|Martyr Lucifer - Farewell To Graveland
7 November 2011
02. Farewell To Graveland
04. From Under The Ground
05. Noctua Munda
06. Onironauta (The Demon Of The Earth)
07. L'albero Ed Io
08. The Dustflower
09. They Said With Time All Wounds Will Heal
10. The Horseride
11. Waiting For The Dawn
Not really a band per-se, Martyr Lucifer (or, more accurately, Martyr Lucifer & The Graveland Ensemble) is more of an international collective centered around this Martyr Lucifer guy. It's not an all-star band, but the members are not unknown numbers either: Adrian Erlandsson (no need to introduce him), Grom (in Ancient and DoomSword), Vrolok (Nokturnal Mortum, Ygg)… Martyr himself has been quite active in the Italian scene, with Dogma and Hortus Animae.
The band's professed goal was to write music with a goth/darkwave feel while still retaining a metal edge. So… Did they succeed?
Well, I guess they did.
Whether slow or quite upbeat, all the songs are melodic and indeed have a nice, dark, gothic-y atmosphere to them. This is due in part to the quite simple but effective metal guitar work, but mostly thanks to the well-placed keyboards, and to Martyr's own deep, low - yet quite warm - vocals. While they can be a bit boring at times, they usually have that mesmerizing quality that fit so well on this kind of mid-tempo, dark music. Even if most of the songs are relatively common mid-paced affairs (yet played with gusto), the band added a bit of variety in the songwriting, with for example a 10-minutes epic ("The Horseride" - quite varied, it flows pretty nicely), or the entrancing, atmospheric, and trippy "Onironauta". With its simple and repetitive, but highly effective keys (and great guitar lines), this song is really a highlight!
On the whole, this Farewell To Graveland is fairly enjoyable… But its main downside is that it clocks just under one hour… and it's a bit too long and repetitive for its own good. So yes, the 'Graveyard Ensemble' did release a good gothic metal album. Not one to turn the genre upside down… yet. Indeed, the whole scene should keep an eye on Martyr Lucifer and his band of hired guns, as they are fully able a release a masterpiece one day. In the meantime, this soothingly bleak Farewell To Graveland is quite a recommended listen!
Written on 15.03.2012 by
Once your regular Hellfest reporter, now retired. I (strangely enough) listen to a lot of metal. And enjoy good beers, comics, novels and role-playing games.