Scar the Martyr
Scar the Martyr


3.0
good

Review

by Robert Davis CONTRIBUTOR (149 Reviews)
October 1st, 2013 | 17 replies | 7,145 views


Release Date: 09/30/2013 | Tracklist

Review Summary: The scars of Jordison's musical past are still there, but for what it is, Scar the Martyr is decent.

Given that Slipknot recently returned to Download earlier this year for a nostalgic albeit inconsistent performance, you’d be forgiven for thinking that each of the band’s eight remaining members would be halting their current side projects and working together on new material. However, Corey Taylor has his very own Stone Sour, Shawn Crahan has the more rock orientated band Dirty Little Rabbits, and now Jordison is applying his instrumental talents to his newest side-project, Scar the Martyr. There’s a great deal of interest surrounding what Scar the Martyr consists of. Chris Vrenna of NIN is on keyboards, Jed Simon (SYL/Zimmer’s Hole) is on guitars with Kris Norris (Darkest Hour), and Jordison, who certainly doesn’t need an introduction, is unsurprisingly behind the drumkit, contributing to the guitars and bass and consequently producing a rather heavy rhythm section. Now this leaves a rather unknown Henry Derek, who will doubtlessly be judged the most by many listeners, if not for his sometimes unhealthy mixture of clean and harsh vocals, then certainly for his as yet unknown musical background.

Now, with musicians like this contributing a bit of their respective talent to a band as new as Scar the Martyr, surely the music is going to be top-notch? Well, the answer to that question is a healthy balance of “yes” and “no”. For one thing, the self-titled début album consists of fourteen tracks and amounts to a far too hefty running time of seventy four minutes, and when many of the tracks could easily have been cut down by a couple minutes each (and still be called average by some), the first word that will pop up in the listener’s mind is undoubtedly “filler”. It’s understandable that the band want to show off their instrumental chops, but when the unnecessarily long endings of "Dark ages", "Blood host" and hit and miss closer "Last night on earth" leave you on the verge of wanting to switch off altogether, it’s not exactly the best of first impressions. This, surprisingly and unsurprisingly, are what Slipknot sometimes suffered from in the past.

Speaking of Slipknot, just take a guess at how much of Scar the Martyr consists of half-hearted, rehashed beats and rhythms taken from the entirety of Slipknot’s back catalogue. As exaggerated as you think this last statement may be, you can never shake the feeling of Slipknot’s backbone bearing itself upon every single track on the album. It’s horribly uncanny that "My retribution" and the mediocre "Cruel ocean" almost sound like Slipknot would have, had the band focused more on industrial atmospheres and less on the heaviness produced by the rhythm section. Even "Anatomy of Erinyes" and "Mind’s eye" come across as trashy leftovers of early Slipknot material, however hard they try to be different or indeed original.

All this said, Scar the Martyr does have its brief albeit delightful moments. For one thing the rhythm section is mostly consistent and well performed. The infectious heaviness that charges songs such as "My retribution" and "Prayer for prey" is very welcome, and the adrenaline-fuelled one-two punch of “White nights in a day room” and "Effigy unborn" make for a supremely monstrous atmosphere. Henry Derek’s vocal style is varied, and in no way comes across as a Corey Taylor clone. In fact, Derek seems to fully embrace whichever musical style is being performed and manages to fit in. Although he has a slight misstep or two in "Cruel ocean" or "Never forgive never forget" where the voice warbles and gives in to the overbearing heaviness of the rhythm section, both "Dark ages" and "Soul disintegration" benefit from his fusion of soft, clean vocals with harsh, energetic roars.

The other outstanding aspect of Scar the Martyr is Chris Vrenna’s unmistakeably talented chops on keyboards. He can really give an extra spice to the likes of "Blood host" and the two brief interludes ("Intro" and the rather pointless "Sign of the omeneye") are created via eerie atmospheres and sometimes tasteful industrial noise, which very rarely becomes quieter than anything performed by the other instruments. Together with the guitars, bass and drums, it all looks like a bit of a mess on paper, but in musical form, it is consistently fluent and fits well with Derek’s varied vocal style.

