Martyr De Mona - ‘Impera’ (In At The Eye Records) Print E-mail
CD Reviews
Written by Michael Anthony   
Wednesday, 12 November 2014 03:20

MDM thmbGiven the place of the Midlands in British rock history (Black Sabbath, half of Led Zeppelin, Judas Priest, Glenn Hughes, Insert Your Own Band Here), a billing as “undoubtedly the Midlands hottest band at the moment” is not to be sniffed at. Support slots for the likes of Sabbath, Guns N’ Roses, Avenged Sevenfold and Alter Bridge, and a ‘Best British Band of the Year’ award further help establish Martyr De Mona’s credentials


Certainly, both band and the new album ‘Impera’ look the part. Classy artwork (a touch reminiscent of Dream Theater’s ‘Black Clouds And Silver Linings’ and ‘Octavarium’) and a smooth yet meaty production from Romesh Dodangoda (whose credits include work for Motörhead, Kids In Glass Houses, Verses and Funeral For A Friend) make this an impressive package.


So, what about the music? Do they have the tunes to match their ambition and their billing? Well, without doubt we have a young band here who write and perform with passion and self-belief. ‘Impera’ is a collection of highly-competent, modern-sounding tracks that are sometimes intense but always accessible. Anthemic but edgy, layered but raw, heavy but melodic, subtle but bombastic, there is much here that ticks all the boxes.


In terms of highlights, ‘Siege Mentality’ and ‘Influence and Persuasion’ kick things off with a bang, both featuring solid riffing, strong rock vocals and thunderous bass and drums. ‘Gravity’ and ‘Sentient’ show a more subtle side to the band, demonstrating nicely their sense of melody. Title track ‘Impera’ is pleasingly punchy, while ‘Kyo’ rocks hard and with some style.


By way of balance, it’s probably true that the hooks are not always as memorable as they might be, and there are times when (rather like the aforementioned Dream Theater) technical excellence seems to dominate at the expense of some much needed soul.


In truth, the band probably have some way to go before they can emulate some of their more illustrious fellow Midlanders, but judged by modern standards ‘Impera’ is an album that is worthy of attention and a clear step in the right direction.


To pick up up your copy of 'Impera' - CLICK HERE