Released: 2013, Outline Rekordz
This album is quite an interesting diversion for an band/solo artists so early in their catalogue. Martyr Lucifer of course is the vocalist of Hotus Animae and a couple of years ago he released his sort of solo side-project of the same name. The debut FAREWELL TO GRAVELAND was very enjoyable and caught my ear. Now Martyr is back with, not really a new, full -ength studio album but three EP’s compiled into one with the clever title of MARTYR LUCIFER’S SHARDS. The cover matches the album titles as it depicts a woman looking at a vinyl record broken into three shards.
Apparently Martyr Lucifer, (the singer) wanted to emphasize some of the different styles and pull together some of the bits and pieces and the collection of songs is separated into ‘Shard One’, ‘Shard Two’ and ‘Shard Three’, and those three songs are just very quick instrumental connecting pieces, only a few seconds long. There are 10 actual songs on the album that runs for about 51 minutes.
Shard One is the faster, heavier part of the album, the Dark Metal is very similar to what was heard on the debut album and they include a radio edit version of a song from the debut, specifically, the 10 minute long epic ‘The Horseride’. It gets cut down to a manageable four-and-a-half minutes, although the chance of radio play (at least in North America) is pretty slim, except on specialty shows.
Shard Two is the mellow section with four, melancholy, slow songs including a pair of cover tunes. The Amorphis cover, ‘House of Sleep’ from ECLIPSE is a good choice but the more interesting pick was a song by the Ramones called ‘Poison Heart’ complete with female vocals and acoustic guitar. It is a nice interpretation and quite different from the punk-pop of the original. I’m not a Ramones fans so I had to go listen to the original to compare and I like Martyr Lucifer’s version better. The use of female vocals of instrumentation is superb.
Shard Three is a return to a more up-tempo sound, a bit more gothic, the songs like something you might hear Tiamat do at times. There are some ambient passage, some synthesized sounds and some good variations in tempo. Hints of gothic and industrial sounds are they key to this section.
For a bit of an odds and sods collection of bits and pieces SHARDS is quite nice collection. I’m looking forward to hearing the next full-length form this talented and sophisticated act.