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Fallen Martyr - "The Six Roots Of True Will" (CD/EP)

Fallen Martyr - "The Six Roots Of True Will" CD/EP cover image

"The Six Roots Of True Will" track listing:

1. Like a Sinking Feeling (5:50)
2. Reverse Metamorphasis (6:11)
3. Mr. M (5:30)
4. All In (6:41)
5. Scars of Dissociation (1:28)
6. The Man Becomes the Prophet (6:07)

Reviewed by on September 6, 2009

"For a relatively unknown band, Fallen Martyr has a surprisingly big name sound. The dual guitar work and effortless switching from clean signing to growls provide a sound that many metal fans can easily dig."

Metal is a very fluid concept, covering a huge range of styles and genres. Plenty of bands find a niche that they are good at playing and stay firmly in that area without any experimentation. Fallen Martyr is a band that would rather try new things and break out of their genre boundaries, even if each experimental outing isn’t completely perfect. Their six track EP “The Six Roots of True Will” has enough influences from the various strains of heavy music to appeal to fans across the spectrum of death, black, thrash, and progressive metal.

Even though Fallen Martyr has a very prominent symphonic presence, they don’t start their EP with an instrumental opener. “Like a Sinking Feeling” instead gets right into its main riff to start the immediate head banging and give a taste of how the heavier moments sound. The vocals start off with an abrasive scream somewhere between black and death metal, but soon switch into melodic clean singing.

Frequently changing vocal styles are a staple of the EP, as no single vocal variation ever truly dominates the disc. They don’t just simply switch from harsh to clean either, as there are many layers within each type. First it’s straightforward clean signing, then a more epic style reminiscent of power metal, and then a harsh yell. The harsh vocals switch from the standard low death growl to a clear scream that bears a more mainstream sound. Each vocal change flows with the pacing of the songs to match what the other instruments are doing. While the underlying framework isn’t as noticeable on the first listen through, the unity of sound between each band member comes into focus over repeated listens. All of the elements seem to be very carefully arranged for the best possible effect.

“The Six Roots of True Will” has more easily digestible hooks and melody than the average extreme metal release. When combined with the subject matter of the lyrics and the standard rhyming scheme, the EP clearly has more appeal to a wider audience. The repeating choruses and catchy themes make the songs more attractive to listeners who aren’t interested in working through complex lyrics or layers of sound.

The fifth track “Scars of Dissociation” takes a brief break from heavier aspects to show off a softer side of the band. The song drops the dual guitars and instead relies solely on piano and synth effects with layered clean singing that brings back themes from the first song. The interlude is less than two minutes long, so it gives an entertaining foray into more classical sounding territory without dragging the album down too much.

For a relatively unknown band, Fallen Martyr has a surprisingly big name sound. The dual guitar work and effortless switching from clean signing to growls provide a sound that many metal fans can easily dig. “The Six Roots of True Will” doesn’t define a new genre, but it does have echoes of a wide range of metal styles, which makes for an interesting and eclectic listen. Some fans of extreme music may not enjoy the mainstream elements, but the EP is overall an underground gem worth hearing.

Highs: Interesting blend of styles, dual guitar work sounds great, lots of vocal variation.

Lows: Keyboards are a little too low in the mix, a lot of the songs are more mainstream than the average extreme metal fan may like.

Bottom line: An eclectic EP with lots of mainstream elements that will appeal to a wide range of metal fans.

Rated 3.5 out of 5 skulls
3.5 out of 5 skulls


Key
Rating Description
Rated 5 out of 5 skulls Perfection. (No discernable flaws; one of the reviewer's all-time favorites)
Rated 4.5 out of 5 skulls Near Perfection. (An instant classic with some minor imperfections)
Rated 4 out of 5 skulls Excellent. (An excellent effort worth picking up)
Rated 3.5 out of 5 skulls Good. (A good effort, worth checking out or picking up)
Rated 3 out of 5 skulls Decent. (A decent effort worth checking out if the style fits your tastes)
Rated 2.5 out of 5 skulls Average. (Nothing special; worth checking out if the style fits your taste)
Rated 2 out of 5 skulls Fair. (There is better metal out there)
< 2 skulls Pretty Bad. (Don't bother)