This is a strange one in that it’s strongly marketed around the fact that Vinny Appice plays drums on the album which as far as titles go is of course very similar in name to Vinny’s Kill Devil Hill recent second outing. Enough of that though, Italy's Martiria celebrates their tenth anniversary with perhaps their best release so far.
A quick look at the bio reveals: “Based in Rome, Martiria was originally formed in 1987, focusing mainly on doom metal. After several years delay whilst the members pursued alternative projects, the band re-grouped in 2002, released the debut album in 2004 and a further 4 albums up to and including 2012's "Roma S.P.Q.R." A small number of line-up changes occurred through these years - former members include Rick Anderson (Warlord) - culminating in the 2013 line-up which has recorded the new release....”
Over the years of The Rockpit we’ve become gradually more familiar with the Italian Rock scene and we can safely say Martiria is yet another band to keep tabs on. Initially a Doom Metal outfit R-evolution is far more traditional Metal in sound more akin to bands like Candlemass and Black Sabbath (‘Headless Cross’ vintage) had they been ploughing a Power Metal tinged furrow.
‘King of Shadows; that kicks off proceedings is it seems Martiria (Still no idea how to pronounce that) staple fare, it’s a more than decent Power Metal it’s songs like ‘Steam Power’ that seem to be written for Vinny, bringing the drums forward in the mix, and sailing on a Dio-like driving riff. Don’t get us wrong this is good stuff and the songs are often beautifully constructed just don’t expect anything unexpected (and yes that is a good thing!).
Picking a few favourites: ‘Steam Power’ ventures more into 70’s classic Rock territory, whilst ‘Southern Seas’ is very Sabbath and ‘The Road of Tenochtitlan’ can only bring to mind the great Ronnie James Dio. Jeez these are some great vocals! Elsewhere ‘Light Brigade’s’ keys are more like vintage Rainbow; and the epic ‘Tsushima’ seals the doom-laden Sabbath comparisons.
This is a great release which stands up in its own right and if a high profile drummer brings it to the attention of a larger audience then it truly deserves that recognition.
Check out: www.martiria.com
by Leslii Phillips