If you need something else to grab onto, then experimental, alternative, or even industrial pop work. But Maya’s deliberate use of “apocalypse pop” as a tag is entirely appropriate. Because it nails what Martyrs is about. Not just sonically, but thematically.
Martyrs opens with “Angel of Annihilation”. That’s a pretty metal title, but for the first minute or so this song strikes somewhere around trip-hop. But when that minute ends, it erupts.
There’s some muscular rock here, but Maya’s softer vocals contrast nicely with it. What’s interesting is that while Maya isn’t bringing roars, their voice has this subtle edge to it. It’s the voice of someone who has lived through something, well, apocalyptic.
The ebbs and flows of “Angel…” give it some variety without ever breaking the momentum. The pacing is just right, and it’s maintained as we ride into “Holy Holy”.
“Holy Holy” also juggles intensity with the appeal DIY appeal of bedroom pop. You can tell this is the work of one person with the talent and confidence to deliver something greater than the sum of its parts.
This put me in mind of Takamachi Walk’s wither. Though this is less nu-metal and more goth. “Holy Holy” also carries stabbing melodies, glitches, industrial percussion, and some incredibly crunchy and satisfying fretwork.
The EP closes with the title track. “Martyrs” is a thing of ominous beauty.
It’s music to watch ashes fall by. “Look what we’ve done to each other. Look what we’ve done to ourselves” Maya muses, as if they were walking across scorched earth. It amps up the bass and feels so substantial.
All tolled, Martyrs, despite its short length, feels like an odyssey. A journey across scarred landscapes, traveled by someone who’s seen some shit. This is a deeply impressive record.
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