HOLY MARTYR - Still At War

Holy Martyr - Still At War

8 songs
50:08 minutes
***** ***


Italians are either great soccer players or true metal head. I can’t tell you anything about Holy Martyr’s sport abilities, but these five musicians have been around in the metal business for already thirteen years. What distinguishes them from many of their compatriots is that they don’t want anything to do with Nineties symphonic power metal. Their roots are firm in the Eighties, with bands like Omen, Cirith Ungol, Agent Steel and Manilla Road among their major influences.

Two songs from this record could already be found on the band’s self-released CD from 2003: Warmonger, with fast double bass attacks, and for Hatred Is My Strength, an eleven minute long track, starting like Candlemass but gradually becoming faster and containing long guitar solos.

The concept of the album is ancient Roman history, and the album starts suitably with Legion’s Oath with a Roman centaur giving Latin orders to his soldiers. This introduction gives the album a more martial touch, drawing parallels to Manowar, although Holy Martyr are better song writers put more emphasis on melodies. The guitar lines are often copied from Iron Maiden which is understandable when your band is stuck in the Eighties.

The raw and basic production sounds as if the album had been recorded two decades ago. Still At War isn’t of course an innovative album and the lyrical concept isn’t original either, but everyone who’s fond of retro metal should find this album entertaining or at least amusing.

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