Originally formed as a doom metal band way back in 1987, Martiria’s stop-start career got off to that, in recording terms, in 2004 – which goes a long way towards explaining why they are billing this, their sixth album, as a tenth anniversary package.
To be brutally honest, it’s extremely hard not to focus on the newest recruit to the band (and certainly the strongest selling point), as it is almost impossible to ignore the name Vinny Appice as that of the man sitting behind the ginormous drum kit which also sits at the centre of this impressive opus.
While many of the tracks – such as ‘Steam Power’ and ‘Dark Angels’ – sound like they are deliberately constructed around Appice’s percussion, this very much proves to be the driving force of the album, as it focuses attention on to power of the overall performances, which lie very much at the darker end of the end of the classic power metal spectrum. Derek Maniscalco’s thumping bass work more than ably complements Appice’s heavy, driving rhythms, while Andy Menario delivers neat, punchy riffs and some beautifully understated solos, underpinned by some remarkably subtle keyboard fills. Marco Capelli’s vocals are mellifluous and rich, their melodramatic density ideally suited to the strident, confident songs and their epic themes, while also warm and enfolding on the quieter moments.
This is a very strong album: while the focus inevitably falls on Appice, the musicianship stands up on its own merit and is complemented by the muscular material.
King Of Shadows / Steam Power / Southern Seas / Salem / The Road Of Tenochtitlan / Grim Reaper / Light Brigade / Dark Angels / Revolution / The Mark Of Cain / The Viol And The Abyss / Across The Mountains / Tsushima
Recommended listening: ‘Salem’
‘R-evolution’ is released by RockSector Records on February 10th.