HistoryThe band was born in the year of their lord 2000 in Montana and played around with cover versions for a couple of years. Kyle soon joined his brother Shane in the band. The group’s 2006 demo turned into a Siege Of Amida EP a year later and was eventually distributed in North America by Candlelight Records. The Unsettling Dark soon followed. The group had earlier turfed its drummer claiming his inability to perform live, for instance when opening for Emperor, as a cause. The band recorded a demo, called Encounter The Monolith, in 2009 as it announced it was no longer on the British label.
MARTRIDEN - Same - SIEGE OF AMIDA/CANDLELIGHT
It could be the lowered expectations created by the band’s base in Montana or it could be the batch of awful CDs hurled my way by the Metallian himself in the last several weeks. Either way, Martriden’s debut mini-CD comes across as superior and impressive - most likely simply because the music is just that. Martriden (apparently a nightmarish wraith in Scandinavian mythology and a much better name than Pale Horse) is a band that overcomes the limitations of its base to offer an exquisitely produced debut EP whose pummelling music is matched by the audio production and mix. Oddly enough, while the Siege Of Amida owner works at Terrorizer magazine this will remain a relatively unprompted EP, which is a shame. The band’s sound is equipped with tight dynamics and rhythm without ever losing its heaviness or focus. On the song In Death We Burn the contrast between the acoustic interlude and the absolute speed is terrific and that even before the band launches into full-blown techno thrash. It is only the appearance of the keyboards all of a sudden that bring down the song and the CD. The guitars slash and the leads are remarkable, the bass rises to the occasion as needed and the drummer has the full and warm sound every metal band needs. More bands need to visit producer Dave Otero. Martriden is off to a very good start with its self-titled debut. If the band can expand upon its Behemoth-meets-Nevermore-likes-Opeth sound then the future bodes well, although fans should be on guard against the intrusion of keyboards and turning the dream into a nightmare. - Anna Tergel
MARTRIDEN - THE UNSETTLING DARK - CANDLELIGHT
Martriden is varied, multi-dimensional and creative without ever being wimpy, weak or silly. This band’s skill is not only in its music and vocals, but also in mixing different tempos and measures; sounds and speeds without ever coming across as To-mera or Winds Of Plague, bands that throw everything and anything into the mix in a vain attempt to look as if they are cool or different. With a heavy nod towards riff-based death metal, Martriden’s full-length confirms the path laid out by the group’s EP of last year by presenting young act that delights with death, thrash and Opeth metal. The Unsettling Dark has a muscular sound produced by Dave Otero from Cephalic Carnage that belies the group’s use of keyboards and acoustic guitars on occasion. Further support appears in the form of the cover art apparition. Nevertheless, these two habits will inevitably be the band’s downfall at some point in the near future unless the band chops off the cancerous growths now. Otherwise, somehow Martriden is the rare element that represents both crushing brutality heaviness and graceful grandeur. - Ali “The Metallian”