The Carnage Lit by Darkness
(Witchcraft Records) Enslain Magazine Volume 2, Issue 1 Quite believably the only black metal band hailing from Malta (the island nation off the southern coast of Italy), Martyrium hold the honor of the best black metal band on the island! But seriously, these guys present us with a highly listenable record of symphonic black metal in the vein of pre-commercialized Cradle of Filth. The synthesized keyboards have a haunting tone, giving the entire record, and especially the isolated-instrumental sections, a creepiness that distinguishes their sound. Keyboardist Necropaedophile also handles the programmed drums, which lack the punch of real drumming, but offer up the speed and precision that helps give the record cohesion.
To some extent the songs seem built around the ambience of the keyboards, but the guitarwork is no less impressive. Speedy black/death riffs with some sinister leads give a sense of the extreme to this release. The vocals are deathlike yells with enough distortion and screeched parts to add to the black metal feel. Also present are clean, but mid-ranged and not overused female vocals, low cookie-monster growls, chants, tortured screams, and echoed spoken parts, all addapted to fit the mood of every segment.
The production could be tighter and more polished to accommodate their complex sound, but it's clean enough to appreciate and enjoy their darkly melodic vision. Their mixture of vampiric ambience and fierce black metal riffs, while not very original, is effective and enjoyable.