(Review by Officer Nice)

I know some Metal heads are always looking for that something special, something unique, something they can ‘intellectual’ sell to their friends. The kind of music you can’t get a grip on, you can hardly label and that makes you longing for more, even after multiple spins. This band from the United States may offer their demands. After the release of two EP’s this formations comes out with their first full length album, “Shadows”.

Not only the beautiful yet dark front cover received my attention on the merchandise stand at the keep it true Festival. The fact this CD was promoted just besides a Mystic Force album made me focused. I didn’t want to miss this one because I knew some Mystic Force members on stage (Gabriel Luis and Ryan Rawlings) are part of Fallen Martyr. I heard some tracks of the former EP’s before but I couldn’t purchase them before but on the first listen I was sold to this one.

With some overpowering fast rhythm this album takes of but it only take the first track to hear how special this band really is. Impressive orchestral and atmospheric backgrounds, shredding guitars, a dark and sinister mood, an overdose of progressive touches… This sounds great and above I hear a very good clean vocalist. I already know that this record will need a lot of time but I don’t care because I just adore it!

Fallen Martyr delivers Technical Death Metal with Progressive Power Metal and all along they force the listener to stay into this album. The overpowering wall of guitars, fantastic drums and strong bass guitars helps. At some points, for example “The restless king” the band is very special, maybe a bit too much to me but they prove how artistic they really are. Superb musicianship and a special kind of song writing, in special those to those vocal lines! The band crosses the boundaries of genres and isn’t afraid to step out of Metal. Some drum session are giving me some kind of ‘techno’ feeling and on other points I can’t even define what these guys are playing.

An overwhelming track is without any doubts “Passing through the veil of the exterior world”. It’s another unique track which overpowers me easily, I don’t want to defend me at all. This Progressive intake creates a sound that is seldom heared before in our scène. The fact those fast fingered shredding leads are so impressive makes me wild! And than those angelic choirs in the background, wow! And the drums? Hard to follow, slowing down and gearing up with the spectacular number of hits like you find it in the most extreme kinds of Metal. Vocal changes all the time, refrains and choruses, aggression and passion, emotions enough to think about, maybe a bit too much to handle!

The band contains five superb musicians and you can hear that in every detail. Mixing musicianship with no matter what kind of emotions is outstanding yet the band needs to be aware of the fact they have to stay recognizable. Often Fallen Martyr seduces the borders of what is just unacceptable and “too much is too much” if you know what I mean. In this kind of progressive Metal people mostly tolerate much, much more than I do because I need that red line to hold on to. After multiple listens I could grip that line but Fallen Martyr might not, in my opinion, go any further because there’s where I disconnected with Dream Theater and not with other bands in the same style.

This band is new and contains five young musicians, first class musicians but still very young. I hope their enthusiasm stays under control! Their older buddies of Mystic Force are able to help them out with it and their experience can make Fallen Martyr a worldwide band. I have no doubts in my mind that these Americans are able to maintain big successes because of their originality and skills. When you hear for example how “Invocation” is arranged you won’t only open your eyes wide shut, you will perfectly understand what I mean! It’s a track that proves to me which direction this band should follow. What I mean is that Fallen Martyr is perfectly able to make a mixture between Progressive skills with clean structured melodies. It’s exactly this mix that makes Progressive Metal so difficult to play perfectly. It’s exactly this talent that created albums like “Operation : Mindcrime” (Queensryche), “When dream and day unite” (Dream Theater), “The Devil’s Hall Of Fame” (Beyond Twilight), “Altered reflections” (Darkology) and Outworld’s perfect debut . When a band succeeds in creating such masterpieces they can reach the hands of God… Fallen Martyr is on its way.

If you’re into something special, you like progressive and ultra technical played Metal and especially spectacular guitars Fallen Martyr might be the one you were looking for! Extreme boundaries, a dark atmosphere but overall outstanding musicianship that will demand a lot of your time because of its difficulty. An intelligent band, a promising formation that needs all of your support! Check them out at http://www.myspace.com/fallenmartyr

My Points: 90 / 100