Scar the Martyr – Scar The Martyr (www.roadrunner.co.uk)
CD / DL
7 / 10
Formed earlier this year by Slipknot drummer, Joey Jordison, Scar The Martyr have released their eponymous debut album. Have this astute collection of musicians produced an album worthy of their talents? Dom Walsh tells all.
One of the dangers of a collection of musicians coming together for a side project is that it can struggle to live up to the hype of the names behind it. When Scar The Martyr announced their line-up, which is a stellar line up, excitement grew. Joey Jordison is one of the finest drummers to walk the face of the earth and his work with Slipknot is groundbreaking. Add in members of Nine Inch Nails, Strapping Young Lad and Darkest Hour and you have a quality line up from a diversity of backgrounds and influences.
Opening track, Blood Host has a great range of vocals, ranging from cleanly sung vocals to some guttural screaming. The riffs veer between technical sounding djent style riffs, to a more standard style. My Retribution opens with a riff and drum beat reminiscent of Jordison’s other side project with Wednesday 13; Murderdolls. This continues throughout with more of the same variation in the vocals. The track also has some good solo work. On the next track; Soul Disintegration, there is an element of synth and some duelling guitar work which shows some more variation amongst the ranks.
Dark Ages has an opening with a more industrial feel to it, in that the guitars are heavily distorted and the drums are more pummelling and off-kilter. The track ends up settling into the same pattern as its predecessors. Prayer for Prey is probably the highlight of the album for me. The drumming is, as you would expect, second to none; and the whole feel of the song sounds genuinely menacing and vicious. Another highlight is Effigy Unborn. The chorus is a growled onslaught and the blast beats on the drums are clinical.
Many of the songs on the album are good, solid tracks. Any other, young, aspiring band would be lauded for some of the tracks on the album, but with the calibre and experience of the band members I expected a little more. Perhaps the lengthy seventy five minute duration played a part in me, finding some of the tracks quite similar and formulaic. That being said, the album is worth checking out as there are moments on the album which are excellent. There are certainly far worse records out there, but with a couple of songs dropped, the album might have been a punchier affair.