I wasn’t overly
enthusiastic about Martiria’s previous album (2012’s “Roma S.P.Q.R.”). It was a
good effort but there were a few specific issues that I found it hard to take
in. With their new “R-evolution” album, the band seems to have addressed each of
those issues with the result that…lo and behold, they’ve created an absolute
killer of an album.
First surprise is the band’s new vocalist: Flavio Cosma,
whose singing is huge, epic and at times gave me the goosebumps. ‘The Road to
Tenochtitlan”, for instance, has him singing like a sort of Glen Hughes
let loose in a moshpit. In ‘R-evolution’ Cosma
showcases his vocal range and uses his Italian accent to his own advantage.
drums are not as self-indulgent as one might presume when the drummer is a
certain Vinnie Appice (Black Sabbath, Dio, Heaven And Hell), their sound is
fantastic and Appice seems to have a magical feel about what’s going on. The
riffs are another highlight of the album…many examples to choose from here but
again ‘The Road to Tenochtitlan’ gets my top vote.
Even those tracks
I liked less have enough going on….a guitar arpeggio here….a verse there…..some
tasteful keyboards…..that make them worth listening to over again. In this
context ‘The Mark of Cain’ springs to mind.
When Martiria play Doom Metal they’re quite amazing but
“R-evolution” has the band flirting with other genres too. In ‘Grim Reaper’, for
instance, the tempo and aggression point at Thrash. ‘Salem’, on the other hand,
starts like a Rhapsody-inspired Power Metal song but the bass and drums give it
a rougher edge. I think this musical eclecticism ultimately benefits the
dynamics of “R-evolution” giving it an Epic character. Not
even the artwork dampened my enthusiasm.