It can’t be easy being a Christian band in this genre. It’s no secret that metal in its various forms have always drifted more towards the realms of nihilism, Satanism, atheism, etc. So when a band comes along and considers themselves as “Christian”, it certainly raises some eyebrows. That being said, bands like As I Lay Dying (prior to ya know, the whole attempted murder thing) or France’s Betraying the Martyrs have proven that just because a band calls themselves Christian, doesn’t mean that they’re here to baptize the heathens and sinners, all while making brutally heavy, melodic tunes with chilling and uplifting lyrics.
Enter Blood of the Martyrs, the Virginia quintet of self-described “sinners who were renewed by Christ showing their love, dedication and thanks to Him through their music.” Their latest effort, titled “Completionist” follows in the brutal tradition of the bands I mentioned above; heavy breakdowns, haunting synth effects, guttural vocals, etc.
Within the first minute of their track “Kano,” all of my preconceived notions of them had quickly dissolved into a vat of boiling holy water. The track starts with a punch to the gut, accompanied by eerie jingles like that of an old musical jewelry box that opens by itself in an attic. It builds and riffs towards a fantastic limb-swinging breakdown, making the overwhelming statement that these guys don’t fuck around.
Accompanied by stand out tracks like “Otto Aquarius,” “H.E.L.P.e.r.” (Which answers the age-old question, “what would NIN sound like if they existed during the days of Mozart?), and “Semper Fidelis Tyrannosaurus,” Completionist is a stand out album with everything a metal head could ask for. If you like some variation in your metal (like I do,) then you’ll love this album. Heavy, crushing, uplifting, it has it all. Never in my life did I expect to want to punch people in the face all while being told I could be saved.
Tracks to check out: Humongoloid, Colonel Gentleman, Swiftly….screw it, listen to all of them.