Holy Martyr - Hellenic Warrior Spirit
DragonHeart / SPV
Heavy Metal
11 songs (56:43)
Release year: 2008
Holy Martyr, DragonHeart
Reviewed by Thomas

This is the second full-length from the Italian warriors Holy Martyr. After lots of great reviews and raining superlatives, I had to check out what the hype was all about. Holy Martyr plays epic heavy metal in the vein of Battleroar and the likes, and is indeed of the same, if not better quality. Their debut Still At War was released after hordes of demo’s and EP’s and the band got hailed as worthy bearers of the true heavy metal banner. After roughly a year of re-recording some of the old songs and writing new material, Holy Martyr are back with a concept album heavily influenced by the Battle of Thermopylae, packed with cheesy 300-quotes and battle-hymns. Some of the songs are even sung in Greek, dealing with real Spartan legends. It should be mentioned that some of the songs have been worked on since 2003, way before the movie made various bands go nuts about the Spartan theme.

This is varied with tempo-shifts, great melodic parts, engaging spoken bits, choirs, fun leads, entertaining folkish bits and most of all the cheesy yet mighty warrior spirit. After a symphonic intro making us ready for war, the pounding battle anthem Spartan Phalanx and the catchy Lakedaimon summons the battlefield. The enchanting hymn Hellenic Valour, and the inspirational The Call To Arms follows after a short sword-wielding interlude, and the list goes on. There are really no bad songs on here, and even though you could crop some points because of the re-recordings, there is more than enough quality here to cut the guys some slack. The riffs are simple and square yet powerful, the bass is dominating the rhythmical picture without exaggerating and, unlike hundreds of other Italian bands, the vocals are actually damn stable and overall very good. Everything has its own place here, the interludes are actually worth listening to, and the overall mood is fitting the concept perfectly.

If you’re a fan of classic heavy metal with epic tendencies, there is no reason why you shouldn’t get this. This contains everything an epic metal release should, it’s not very hard to get into, and even though it’s pretty cheesy, the power and the glory of Hellenic Warrior Spirit are undeniable. THIS IS WHERE WE HOLD THEM. THIS IS WHERE WE FIGHT. THIS IS WHERE THEY DIE! Spill some freakin’ blood.

Killing Songs :
Spartan Phalanx, Lakedaimon, Hellenic Valour, The Lion of Sparta
Thomas quoted 85 / 100
Other albums by Holy Martyr that we have reviewed:
Holy Martyr - Hatred And Warlust reviewed by Mike and quoted no quote
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