Martyr in 1984 when Roadrunner Records released the ' Dutch Steel ' compilation album.
Martyr's contribution to this release entitled ' Snow And Fire ' is still a highlight on the band's setlist today. In 1985 their song ' En Masse (Stand Or Die) ' appeared on the notorious ' Metal Massacre VI ' album from the legendary U.S.A. based ' Metal Blade ' record label. Both releases gained interest from metalheads from all over the world.
The debut mini album ' For The Universe ', which was released the same year, nowadays is considered a genuine heavy metal classic. The well-known website ' Encyclopaedia Metallum: The Metal Archives ' states: "Martyr's songwriting is vastly superior to most of its competitors".
Its successor ' Darkness At Time's Edge ' (1986) made Martyr's fanbase grow larger and larger and the band gigged and performed all over Europe. Martyr even was aired on MTV's 'Headbangers Ball' show.
After a few years however the band members decided to go separate ways and explore other musical directions in acts such as Medallion, Mindscape, Syrenade, Vangouw, Hot Legs and Wild Ride .
Needless to say, Martyr went on hiatus for a while... The flame however never flickered out and reignited around 2005 when they were asked to reunite to play old school metal festivals such as Heavy Maniacs Fest , Keep It True and Headbangers Open Air .
After the very successful reunion shows Martyr was back on track which resulted in the ' Fear The Universe ' compilation (2009, Rusty Cage Records ) and their highly anticipated comeback album ' Circle Of 8 ' on Metal Blade Records in 2011.
In 2014, Martyr was featured on the ' Dutch Steel (80's Metal From The Netherlands) ' compilation and their sophomore " after reunion " studio album ' You Are Next ' was released in 2016 by Into The Limelight Records .
The group frequently performs home and abroad, as a headliner or as a support act such as Manilla Road , Lizzy Borden, Saxon, Iced Earth and Trivium . The absolute highlights in Martyr's career so far have been three tours in the Land of the Rising Sun.
Their performance at the sold out 2019 edition of the legendary True Thrash Fest in Osaka was recorded and released on their most recent output ' Live In Japan ' which was released worldwide through Pt78 Records (The Netherlands) in co-operation with Rock Stakk Records (Japan). The album contains songs from their career-spanning back catalogue.
Martyr is releasing their new full-length on 24 February 2022. The 3 previously released songs ' No Time For Goodbyes', 'Fire Of Rebellions' and ' Raise Your Horns, Unite !' already showed an excellent performance beforehand. With 2 online listening sessions in December 2021 the band got confirmation that this material was the best thing Martyr has ever produced and it will be the next step forward. All songs are written by MARTYR, produced, mixed and mastered by drummer Rick Valcon at RA Recordings and are of excellent production quality. The new artwork is created by Wasi Kendedes .
"Planet Metalhead" will prove Martyr is still a force to be reckoned with.
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Rick Bouwman - Guitars
Rop van Haren - Vocals
Geoffrey Maas - Guitars
Vinnie Wassink - Bass
Rick Valcon - Drums
Management / Record label Martyr
Harm Kindt - Manager
Koen Bakker - Manager
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