So, does Scar the Martyr hit those heights which it was aiming for? Sadly not, but there is a large amount of ambition going on here, and the musical talent simply can’t be ignored. This album is good, but far too long and far too self-indulgent to be called unique. Maybe when Jordison isn't applying his talent to Slipknot once again, he can finally settle down and work with Scar the Martyr and create truly original music, thus producing, in his own honest words, his “career-defining moment”.



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user ratings (37)
Chart.
3.2
good

Comments:Add a Comment 
linguist2011
Contributing Reviewer
October 1st 2013



1860 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Originally posted here:

http://meltingalbumreviews.com/2013/10/01/scar-the-martyr-scar-the-martyr/

Digging: Pallbearer - Foundations of Burden

Metalstyles
Staff Reviewer
October 1st 2013



8327 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Good review man, I didn't think this would turn out too well in the first place so I'm not surprised one bit by your assessment. If a stream for this can be found somewhere I can give it a go, but it's definitely not in the top half of my to-listen list.

linguist2011
Contributing Reviewer
October 1st 2013



1860 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Knew I forgot something!

Yeah, here's the album stream, but there isn't any tracklisting (I had to use Wikipedia to tell which song I was on):

http://relics.scarthemartyr.com/



DatsNotDaMetulz
October 1st 2013



1746 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5 | Sound Off

yeah it's out now anyway. Personally I think Henry Derek sounds quite a lot like Corey Taylor but maybe that's just me.

BassDemon333
October 1st 2013



3364 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I really enjoyed this. Its a bit too long, but its got some great riffs throughout. Jordisons drumming suprsisingly isn't the highlight of the album either, it focuses more on the vocals and guitars if anything.

Digging: Mudvayne - L.D. 50

linguist2011
Contributing Reviewer
October 1st 2013



1860 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Yeah agreed, the guitar work on here is probably the main attraction for me.

JustinKing
October 1st 2013



1296 Comments


Does this at all show how good a guitarist Kris Norris is, though? Haven't checked this out yet.

EvoHavok
October 1st 2013



1353 Comments


I might check this out.

SirDrumsalot
October 1st 2013



1537 Comments

Album Rating: 1.5

I expected a lot more from this with Jed Simon on board, but this is pretty terrible.

cloakanddagger
October 2nd 2013



17 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Good review. Album is pretty good, but extremely long.

FrozenVain
October 2nd 2013



2405 Comments


Great review, pos'd. I should probably jam this cuz the lineup is kinda sick.

Trism
October 7th 2013



3 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

After hearing Blood Host from the album and seeing the line-up I was pretty excited for this, sadly though I agree with the reviewer in that there's a lot of Slipknot-lite stuff in there. If they stay together for a 2nd album I'd like to see what they could do if all the members had a hand in the writing.

Also, Joey Jordisson described this as being 'post-punk industrial'. For someone who drummed with Ministry for a while I'm surprised he got that sooooo wrong.

DatsNotDaMetulz
October 7th 2013



1746 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5 | Sound Off

Yeah if you get the Revolver EP I'm pretty sure the two bonus tracks were the ones that had input from Jed and Kris. One of them has a very SYL-esque riff while the other is much more thrashy.

Ikarus14
October 9th 2013



535 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5 | Sound Off

Picked this up the other day and I thought it was pretty good. A little inconsistent style wise (Cruel Ocean sounded like it was done by fucking Sonic Syndicate) but it felt fresh enough compared to Slipknot's last album.

TalonsOfFire
October 21st 2013



6508 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

I liked this, and while it was certainly overlong and repetitive, there was some great ideas in here. But yeah I hope the next record is a little more varied.

Digging: Ulver - Blood Inside

tresm87
November 11th 2013



743 Comments


terrible vocals

Digging: Upon a Burning Body - The World is My Enemy Now

Essence
December 13th 2013



3583 Comments


i think this would be a lot more interesting if the vocals weren't so hard to listen to



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