Tears of Martyr - Entrance 4/5

Reviewed: 8-21-09





Tracklist:

1. Entrance
2. Realm of pain
3. The book of blood
4. Evil domini
5. Dark tears (Don't you shed those)
6. Shadows in the path
7. Prelude to violence
8. Violence in red (A violin's story)
9. A new design
10. The renascence
11. Chasing the sun
12. Ballad for a tortured soul


Tears of Martyr is a band from Spain that was formed many years ago, but it isn't until now that they've finally unleashed their full-length debut 'Entrance'. The CD's style has quite a variety, and though it's mostly gothic metal, there are also influences from symphonic metal, atmospheric metal, power metal, doom metal and even death metal. As you probably expected, the band contains the "beauty and the beast" vocal style, as there are female operatic/soprano vocals, and male vocals of both the death metal and black metal type. Actually, this debut is very similar to the outstanding debut 'Feltia' from Luna Obscura (which I reviewed a month ago), though it's not quite as doomy.

Just like with 'Feltia', 'Entrance' is also of high quality and numerous band comparisons have come to mind, but the bands that stick out the most are Trail of Tears, After Forever (early), Epica, To Elysium, Odes of Ecstasy, Penumbra, Draconian, Macbeth (early), Elnordia, Vanguard, Tristania (early), Dakrya, Sirenia (early), The Sins of Thy Beloved and Amederia. Especially considering 'Entrance' is only the band's debut, they're very competitive with this list of bands, and I already consider them to be one of the better bands of their kind.

One of the biggest positive aspects with this CD is definitely female vocalist Berenice Musa, who I'm actually familiar with, as she's the female vocalist on the excellent Angeldark debut 'Angelique' (which I've also reviewed), though technically as a "guest". I love her soprano/operatic vocals on that CD, and the same is true with 'Entrance'. The male vocals, which are sometimes brutal/intense, counter Berenice's beautiful voice extremely well, and all together, the band has greatly succeeded at capturing what the "beauty and the beast" vocal style is all about.

Another positive aspect with this CD is the variety of style, which is well done and makes for an interesting listen, with many twists and turns present. The CD is quite dramatic, and can be both mellow and intense. There are some slower moments, but there are lots of flashes of speed too, so the tempo is nicely balanced. There are also some choir parts, and I was surprised to learn that Beatriz Albert (Ebony Ark) was part of the choir. All wrapped up, it's a powerful package.

So what we have is another excellent "beauty and the beast" band to help keep the style alive, and just like Luna Obscura's 'Feltia', this is a highly recommended debut for fans of the style. A few years back, I was starting to get worried that the "beauty and the beast" style was reaching the end of its run, but I'm now confident that there will be plenty of bands that will help keep it going strong. Tears of Martyr is a perfect example.



CLINT




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