[Reviewed by stark]
After reading about this album, I thought: “They’re followers of the path of Shibalba”. Same country of origin, same label, same ritual/occult veil of mystery that covers Martyria. Then I actually listened to the album and realized they’re not just the acolytes of the Shibalba project, but I find them simply better musically.
Now I’m thinking of this CD as of a forgotten soundtrack to “The Last Temptation of Christ”. Obviously, it’s in a totally different corner than the still sublime OST by Peter Gabriel, after all it’s a dark ambient release by Malignant Records. I feel that the core of Martyria’s art is placed deep in the caves of Southern Europe or the Middle East perhaps next to apocryphal scrolls which are still to be found. These five compositions, based on deep male and female voices, natural instruments like digeridoo, delicate synths (by “delicate” I mean their aesthetic use, not the atmosphere they create) and slow percussion take me on an exotic journey through the obscure yet sanctified paths rarely crossed. We have a fistful of really breathtaking fragments here. It may recall a bit the older works by Herbst9, which as far as I remember was mentioned in the press-release.
The fact that is the most important is that I feel it’s an album which is deliberate and thorough. There’s no feeling of chaos or that something came out by accident. It is music above all. Not a ritual or a black mass or whatever. These may be a big words but I feel a spiritual link between them and Dead Can Dance. Not the same technical possibilities, not the same experience (yet): a whole lot darker and less pompous are their sounds than those created by the Australian duo. But the pictures which are projecting in my head are not that distant from those when I listen to “Within the Realm of a Dying Sun”.