Martyr Extracting The Core-Live 2001

Martyr is easily Canada's most underrated metal band. This Quebec act has combined the progressive death metal of Gorguts (the two bands share one member) and the cold cyborg emotions of Voivod, arriving via the blistering power of Cryptopsy with a bang of the head to fellow prog metal cyborgs Obliveon. In other words, it's distinctively Quebec: powerful, technical and refreshingly human. Martyr ends up in my stereo more than all of the above, save Voivod, as they combine catchy songs, mind-blowing technical precision and an ability to make their music an emotional release. Add to all of the above a running length of merely 40 minutes, which allows for no filler, excellent production and packaging, and we get what we thought we'd never see again: an essential live album. Drummer Patrice Hamelin is one of today's most versatile metal drummers, easily handling speedy death metal, odd time signatures and big grooves. The rest of the band is equally as excellent at their respective instruments, and the lyrics are surprisingly thoughtful. Check out the Warp Zone CD for more mandatory metal. (Skyscraper)