Martyr De Mona – Impera

Rating: 4/5
Distributor/label: Eagle Two
Distributor/label URL: https://www.facebook.com/eagletworecords
Released: March 2014
Re-released: 20th April 2015
Buy Album [URL]: http://mdmstore.bigcartel.com/product/martyr-de-mona-impera
Band Website: www.martyrdemona.com

Impera Cover ArtBand line-up:

Louis Hale – Vocals / Guitar
Josh Jones – Guitar / Vocals
Joshua Wooldridge – Bass / Vocals
Ashley Leatherland – Drums

Tracklisting:
  1. Siege Mentality
  2. Influence & Persuasion
  3. Reprisal
  4. Sentient
  5. Impera
  6. Nothing Sacred
  7. Gravity Breaks
  8. KYO
  9. Suffer unto me
  10. Hollow Shore
Review:

Hailing from Stourbridge, West Midlands, Martyr De Mona have cemented their place as one of the hottest metal bands around, through a string of UK tours and opening slots for Slash & Blackstone Cherry, as well as selling out their home show at Wolverhampton’s Wulfrun Hall last year. Impera is a follow up to their critically acclaimed eponymous debut album, and due to some difficulties that need to remain un-spoken for now, it is being re-released on their own label Eagle Two Records. It has been produced by Romesh Dodangoda (Funeral For A Friend, Motorhead), and has made top 10 in the Amazon Download Chart. Martyr De Mona went through a re-birth themselves a few years ago, but founder member Louis Hale has proved time & again he isn’t going to be defeated.

I personally can attest to the band’s live proficiency, having seen them perform several times since first encountering them in 2010, most recently on Saturday 25th April, at their official re-launch show for Impera. Their music is just on the right side of heavy, with clean vocals and distorted guitars, and their professional attitude wins them many friends.

With a classical introduction to the opening song, the heaviness of the guitars is all the more dramatic, Hale’s voice is high pitched and suits the style well, ‘Seige Mentality’ is a well-crafted song full of highs and lows, interesting twists and changes of pace. ‘Inflience & Persuasion’ hit top 40 in the Kerrang charts when it was released as a single, it’s melodic style makes it very appealing. ‘Reprisal’ has a delicate and stunning intro breaking into the gritty riffs that define Martyr De Mona’s sound. ‘Sentient’ reveals a deeper, richer tone to Hale’s vocals, slower and more emotive, with a delicious guitar solo. Title track, ‘Impera’, a word that in Spanish, Portuguese and Italian means ‘To Rule’, has a darker growlier undercurrent below Hale’s vocals, giving it a forceful power. ‘Nothing Sacred’ is a song driven by bitter regrets and love-gone-bad.

‘Gravity Break’s’, featured heavily on Planet Rock amongst other radio stations, with intricate rhythms cleverly interspersed within the trademark distortion. ‘KYO’ picks up the pace from the outset, blistering drums that are the perfect backdrop for the grinding guitars. This track more than any other reveals Hale’s inner Brummie/Black Country accent in his vocal performance. ‘Suffer Unto Me’ begins in a gentle fashion before breaking into a domineering heavy track, full of woe and angst. ‘Hollow Shore’ is by far the longest track on the album, building to a final crescendo, strong and intense, a fitting end to the album.

This is an album Martyr De Mona should be proud of, crowd pleasing songs, great production and accomplished playing. They are worth catching live and are hitting the festival circuit hard this summer, so there are plenty of chances to see them.

Review by Lisa Nash
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