Saturday, July 3, 2010

Holy Martyr - Hellenic Warrior Spirit

Genre: Epic Heavy Metal
Country: Italy
Year: 2008
Label: Dragonheart Records

Holy Martyr's debut full-length Still at War was one of the first posts I made on this blog, and now it's time for their second offering to make an appearance here on the Tabernacle. Hellenic Warrior Spirit is more of what made Still at War an instant classic: epic, epic, epic memorable songs jam-packed with killer riffs, rip-roaring leads, deft drumming, and awesome vocals, all wrapped in a full-bodied production that really brings out every instrument and allows the band's music to really shine through. Did I mention that this album is epic? No keyboards, no gimmicks, the soaring, sweeping feeling exudes from the riffs, vocal lines and arrangements themselves. Alex Mereu's charismatic voice is definitely a highlight here, delivering infectious melodies and anthemic choruses with incredible aptitude and character, and you really can't help but sing along to just about every last word on this album (warning: there is a chance your spouse/significant other/sibling/roommate/parents may walk in on you with a red blanket tied around your neck while raising a broomstick above your head as if it's a Spartan spear at any point during the song "Spartan Phalanx"). The lyrics again deal with Hellenic history and mythology,  the themes of which lend themselves very well to the feeling of the music. I don't like this album quite as much as their debut, as I felt that Still at War was a bit heavier and more energetic, but Hellenic Warrior Spirit showcases a better production and still completely fucking rules. Three hundred men, the elite guard - you can't stop the Spartan phalanx!

For fans of Battleroar, Wishdoom, Omen, and Manilla Road.

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