Review by Daniel for Martyr - Feeding the Abscess (2006) Review by Daniel for Martyr - Feeding the Abscess (2006)

Daniel Daniel / June 09, 2019 / 0

So look... if you love highly technical, complex & precise yet still extreme metal then "Feeding The Abscess" should be a no-brainer as it's a beautifully composed, produced & executed record that almost defies genrification. If that doesn't sound like your bag then I'd advise you to steer well clear of it. Martyr are super talented & pull off some amazing rhythmic stunts but you really do have to be onboard with that idea or you'll likely struggle due to the reliance on showmanship over song-writing. Looking back now, Martyr do seem like a bit of a supergroup in that bassist front man Daniel Mongrain was formally of Cryptopsy & Gorguts & is currently with Voivod while drummer Patrice Hamelin is the current drummer in Gorguts & none of that is surprising when you hear "Feeding The Abscess" for the first time. These dudes fucking know their way around their instruments & the precision on display is nothing short of phenomenal.

I really do think the technical death metal tag is a little limiting here because Martyr's sound never feels constrained by the death metal genre. Sure there are blast beats, some grindy death metal riffs here & there & the occasional death grunt but the majority of the album is much more progressive than that & Daniel Mongrain's vocals generally sit much closer to thrash than they do to death metal. In fact, they're really the limiting factor with this release as Daniel's monotonous tone & phrasing sees Martyr failing to reach the top tier despite the band's clear credentials. This is an outstanding record from an instrumental point of view & I can't help but think that the band would have been better served by employing a) a higher register clean vocalist that adds a layer of melody & memorability to the equation or b) a full-on death grunter who can accentuate the brutality in Martyr's sound. What they've gone for here seems to have taken an each-way bet that hasn't quite satisfied either preference.

The production is spectacular, mind you, & if you're a fan of progressive metal in general then you'll likely get a fair bit of enjoyment out of the no-holds-barred approach "Feeding The Abscess" takes with regards to composition. There are very few rules being adhered to here & the level of musicianship required to achieve the final result is nothing short of mind-blowing. I particularly enjoy the drumming & lead guitar work, both of which are accentuated by the outstanding production. Just listen to the depth in those kick drums for example.

Overall, "Feeding The Abscess" is a great choice for a feature album & with some more interesting vocals it may just have gone on to be known as a classic release. I'm just not sure The Horde was the right place for it to be honest because it's more of a progressive metal record than it is a death metal one in my opinion. The Voivod cover version that closes the album could have been a little more adventurous too because it's really just a straight reenactment & doesn't offer any point of difference which leaves it standing out a little bit from the rest of the tracklisting.

For fans of Atheist, "Dimension Hatross"-era Voivod & Death's more progressive releases.

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