Album: Dawn of the Martyr
Review Source:
Reviewer: dalia di giacomo
Rating: 9/10

Misanthropic revulsion rising.

Down of the Martyr is pure misanthropic revulsion raising. Through a brilliant Technical Death Metal, bordering with other extreme genres, the four Swiss "punishers" destroy with an architecture of guitar shreds, with morbid vocals and with a tempest of very mighty blast beats who launch the band in a devastating run to maltreat the weak. This unleashed hatred is expressed like a technical Death Metal of first quality must be expressed: many virtuosos, many pace changes, great profusion and perfusion of playing ability. From the moment that the musical composition is based on good concepts, all songs, although highly extreme, get an attractive impact on our ears. From the destructive downpour, between cloudbursts of fire and tornados of aggression, Dawn of the Martyr outlines itself as a smashing release, recorded, engineered, mixed and mastered by producer Alex Krull (Atrocity, Leaves`Eyes) at the Mastersound Studio in Fellbach ,Germany (second full length after 2 MCD's ). Included in my personal 15 tops of last year, Dawn of the Martyr is an album which I appreciate in particular for Reto Crola (Requiem)’s torrential kicks (often BM oriented), that exalt the metal strength. I don’t find them immoderate, on the contrary they magnify the propulsion. Alone well done blast beats create half of the metal implacability, the other instruments, mainly strings, must do the rest. But the drumming of Punish is not just blast beats: for example consider the song Freaks, with the great tom tom opening, or many other tracks with calibrated cymbals and whipping snares or the semi –solo in Neo Phosphoresecent Insignificance . Rocketed this way, Punish are set in the optimal conditions for exploring many faces of technicality. Second reason why I like this album and this band, that I appreciated also live, are the very skilful guitars with agreat lead, and the solid rhythmic..

PunishBand In my opinion, André Mathieu is a total guitar freak puppeteer of ultimate blades. Concerning vocals, bassist Reto Hardmeier takes over the growls sharing the frontman-task with André Mathieu whose screams are sometimes very perfid and hysteric like in the sour opener Obnoxious Objector, who begins directly with an abrupt dry escalating verse. This track offers brutal snares, restless march, reiterate evilness, trains of lead guitar torrents in American style, but also a melodic refrain that ends the song and represents a sorrowful surfaces after the angular verses. The alternation of the various parts is regular and makes the song logic . Even richer in brutality as well in harmony and in atmosphere, with great tempo changes and virtuosos is the following title track Dawn of the Martyr.

Mis Ann Thrope is a pulsing monstrous mosh - summoner with complex fast guitars, chaotic layered moments but also a memorable bonecrushing rhythmed ride. Neo Phosphoresecent Insignificance is a valuable song, because is the perfect photography of what technical death can give in measure of brilliant passages and tempo changes, in measure of mixing metal with rock melodies, in measure of enslaving guitar riffs, in measure of attractive merciless vocals that duet perfectly between good screams and low timbres. Every change is unpredictable but agreeable all time long, and the repetition of each passage is actually something you warmly await. Very good galloping riffs and nervous lead characterize the The Sociopath, marked by a certain BM evilness. Freaks is maybe the most complex track , spanning from punishing fast riffs to drum discharges, all kind of guitar solos, stop and go’s . But the main feature of this track are the uptempo forceful clusters of guitar staccatos, that remind of the staccatos of classical origins. Guiding the wandering lost Souls is a restless anxiety attack, while Divinity falls is a true jewel, my favorite song, that works with the best canons of low-tuned chunky groovy rides connected with typical elements of classic Death . Great is the rhythmic guitar picking, while the lead chords fly over the big rhythmic. Six minutes of the instrumental Moloch underline the solidity of this rhythmic and, once again, the flexible lead . Ravenous moments of pure Death metal are alternated with cadenced loops and stop'n go that spice the track with a feelings of syncope. Up and fast pace are mixed with mid tempo. Fragrance of Abomination is then the final brutal spit.

The production is top notch and obviously very experienced. The sound is well rendered and the low timbres can be excellently enhanced by the bass burst of every hi-fi. The only minus point is brought by the genre itself, which, at least for me, cannot be heard exactly each and every day. However here, in Dawn of the Martyr, there is much to enjoy constantly by operating a selection of the tracks, depending from the mood you are in. For example Neo Phosphorescent Insignificance and Divinity falls can be always chewed, even while driving. On the contrary, Freaks is suitable only during post-classic music reactions. Finally, compliments to the booklet, immersed in a dark grey/blue/violet graphic, complete with lyrics (that are interesting, with a social background) and photos. I would suggest this album to fans of Node, Cryptopsy, Necrophagists, Decapitated, but also to fans of Malevolent Creation and even Belphegor. However this is a release that should be heard by everybody in Extreme Metal. Surely a proud for Switzerland.

Hails to the punishers of the “masquerade of love and hate, undetected but so crystal clear”