MARTYRIUM – Lamia Satanica
Martyrium hail from Malta and dabble in symphonic black metal with rather prominent melodic overtones to it, and what we have here is a 36-minute opus that is expertly crafted and superbly executed.
Riddled with gothic atmospheres and somewhat akin to immersing oneself in a story that falls within the Dark Romantic literary genre and revolves around sin, guilt, superstition, ghosts (of the mind), and human fallibility. There is something quite sinister and unsettling about the music here and yet a subtle albeit strange sense of beauty slivers and slides underneath the soundscapes too. The mixture of female and male vocals works well most of the time and while the riffs are sharp and melodies lofty, the song arrangements are undoubtedly one of the most interesting aspects of "Lamia Satanica" and display a strong sense of creativity and cleverness. I like the way in which the various instruments complement each other and how everything is woven together in such a manner that it feels rich in layers and texture. The use of piano is also effective and lends a touch of something morose and delicate to the proceedings, and they vary the pace and feel of the music throughout, which is awesome. Although the production possesses clarity, I would not have minded a bit more power and bombast there as I think that would have underlined the satanic grandeur of the compositions even more, but the bottom line is that this 10-track effort boasts an aura of mysticism and mystique and that the whole cursed affair reeks of skill, passion, and imagination. This one is definitely worth a look if bands with a heavy use of keyboards ala Hecate Enthroned, Old Man’s Child, Cradle of Filth, and Cadaveria appeal to you. Wicked stuff!