Lindsay Schoolcraft – Martyr (Self-Released)

Wednesday, 9th October 2019
Rating: 8.5/10

A well-rounded musician in her own right, Lindsay Schoolcraft’s abilities for singing, harp, and piano culminate into something dark yet beautiful in her solo effort Martyr. While the Cradle of Filth association can help with some recognition, she proves that she is more than capable of serving up some exceptional tunes by way of gothic/alternative metal. Partnering with Rocky Gray (ex-Evanescence), she brings the listener into an affecting and diverse experience.

When you hear Martyr as a whole, there’s no doubt of the gothic overtones that soak up each song. But Schoolcraft also keeps things pretty differentiated as she makes her way through the near 50-minute release. The most metallic entry-point is that of “See the Light,” in which some heavy and rocking riffs along with some guest growls from Xenoyr (Ne Obliviscaris) provide some of the most epic scenery the album has to offer. But there’s a lot of other ground to cover as well, including the poignant ballad “My Way Without You,” punchy mid-tempo rocker “Dangerous Game,” and dreamy mid-tempo symphonies of “Remember.” There’s also an intriguing cover of The Cure’s “Lullabye” that hits some wonderfully dark notes that give it some consistency to her original tracks. The orchestrations and effective use of Schoolcraft’s harp/piano really bring this up to the next level. Her vocals are expectedly emotive and powerful, but these outliers really make the difference from ‘another gothic release’ to something that really stands apart.

For those that enjoyed the early 2000s invasion of more symphonic/gothic elements a la Evanescence and Lacuna Coil, Martyr is a love letter that’s designed for you. Each track breathes plenty of life into this particular sound in a way that this scribe hasn’t heard in quite some time. Enjoyable and engaging from start to finish.

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