Martyr - Wickenstraut (Martyr) 1993

1. "War Circus" (8:53)
2. "Flesh Scenes" (2:27)
3. "Get Drunk" (5:07)
4. "H. M. Wickenstaut" [instrumental] (5:29)
5. "Fall On Your Face" (3:58)
6. "In The Family" (6:49)
7. "Golgotha" (4:14)
8. "Abdomination" (2:42)
9. "If You Like" [instrumental] (5:04)
10. "Plead the Blood" (5:56)
11. "Immanent Warfare" (2:43)
12. "Impiously Deranged" (3:08)
13. "True Love" (1:40)
14. "K.K.K." (2:21)
15. "Bad PR" (1:12)
16. "False Prophets" (1:38)
17. "K.D.A." (Knights in Death's Alliance) (2:02)
18. "No Goats" (1:11)

In the late 80's I use to own a few demo tapes by this underground thrash metal band from California. One tape was "Death is Dead" (1987) and the other was "Imminent Warfare" (1988). I wore those two tapes out as I found Martyr's simplistic mixture of thrash and punk incredibly infectious. Thankfully I found this German import which compiles their demos with some new songs. The new material, which I believe are the first six songs, are the best, having better production and sounding like a like a mixture of early Corrosion of Conformity, The Crucified and Nuclear Assault. Basically Martyr play good 'ol, chunky, speed metal.

The songs from those two demos make up the last thirteen songs of this compilation. These songs are of the punk meets metal variety that I initially found so appealing back in the early 90's. Almost all the songs are under two minutes and are meant to be taken with a grain of salt. Martyr obviously didn't take themselves too seriously, even if they presented a Christian message that they did take serious. "False Prophets" has some similar vibe to Suicidal Tendencies "Institutionalized". Besides the punk vibe, I hear hints of Venom's sound in some songs as well. "True Love" is one of those song with a Venom influence. Other songs, such as "In the Family" and "No Goats" fall much closer to the punk side of the spectrum.

Obviously since much of this is CD is made up of demo material form the 80's, the production throughout the disc varies. Unfortunately, the sound quality from "Abomination" until the end of the CD are very weak. It's too bad the bands 1989 "Frantic" demo weren't included. If I remember correctly the track "Fear Be Gone" was outstanding.

Guitarist Marcus N. Colon went on to form Betrayal and re-recorded "Plead the Blood" on their first CD.

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