As the genre’s big names move away from scene that established them, Lincoln’s Martyr Defiled choose to fill the deathcore void made by their peers.
No sooner had deathcore become a fully-fledged scene, the bands that pioneered this much maligned style were quick to either jump ship (Bring Me The Horizon and Job For A Cowboy) or refreshed their own well-tread sounds with new approaches (Carnifex, Suicide Silence and Whitechapel). Unfortunately, the scene vacuum that has been created hasn’t heralded a wealth of new ideas- the overplayed formula has become tired and tedious. Its apparent now that choosing to play deathcore in its pure, unadulterated form without any extra bells and whistles is risky to say the least- and yet its this path that Martyr Defiled have chosen for their third album.
Young Gods starts strongly enough, opener “Sins Of The Father” is full of the bug-eyed ferocity that has become a staple in deathcore, and the pacy riffing and ominous leads hovering over the chorus do just enough to keep the track from becoming run of the mill. In fact, whilst the entirety of the album is dependent on the well-worn tropes of deathcore (chunky riffs and breakdowns, propulsive drum work and visceral screams), Martyr Defiled are content to show just a tad more invention than their peers in similar bands. There’s a certain hardcore style swagger and a nu metal bounce to the grooves and riffs in “Bury Your Corpses Deep” and “Reborn”, that plays to the band’s competent rhythmic sensibilities, which has matured as they’ve become less reliant on a tired formula of chugs and breakdowns. Alongside this less derivative attitude towards deathcore, they’ve also thrown in some guest vocals, courtesy of Konan Hall (Malevolence) and Pierre Pelbu (Knuckledust), that provides a little bit more variety to what’s on offer here, although having the guest vocal tracks back-to-back in the middle of the album somewhat lessens their impact on the album overall.
Although I should commend the band for showing more ambition than on previous records, the variation in sound is albeit minimal in the wider context of the band’s catalogue, with the exception of the thrash blast of “Pestilent Bastille”. As I said earlier, its just enough experimentation to keep your attention going without doing anything really spectacular or out of the ordinary. Honestly, I don’t feel its enough to just turn up and grind and blast away, as they do on the lacklustre trudge of “At The Throne Of Salem” or “Through Famine, War and Scorn”- there needs to be more substance to keep the listener fully invested. They’re certainly capable enough musicians to produce something more inspired than what’s on show on Young Gods, but that may only really come to fruition over the next one or two albums.
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