MartYrium – Destiny Wore A Bondage Mask (2016)


”The pious pretense that evil does not exist only makes it vague, enormous and menacing”

Fast forwarding line-up changes and the success that was Awakening The Ancient way back in 2010, 2016 brought us its follow up by the newly female fronted incarnation of Martyrium, always being local heavyweight in the Maltese metal scene, ever hectic overseas anointing further minds.

From the countless conversations I had with their founder, one could tell the passion he has about the genre, admittedly not afraid to expand horizons and experimenting with other genre in order to bring a different breed to our subculture. We both share the same insights on never limiting ourselves to just one genre of metal, as there are countless of bands out there trying to redefine their sound and being innovative to say the least. Music is of course subjective but rather than spending time arguing which genre is real and which is fake, we should simply let go of this petty silliness and just enjoy the music we listen.

Destiny Wore A Bondage Mask is a perfect example of this. A band approaching new dynamics and revamping itself to suit the modern era, not entirely abandoning its roots. Traditionally known for its melodic black vibe (shades of Cradle of Filth to give a example), in this album we witness a shift to a more industrialized/aggrotech approach. Tracks like Filth by Filth, The Sacrament and Inside the Confessional are reminiscent of acts like Die Sektor, Psyclon Nine and early Dawn of Ashes.

From an entire another extreme, we still get the demonic feeling that made Martyrium well known and respected in the local scene in the first place. The rhapsodic track  such Necropendulum and Where No Shadows Cast The Fire Light are the kind of tracks of which you simply rape the replay button.

Martyrium has indeed found its niche with this album, perhaps being more keen to the newer generation than the veteran one, which are more adapt to the rawer incarnation of the band. Destiny Wore A Bondage Mask is a far cry from their older material. Once again, the band’s choice to implement a drum machine provided some detractors among the fans, but needless to say this did not deviate from the final product, as the programming is as inhuman as possible. Given the circumstance of having limited proficient drummers  in the local landscape, I totally apprehend with the bands logistics.

Harsh, powerful and diabolical are the words that can define this album. Polished and refined from a production point of view,  the album is a must own for fans that are into melodic and more neoteric black metal. Old school and new blood can co exist. With the injection of younger talent, Martyrium has been modernized but gladly never became corporate, still espoused with its origins.

Music enthusiast & coffee addict. Although never involved in bands or local promotions, Alan always wanted to contribute and further expanding the genre he adores most. Listening to countless albums and engaging in conversations with local musicians, what better way to express feelings and insights than the art of writing?