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
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
Warfare Records - Michel Monette - 8.5 / 10