Tears of Martyr: Tales

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Tears of Martyr: Tales
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Tears of Martyr: Tears
Gothic Metal
Massacre Records
June 18th, 2013
Release length: 41:10
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Tears of Martyr initially formed way back in 1996, issuing their first demo that very year, a single in 2002, and another demo in 2005. It wasn’t until 2009 that the band issued their debut full-length album, Entrance, as a self-released effort. There hasn’t been much said about it, but it was strong enough to attract the attention of Massacre Records, who are issuing their follow-up full-length, Tales. This mostly female fronted Gothic Metal operation may be familiar to some thanks to vocalist Berenice Musa having appeared on recent Dark Moor albums as a guest. But, does her performance, as well as the others in the group, live up to the expectations of the style’s fans, or those acquainted with them previously?

There’s a decent amount of variety through the album, kicking things off with a slight orchestral introduction with “The Scent.” It’s a bit of a tease, as the rest of the song, with the exception of a later bridge, drops that build for heavier music with a soft keyboard performance. The vocals are beautiful and match the similarly atmospheric music well, making a solid start for the release, though one that doesn’t feel like a strong enough start. It’s only after that things start to stand out, such is the case with “Golem.” Aside the guttural male vocals that don’t quite have the necessary bite, this song finds the keyboards creating more of a majestic environment that the powerful singing feels right at home with. The chorus is rich, memorable for more than just hooks, and there’s even a breakdown towards the end that leads to a well executed violin solo, all of which will get the listener pumped for this release a lot better than “The Scent” does.

“Mermaid and the Loneliness” is an interesting piece that brings the fantastical lyrical content into reality a bit. The atmosphere captures that oceanic vibe well in the start, and the additional orchestral elements against slower music compliments the operatic vocals well to weave a rather epic performance overall you won’t soon forget. “Wolves and a Witch” is more of a simplified performance, even finding some leads to be a bit thinner, but still establishing a subtle aquatic atmosphere that jumps in and out of some Power Metal influence. “Ancient Pine Awaits” is the odd track out, but in a good way thanks to it being an acoustic duet piece, and enjoyable contrast to the richer and heavier material throughout the album. The vocals are largely restricted to a softer approach, and both singers perform it clean. About tewo minutes in, the guitar does become a bit chaotic for a brief amount of time, showing the band’s Spanish roots in how they are executed.

If you enjoy richer, passionate, and slightly operatic Gothic Metal that is somewhat along the lines of early Nightwish, then Tears of Martyr is a group well worth checking out. Tales may not be the most awe-inspiring effort you’ll come across, but it definitely is an ambitious album that varies in how strong an impact each song will make on the listener. But, for the most part, the material is well executed, leaving very little that can be said negatively about it other than, for apparently being around seventeen years, it doesn’t quite hit you the way you might expect. It does, however, present a group that is well worth keeping an eye on for any further progression and growth that may still be possible.

01. The Scent – 4:03
02. Golem – 4:12
03. Mermaid and Loneliness – 5:02
04. Vampiress of the Sunset Street – 4:34
05. Ancient Pine Awaits – 2:42
06. Lost Boys – 5:22
07. A Fallen Hero – 4:24
08. Of a Raven Born – 4:08
09. Wolves and a Witch – 5:30
10. Ran into the Forest – 1:13
Initial Pressing Score: 7/10

Tears of Martyr
Tears of Martyr

Digital review copy of this release provided by Massacre Records.