Warp Zone reviews

English & French

The year 2000 has been an incredible year for fans of technical metal. This year has brought not only the long awaited debut of Spiral Architect [CoC #48], but also the Listenable re-issue of Theory in Practice's _The Armageddon Theories_ [CoC #46], the reformation of Watchtower, and now Martyr's second offering, _Warp Zone_. This album improves on their debut _Hopeless Hopes_ in almost every way possible. While their debut was very Death-ish in its approach, _Warp Zone_ could better be described as Spiral Architect meets Meshuggah, with the occasional Death influence. While it's not quite as technical as Spiral Architect, it makes up for this by being much more original. Their music is extremely complex, switching tempos and riffs often throughout each irregularly-structured song. They utilize a variety of riff styles, changing from chunky to intricate to melodic and back again at a rapid pace. While some of the riffs are somewhat derivative, there are a number of excellent original ideas thrown around, and the songs are structured in such a way that it remains fresh and interesting. The playing is excellent on all counts, and even the guitar solos are well done. Even though each member's parts are very technical, the group is very tight. The production is excellent: very heavy and crystal clear. The songwriting is a little disjointed at times, and occasionally I'm left scratching my head wondering "Why'd they do -that-?", but overall it's quite good. This is absolutely essential for fans of technical metal, and fans of original and innovative metal should check it out as well.

Chronicles of Chaos - Brian Meloon - 10/10

Le problème avec plusieurs albums de métal aujourd'hui, c'est que l'on s'ennuie relativement vite. Le défi n'est donc plus de réinventer la roue mais bien d'intéresser le néophyte, comme l'expert, tout au long de son CD. Le cas de Martyr, quatuor de Cap-de-la-Madeleine, ressemble à une exception qui confirme la règle. Avec son métal aggressif et vachement inventif, Warp Zone n'offre ni un nouveau son, ni rien de trop personnel, mais des trouvailles aux 10 secondes!! Excellente production signée Pierre Rémillard, travail virtuose à la guitare, structures musicales complexes, tel est le lot de cet effort qui ne sombre jamais dans l'ostensible et qui préserve à tout instant une une louable et talentueuse humilité. Une belle surprise à saluer pour ceux qui ont grandi avec l'école Obliveon, Death et Dream Theatre.

ICI - 8/10

I remember discovering death metal for the first time, back in the early ‘90s, and buying a ton of new CDs. Symphonies of Sickness and Necroticism (Carcass), Blessed are the Sick (Morbid Angel), Clandestine (Entombed), Testimony of the Ancients (Pestilence), Harmony Corruption (Napalm Death) the list goes on and on. Back then, I was thrilled to death (no pun intended) with every initial listening, prompting me to put them on again and again for weeks after buying them. Today, albums like these are sadly few and far between. But listening to Warp Zone, Martyr’s second album, for the first time brought me right back to the days of yore!

Progressive and technical death metal is what this is. Martyr has nothing to do with the aforementioned classic death metal bands rather, imagine Metallica’s And Justice For All mixed with Atheist and Death! Although I would not say Warp Zone is anything new in the realm of metal, it sounds so damn fresh! Every song on this album reaches out and grabs your attention. The songs are very well written, never boring, and ever-changing! Every aspect of the band has been improved since the debut album Hopeless Hopes. The guitar playing is more varied, technical, and catchy. Just when you think every riff possible has already been done, Martyr comes through with an abundance of new ideas that make you think wow how in the hell did they think of that?! Stuttering riffs, full-speed assaults, clean passages, melody, harmonies, and disharmonies this album has everything! Guitarists Daniel Mongrain and Pier-Luc Lampron make an excellent tandem that outshines many of the current metal acts out there today. But let’s not forget bassist Francois Mongrain! Thanks to superb album production, Francois can be heard frequently, which is a big plus when a band has a killer bassist like Francois. And following the same pattern on Hopeless Hopes, both Daniel and Francois lend their vocal talents to Warp Zone, albeit much improved! Their low death growls and screams accentuate the music and give even more variety to an already complicated album! And Gorguts belcher Luc Lemay makes a guest appearance on a few songs! (And get this Daniel Mongrain is now Gorguts’ second guitarist! But no fear, he has not quit Martyr!) Drummer Patrice Hamelin makes his debut appearance in Martyr on Warp Zone, as Francois Richard left the band after Hopeless Hopes. Patrice ties the insanity together with a truly solid performance. Although not as devastating as Tomas Haake (Meshuggah) and Gene Hoglan (you know), Patrice comes from that same mind set: odd timing, abrupt tempo changes, jazzy cymbals, and unique beats. Overall, Warp Zone refuses to let go of your attention until the CD ends!

