Martyr AD - On Earth As It Is In Hell (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review

Martyr AD

On Earth As It Is In Hell (2004)


Imagine this. You're a rising star in the hardcore scene, you have a well-reviewed record on Ferret under your belt, and you're playing big shows with bands like Poison the Well and The Haunted. What do you do next? Write another record? Tour more?

Apparently, the answer is (c). Two members quit and you disappear for almost three years.

It is under these circumstances that we find Martyr AD, a reinvigorated band that is releasing their first record in three years. And to be honest, it sounds like very little has changed. In fact, the band even sounds like they could fit in with that late nineties Victory sound they left behind.

Coming across like Karl Buechner fronting In This Defiance-era Strife, the band certainly is a refreshing throwback to the fast, metal-tinged, but pre-metalcore era of hardcore, a genre practically defined by the slew of releases from Victory throughout the 90s. If you're at all familiar with that era, you'll know what to expect. Blazing fast drums, barked vocals and thundering breakdowns. The band throws in some At the Gates-inspired riffing, but it's used in mercifully small doses.

The record begins with a slower, melancholy instrumental, but the band really begins on "Bring Out Your Dead" which sets the scene for the entire record. Vocalist Andy Hart fiercely barks, "Go!" and we're off. Blazing through 11 tracks in thirty minutes there isn't much room for nuance, nor is any expected.

The band doesn't offer anything particularly new or unique, but their unabashed clarity in regards to aggressive music makes for an interesting listen. Fans of the early Victory-era hardcore will be quite pleased with this release, and fans of the band will certainly not be disappointed.