ALBUM REVIEW: Martyrdöd – Hexhammaren

Release Date: May 10th 2019
Label: Century Media Records


Formed back in 2001, Martyrdöd hail from Stockholm, Sweden and have had an extensive career, to date releasing five albums, a demo, and an EP.

Having completed their three album contract with Southern Lord, they’ve now signed with Century Media Records and, despite sticking to their first language, have garnered success by touring with names like Converge and Black Breath. They now hope to continue to affront the senses with their latest release, ‘Hexhammaren’.

Stampeding in classic metal style, the record’s titular track and opener initially gives a deceptive introduction that this might be a hail back to the good ol’ days with guitar solos aplenty. This is quickly swept asunder in a riling thrash of nearly indeterminable riffs that never relent in their intensity and the pace is kept at a constant maximum.

Dredging the edges of corruption, ‘Helveteslarm’ (which apparently translates to ‘Hell Alarm’) writhes in black metal dissonance but retains the temperance of hardcore and thrash, mixed with vocals from Mikael Kjellman that jostle between wailing screams, spoken word, and guttural bellows that fit well within the ensuing chaos of the instrumentation.

Reverting to a more conventional style, ‘Cashless Society’ ditches the outright thrash momentarily in a groove metal introduction before the party is broken up in a tirade of speed metal riffs and pounding rhythms from Jens Backelin that ensure there are no holds barred.

Rebelling against the medication, ‘Pharmacepticon’ tells of the conflicts of control through medicinal means rather than curing the causes of today’s mental health diseases. Reading like the diary of a broken man, it’s an impassioned and emphatic procession that, along with the melodic forlorn instrumentation, creates a depressive and anguished atmosphere.