And as I mentioned, the production is top class! Warp Zone sounds very clean, clear, and still heavy as the earth! Even the packaging and graphics has been improved. And it doesn’t end there pop the CD into your computer and behold the wealth of information, photos, and other treats!

I am just in awe of this CD! Warp Zone is definitely one of the best releases of this year so far! I highly recommend this album to every metal fan out there! Even though these guys are quite a new name, they set a great example for other bands, thanks to their professionalism and ultra-talent. Do yourself a favor and check Martyr out!

Metal-Rules - Nathan Robinson - 5/5

This Quebec quartet have taken what was laid down by Voivod on the breakthrough Dimension Hatross record and brought technical death metal to the next level. The guitar work of Daniel Mongrain shows him at the top of his game and the time changes are tighter than a chicken's ass in a hail storm [Music ed. note: What!?]. Most run-of-the-mill power metal bands would get a brain hemorrhage just trying to keep with the skill and proficiency laid down here. According to the press release, the lyrics are about "exploration with one's life, evolution, transitions, self-questionnings and reflections," but when things are this heavy who really gives a fuck what the guy is screaming about.

MIRROR - Johnson Cummins - 8.5/10

Can you say holyfuckingshitgoddamnmutherfuckingblowmymind? You will after you hear this masterpiece. I initially wrote up a rather mundane review for this disc, but then I listened to it again. and I must say, this is what Death would have sounded like if they had taken a more extreme route a few years back. Take Chuck S.'s vox - twisted a bit, 38 minutes of godlike guitar playing (some that is reminiscent of Theory in Practice), extremely fast and tight drumming, supreme production and your ears and mind will be warped! There are some riffs, many in fact, that just simply blow my mind on this disc, with the most delectable aspect being that they are quite technical, but still easy to digest. This is an A++ CD, and that is all there is to say.

Steve - Repulse Records America / Extremities Production

"WARP ZONE" is a more technical release than their debut, believe it or not, containing what seems like infinite time and tempo changes, within each and every track. Highlights include "ENDLESS VORTEX TOWARDS ERASING DESTINY", "THE FORTUNE-TELLER", and my personal favourite, the raunchy "RETRY? ABORT? IGNORE?". The packaging contains some excellent graphics, that are well laid out, although I'm not exactly sure of their connection with the title? With the two distinctly, different, vocal styles, of brothers Daniel and Francois Mongrain, which, at times, overlap one another, adding a different touch. However, overall, I tend to prefer the music, over the vocals, on this, their second offering.

Spastic Death - May 2000 issue - CHRIS HORTON

Intense et furieusement technique, le second disque du quartette originaire de Cap-de-la-Madeleine est à mille lieues des produits prédigérés faciles à écouter et aussitôt oubliés. Warp Zone entraîne l'auditeur dans une zone de complexité et de variations rythmiques parfois déstabilisantes, et les oreilles peu attentives ou peu entraînées risquent de se perdre dans les multiples détours que prend Martyr pour explorer les profondeurs de l'âme humaine. Mais une fois sous l'emprise de Warp Zone, on demeure captif; grâce, notamment, à l'excellente réalisation de Pierre Rémillard (Obliveon). Le CD est complété par une version cédérom avec biographie, photos, vidéos et un superbe écran de veille.

Voir - Christine Fortier

Quebec's MARTYR have finally returned with possibly the most over-technical record of the millennium. Mixing all the best elements of DEATH, MESHUGGAH and PESTILENCE, MARTYR is serious business. Twisted guitar licks, drum tornados, shouting vocals and eerie intros...this CD has it all. Note, GORGUTS's Luc Lemay on some back-vocals and extensive CD-ROM interactive.

Warfare Records - Michel Monette - 8.5 / 10