Martyrdöd - Hexhammaren
Southern Lord
Hardcore/crust punk
12 songs (40'42")
Release year: 2019
Official Myspace, Southern Lord
Reviewed by Alex

Hardcore/crust punk may not be the most frequent guest on these pages, but I have been trying from time to time. Ghoul, Children of Technology and Wolfbrigade made appearance. The honest truth is - I’m relatively inexperienced with the genre, so I tend to play favorites. So when the word is new Martyrdod album is out, I’m there to check it out. To me this band and Wolfbrigade have been the best crust punk had to offer. And Swedes don’t disappoint again ....

If you are totally unfamiliar with the genre, or Martyrdod representation of it in particular, I can say that it combines energy and explosiveness of punk with heaviness and distortion of deathcore. From there, we can talk that Hexhammaren is full of melodies, just like all of its predecessors. Some (title track) have battle ready Sigh 70s feel, others sound somewhat like perverted folk (Naesta Syrien) or project a more somber touch (In the Dead of Night). We can obviously mention that the clamoring raucous is present throughout and intensity doesn’t let up until the very end (Cashless Society, Den Sista Striden). We can point out the obvious speed, since Martyrdod mostly knows how to operate only on Mach3 (War on Peace), even if at times it causes them to stumble all over themselves (title track). The first slowdown on Hexhammaren doesn’t come until the end of Bait and Switch, midway through the album, but slower torture in the hands of Martyrdod sounds just as good. The slightly slower In the Dead of Night or Pharmacepticon could even be construed as melodic At the Gates or old In Flames (from Whoracle), only again more downtuned and more intense. That intensity, the unstoppable avalanche, the devil-may-care overflowing dam is something we can’t ever take out of Martyrdod.

But then there is something else without which Hexhammaren description is not complete. Martyrdod music always infuses me with pure mere positivity, gives a shot in the arm energy because of that explosive mix of melody, speed, catchiness and honesty (Raennilar). How Martyrdod manages to have this effect on me, while at the same time sounding desperate (Judgement Day) is beyond my comprehension. Yet it always happens, happened again with Hexhammaren, so chalk up another great release in the crust punk realm. Letting loose and staying true has its merits. Martyrdod is a beneficiary.

Killing Songs :
Raennilar, Hexhammaren, In the Dead of Night, Pharmacepticon
Alex quoted 90 / 100
Other albums by Martyrdöd that we have reviewed:
Martyrdöd - List reviewed by Alex and quoted 90 / 100
Martyrdöd - Elddop reviewed by Alex and quoted 88 / 100
Martyrdöd - Sekt reviewed by Charles and quoted 70 / 100
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