Artist: Martyr Defiled
Album: No Hope, No Morality
Your revolution has failed. Your attempts at disrupting a blindly-led social order of ignorance with enlightenment? Thwarted. Your body is beaten, blistered and subdued. Senses dulled, head throbbing, you are the very definition of captive—or so it would seem. While your body is restrained, your mind is still racing—and your spirit still as fierce as the fire that thrives within the hearts of ten lions, let alone one broken man. Every ounce of your being—mangled as it may be—is hell-bent on one purpose: revenge. What started as a quest for justice and equality has matured—evolved even—to a greater purpose of righting the wrongs done against you. This purpose transcends the extents of your wounds, and the bruising of your ego—it is No Hope, No Morality, the long-awaited sophomore full-length from Lincolnshire’s finest in thrashy, demolishing deathcore: Martyr Defiled. Armed with razor-sharp riffs, magazine after magazine of misanthropic aggression and heaps of hellacious heaviness, No Hope, No Morality is every ounce the relentless, steadfast and sincere sure-fire spirit that is needed to revolutionize deathcore—as well as the world around it.
Cold, hard steel. Clenched like a vice around your wrists, as rudimentary and mundane as the society that so bluntly placed them there. Strain, push, bend and twist as hard as your frail wrists might, you cannot loosen it. The sores on your forearms open and hot, vicious blood coats the rough, battered cuffs, drenching them in liquid, burning energy—the same energy that assaults the listener from the very get go of No Hope, No Morality. From the first snare crack of “LVCIFER,” Martyr Defiled wage a war on the listener that refuses to slow down and is absolutely beyond taming—it is a war built on furious, intense and frantic instrumentation, and refined by rigorous, roaring vocals. So much of the raw energy driving No Hope, No Morality can be found pouring from the pummeling, punchy percussion at the hands of drummer Richard Duffin. Tracks likes “Sineater” and “Neverender” are built from the ground up on perfectly timed drumming that balanced flashy, flourishing fills with speedy, lacerating blasts and crushing, plodding bounce—a bounce that gallops in perfect candor with the grooving, gnashing guitars. “Neverender” in particular—along with the lurid and intense “LVCIFER”—makes brilliant use of guitars that flow fluidly from razor-tongued, rampaging riffs to gooey, fluid grooves that flow intravenously into the listener’s life-force, invading their soul and forcing their heart to throb and pulse in perfect syncope with the punishing percussion. Other tracks show guitarist David Trees and bassist Ryan Smith letting loose with nothing but the most lacerating, skin-shredding and mind-numbing riffs the genre has seen; “No Morality” and “The Taste of Iron” especially. The sheer variety—and subsequent cohesiveness—of the instrumentation Martyr Defiled provide is all the raw energy needed to spark a revolution in the listener’s mind.
Finally, after what felt like liters of blood and hours of nearly-wasted energy expenditure, the links joining your cast-iron captivity begin to bend. You can feel it, the very hint of progress coursing its way through your veins and into your head—forcing you to strain harder, gritting your teeth as you can feel the iron cuffs scrape your bones and mangle the muscles in your wrist. But the harder you try—the more you push—the more the links bend and succumb to your spirit. This is the same feed-forward loop that propels No Hope, No Morality above and beyond the efforts of Martyr Defiled’s peers, and it manifests itself in the album—and band’s—vocal brilliance. Vocalist Matthew Jones lets loose with an absolutely stunning array of visceral, gritty screams and shouts throughout No Hope, No Morality that take the raw, limitless energy of the instruments and turns it into something productive and focused. Whether it’s the ferocious, dynamic diversity of “No Hope” or “Deathstare,” or the blunt, gruff shouts and lyrical brute-force of “Under the Influence,” the vocals provide an in-your-face, tactless and terrifying aspect to Martyr Defiled’s stranglehold on the listener that is nothing short of awe-inspiring. “616” and “Demons in the Mist” are also keen examples of this, featuring sharp, screeching screams and growls that force the listener to the guttural, lowest lows imaginable all in the span of mere seconds. The vocal intensity and the furious, fleet vehemence of the instrumentation combine to create a crushing dynamic that makes Martyr Defiled’s sophomore release truly fearsome.
Blood pools in the corners of your mouth, dripping from between your gritted, gnashing teeth and dripping onto your lap. Just…a…little…more. You can feel the links straining, the imperfections in the steel sheering, pulling apart and growing weaker with every drop of sweat and blot of blood you shed in the effort to rend them. The slick sliding of the blood-drenched cuffs and the creaking, crawling weakening of the links that join them serve as catalysts to your effort, forcing you to do nothing but try and try harder. Just the same as the more Martyr Defiled’s instrumentation intensifies—the more masterful and murderous the musicianship becomes—the more the vocals rise to the occasion, and the more lurid and violence the lyrics become. This spiraling, enzymatic intensifying finally reaches it’s apex in the album’s climactic track—“No Morality.” A combination of soul-rending shred, spine-shattering slam and crushing, brutalizing heaviness, “No Morality” is, to put it simply, a lesson in deathcore perfection. There could be quite honestly no better way to end a bastion of deathcore perfection as beautiful as Martyr Defiled’s No Hope, No Morality. Every element the band have spent an entire discography mastering melds and flows together into a maelstrom of pure mastery of all things deathcore has to offer.
Snap. The chains break—slowly, you rise and brush off the blood and dirt cakes along your muscles. For those that enslaved you, beat you, burdened you with lies of perfection and hope—they will suffer. Just as Martyr Defiled unleash an entire, full-fledged assault upon all other deathcore artists in their path, for your captors, there is No Hope. There will be No Morality.
Martyr Defiled have crafted not simply the most comprehensive and cohesive deathcore album recently, but instead, the most masterful display of deathcore perfection ever written.
For Fans Of: Boris the Blade, Nexilva, I Declare War, Carcer City, Demoraliser
By: Connor Welsh