For those with d-beat still faithfully in their blood, Martyrdod must be a household name to you by this point. Following the critical success of their prior album Elddop, Martyrdod have graced us with List; an aptly titled album that is almost a set of rules for how this kind of hardcore should be presented in 2016.
List is chock full of heavy crust, which when more closely examined, becomes exceptionally more and more melodic. Take for example the title track; it bobs and weaves within a traditional hardcore structure but can at times be moving and beautiful. On the other hand, “Wipeout” starts like the beginning of a Bolt Thrower song before following a very punk framework.
Never meant to be overtly heavy, like a grindcore album, Martyrdod on the surface are a rudimentary punk rock band with ample amounts of nuance to keep the informed music listener coming back for more, time and again. The guitar work, if slowed down to a human pace, could sound like Panopticon, because only folk metal is this constantly nuanced throughout.
To think that the humble Discharge would have started d-beat over 30 years ago and this is what it has evolved into: something that is still very true to its roots, while also becoming something new and different. There is no doubt that Martyrdod have been paying attention since they could afford the LPs.
For fans of hardcore in any way, shape or form, List needs to be experienced, not just because it is easily one of the best hardcore releases of 2016, but because this short description is not going to do it justice. It’s a deserving contender for many year end lists, but released so late that it might not make many. But you can rest assured that it will make this reviewer’s list.
(released November 25, 2016 on Southern Lord Records)