Why should you care about this album and this band? That is a question I often ask myself as I swim through the abundance of Rock and Heavy Metal acts releasing what they perceive to be the must-have purchase from my hard-earned money.
Martiria have secured the services of former Black Sabbath, Dio and Heaven And Hell drummer Vinny Appice to their ranks for starters. This band considers them self to be an Italian-based doom Metal band with other influences thrown in for good measure.
'R-Evolution' signifies their celebrations of a tenth anniversary taking place this year since they unleashed their debut album in 2004 called 'The Eternal Soul'.
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The music here ranges from the mournfully-toned 'Light Brigade' which happens to be the shortest track on the album, and according to the liner notes is dedicated "To all those who died without any reason (as if it was possible to die otherwise)"; to the pure doom of the closing track 'Tsushima' which looks at Admiral Togo, one of the greatest Japanese Naval heroes according to my research.
In some ways this album is fairly traditional Heavy Metal and Power Metal if labels and tags are an appropriate form of communication? I observe on a regular basis how artists understandably usually feel uncomfortable using such things, but in the eyes of this review I hope you'll forgive me.
The first single 'Revolution' rolls along with riffs aplenty and a flowing melody line. The end is quite sublime with the introduction of an acoustic-flavoured guitar and subtle keys. 'King Of Shadows (Orpheus)' bounces in to the arena and kick-starts 'R-Evolution' in bouncy style with moments that lunge in a doomy way.
'Steam Power' is fuel-injected shielding itself from criticism as it powers onwards whilst 'Southern Seas' coasts along on chords of intent and sensitive acoustic guitar, finding a doom-laden balance without breaking sweat. By the end of this latter track your ears are coated in haunting vocals, keys and plenty of guitars.
'Salem' jogs along to some chugging and contains a sprightly energy. Other enjoyable moments of foot stomping and despair arrive in the forms of 'The Road Of Tenochtitlan' complete with its drama and foreboding tension, 'Dark Angels' with its stuttering quick-fire guitar riff and familiar melody; 'The Mark Of Cain' which merges drama, power and an understated chorus in its arrangement, plus the track 'The Viol And The Abyss' which showcases energy while sharing a little cheese in to the mix.
The overall sound of 'R-Evolution' is all thanks to producer Tue Madsen who is known for his work with The Haunted, Hatesphere and Mnemic amongst others. Their partnership yields some satisfying results. An album to win over those who like their doom-laden Metal, perhaps the darker shades of Power Metal and those who appreciate Heavy Metal with a polish.
The drums from Appice are as tight and solid as you'd expect from such an experienced and respected musician, but even he cannot save the weaker moments like 'Grim Reaper' and 'Across The Mountains' which sadly pale in significance when compared to other moments on this album.
Allow for a couple of spins before it clicks with you though, it doesn't leap out very instantly as the quality lurks beneath the surface. If this album was a location, it would be an open grave found in a rural and spacious graveyard lit only by the ominous full moon above.
King Of Shadows (Orpheus)
The Road Of Tenochtitlan
The Mark Of Cain
The Viol And The Abyss
Across The Mountains
Flavio Cosma - Vocals
Andy Menario – Guitar & Keys
Derek Maniscalco – Bass
Vinny Appice – Drums
Marco R. Capelli - Lyrics