Power of Metal.dk Review

Roma S.P.Q.R.
Style: Heavy Metal
Release date: 22 September, 2012
Playing time: 56:24

Martiria have been together since the late 1980s and this is, sadly, not something you’d notice from their latest album: “Roma S.P.Q.R.”.


For a start the lead vocals are underwhelming, to put it lightly. They’re limited in range and you can tell from miles away that English is not the vocalist’s mother tongue. The production is passable but in a world where recording technology is easily accessible, you really need a higher sound quality than this to be taken seriously. Take the drums, for example, they sound unnaturally triggered and at odds with the rawer sound of the other instruments. The keyboards are not much better: they either sound soulless or fakely modern.


The Doomier parts of the music, as in ‘The Northern Edge’ and the excellent ‘Burn Baby Burn’, are much more convincing so it came as no surprise when I read that Martiria’s past lay in Doom Metal. Other brief moments of brilliance do occasionally emerge, such as the dramatic vocal harmonies in ‘Ides of March’ or the riffs midway through ‘Scourge of God’.


Epic and progressive attributes dominate the album with the dynamics suitably reflecting the thematic variations. Lyrically “Roma S.P.Q.R.” takes a look at the Roman Empire and various personalities that marked its rule, such as Nero, Attila and Hannibal. It’s an intriguing topic that Martiria can certainly relate to, seeing that the band is actually based in the Italian capital. Some use of Latin further adds to the album’s authentic feel.


The nagging feeling I get from “Roma S.P.Q.R.” is one of squandered potential. I do suspect that Martiria need to do some housecleaning before embarking on another musical adventure.
01 Nihil aliud quam superstitione (intro)
02 Callistus Wake
03 Tale of Two Brothers
04 Byzantium
05 Britannia
06 The Northern Edge
07 Hannibal (Sons of Africa)
08 Omens
09 Ides of March
10 Scourge of God
11 Elissa
12 Burn Baby Burn (Magnum Incendium Romae)
13 Are You Afraid To Die

14 Spartacus!
Label: My Graveyard Productions
Distribution: www.martiria.com
Reviewed by: Chris Galea
Date: 30 November, 2012
Website: www.martiria.com