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THE LAST MARTYR ‘Purgatory’

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Out Now

Words by Jimmy Glinster

Nu-Metal x Heavy Rock, now that sounds a bit different to the million and one core releases we get sent for review over here. Hopefully this is a fresh change and an adventure away from the token core formula which has made my ears bleed of late, but as a band endorsed by Triple J’s Unearthed, I’m still feeling some sense of anxiety.

Anyway, enough of my non-sensical ramblings. Let’s let the music speak for itself, well at least speak to me, and then I’ll tell you what I think. After all, that’s how this works, apparently.

The band is The Last Martyr, the 5 track EP is titled Purgatory, and the opening track goes by the name of Freaking Out. I reckon someone might have been freaking out when they wrote that nasty little thrash riff which opens proceedings. The drums pull back to create an offset groove over the same riff before a female vocalist joins in on the fun.

Wait, what? A female vocalist, and they didn’t feel the need to promote the band as female fronted or call themselves a made-up genre like Female Fronted Heavy Rock. No, they fucking didn’t, and you know why, because this vocalist’s ability speaks for itself, and doesn’t require “equitable” treatment to get its just deserts.

A broken off-set groove sets the pace through the verses as the vocals pursue some massive melodies. Several shifts occur in the song’s pace and structure, but it never really lets up the groove and when it slows down for the choruses, the strength of the vocals carry it through.

Some gritty whispers and vocalisations fill the bridges between the verses and choruses, giving the song a slightly darker feel momentarily. Hindsight, holy shit. That riff though, amazing, absolutely bloody amazing. This was their first
single released back in April, and it’s an absolute banger. And this is where Triple J stepped in and put them on rotation as well as making them an Unearthed Feature Artist. Now, I’ve had somewhat of a disdain for Triple J since the mid 2000s when they absolutely went to the shit, but they got it right this time. Watch the video below, you’ll get it!

Luckily, we are not out of time just yet, there are 3 more tracks left on this so far solid EP. Out of Time gets it reggae on for a few seconds prior to some heavy guitars of doom opening up in full glory alongside some atmospheric vocals. The track slips in and out of the reggae and heavy doom vibe and the vocals switch between spoken word, rap stylings and massive melodies. The band hits a rocking bridge following the second chorus before bringing us back into another chorus to end the track. Catchy little tune!

A quick drum fill and another banging riff kick off Like a Ghost before the band pulls back and some eery, distraught sounding vocals capture your attention. Then the riff kick’s back in and the song elevates with increased intensity. The vocal delivery is flawless, and although all clean, some interesting vocal effects are used to give the overall tone a touch of grit and angst. A djent style groove breaks the middle of the song, and we hear some long- awaited screams which add to the intensity. This band truly knows how to utilise their songwriting skills to create catchy little numbers with a literal shit tonne of groove and melody.

The final track on the EP is titled Afterglow, and just so happens to be the second single the band released, which scored them a slot on Metal Injections “Slay at Home” monthly series. This track’s a bit of a weird one with its drum and bass intro, djent as fuck main riff, groovy bounce verses, rap scream pre-choruses, heavy melodic choruses and rap-pop interlude. At least, I think that’s what all those parts would be called. Very interesting combination of genres, which the band just somehow manages to make work. Love it!

What an absolute breath of fresh air in the heavy music scene. I dare say some “elitists” will hate the shit out of this because of its pop sensibilities and the use of Nu-Metal grooves but fuck the haters I say, fuck ‘em to the moon!

Great band, keen as hell to check them out in a live arena, and even more so to see what they deliver on future releases.

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