When talking about crust punk genre today, one can hardly have a conversation without at least mentioning Martyrdöd. Formed in 2001 by Mikael “Micke” Kjellman (guitars, vocals) and Jens Bäckelin (drums), the band has garnered a very specific sound, which can be described as mix of crust punk/d-beat with some blackened influences. Throughout the years the band has become one of the forerunners of crust/d-beat genre alongside Discharge, Disfear, Wolfbrigade and many others. Martyrdöd have released six albums already and this year’s “Hexhammaren” is a seventh entry in their discography.
The album title track is perfect indicator what we can expect from this album, it starts off with a more melodic intro just to shift into a full blown crust thrasher, which delivers a solid punch. The album pretty much follows the band’s well established formula of crust/d-beat mixed with some black metal riffing and for the most part it works really good. These are the songs that call out for constant mosh-pits in live setting, a part which Martyrdöd can undoubtedly deliver. The album does follow the band’s usual formula, very fast and aggressive crust riffs with some tremolo picking in the background. However, there are some tracks that do stick out from that norm. First of those would be “Cashless Society”. Starting out with an easily memorable riff, it shows a perfect fusion of crust and thrash metal. Then there is “Pharmacepticon”, which is the most melodic track on the whole album. It has more of a melodic pagan metal vibe, especially near the end with a clean sung passage, which brings to mind early Ensiferum.
The only bigger flaw I noticed in this album is that some of the tracks are rather repetitive, because most of them follow the same formula. Otherwise, it is a pretty solid record that shouldn’t leave anyone disappointed.
This album delivers pure raw energy and aggressiveness that should satisfy every Martyrdöd fan, as well as fans of crust genre in general. This is another very good entry in Martyrdöd’s discography and it shows that they pretty much established themselves as one of the leading and most recognizable bands in their genre.