Martyrdöd – List (Southern Lord)Wednesday, 16th November 2016
Arguably the kings of the metallic d-beat sound, Martyrdöd continue to launch new albums about every two years to remind us all of that fact. List is their sixth full-length album to date, and there seems to be evidence of slowdown in the band’s repertoire. But there is one piece of evidence that the band is looking to still advance themselves, which at this stage of the game, is never a bad thing.
Everything you expect to hear on a Martyrdöd album is here on List. Crusty, d-beat and punk rhythms zooming away at breakneck speeds, caustic vocals, and some contrasting melodies. Galloping thrashy anthems build up the bulk of the album, with the band’s penchant for full-speed ahead engulfing much of the runtime. In fact, the only spot to catch your breath is on the short instrumental, “Dromtid.” But despite the heavy emphasis on speed, there’s plenty going on to keep your attention. Much of this goes back to the band’s focus on inserting melodies into their fury. The melodies on List are truly where the album shines, and are some of the strongest the band has produced to date. Consistently ear-catching, the sometimes mournful (“Harmagedon”) and sometimes outspoken melodies (“Wipeout”) give additional layers of depth to Martyrdöd’s sound and encourage repeat performances. It’s to the band’s favor that these intricate melodies (such as on the title track) fit so well with the otherwise unstoppable juggernaut approach they employ, and you may find yourself whistling them far after the album ends.
While List does continue in the persistent direction of album’s past, Martyrdöd have really stepped things up on the melodic end without causing anyone to cry foul. Adrenaline-surging stuff from start to finish, but the melodies therein will make sure you are at the utmost attention and continue to have the drive to keep listening again and again. For this, Martyrdöd continues to stand above the rest of their peers.