MARTYRDÖD

Metal Hammer (UK) - - Album Reviews - CON­NIE GORDON

Hex­ham­maren

CEN­TURY ME­DIA

Crust-laden Swedes wring fresh inspiratio­n from their changes

Track the his­tory of these “pro­gres­sively crusty” Swedes and the im­por­tance of gui­tarist Pon­tus Redig is ev­i­dent. His ar­rival for 2005’s In Ex­tremis ush­ered in a sub­lime layer that was part Iron Maiden-es­que melodic me­an­der­ing, du­elling coun­ter­point and part scream­ing shred.

With Redig’s de­par­ture last year, that el­e­ment would in­evitably ex­pe­ri­ence al­ter­ation. Hex­ham­maren is al­bum number seven and with bassist Tim Rosen­qvist now mov­ing to guitar, the dif­fer­ence is im­me­di­ately no­tice­able. Martyrdöd’s unique ba­sics re­main, even if the sec­ond guitar is less ac­tive, but the melodies are more con­cise, more lin­ear and de­liv­ered like tra­di­tional leads as op­posed to har­monic wan­der­ing. That’s not to say the likes of Rän­ni­lar and the ti­tle track are any less po­tent than the band’s past ef­forts. In ac­tu­al­ity, a breath of fresh air has wafted in, al­low­ing for out­liers like the com­plex Hel­vetes­larm and the raw Cash­less So­ci­ety to also con­trib­ute to Hex­ham­maren’s re­fresh­ing but still fear­some re­sult. ■■■■■■■■■■

FOR FANS OF: Tragedy, Un­kind, From Ashes Rise

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