HolyMartyr-DSPHoly Martyr
Darkness Shall Prevail
Dragonheart Records / Audioglobe

TLDR: Epic heavy metal from Italy that pays its tribute to Iron Maiden and Manowar.

Review: Founded in mid-90’s, Holy Martyr represents old-school epic heavy metal. Their chosen style is nodding to Iron Maiden’s guitar melodies and others in that genre, as well as Manowar’s older material with all the epic vocals and pathos. No doubt, these are both good examples to any heavy metal band. However these Italians haven’t quite grasped the ideas which make those bands so brilliant. At least can’t blame this band for trying.

As J.R.R. Tolkien theme-album Darkness Shall Prevail is easy-going stuff to listen to. Nothing on the album is exactly annoying or boring. The songs have just the right amount of tempo and energy without going over the borders. Vocals go high and hard, and to some extent remind of Eric Adams – just not as much balls as Adams has. In this respect the guitars seem to be secondary to vocal performance.

Even though Darkness Shall Prevail is more good than bad, it doesn’t exactly give an excuse to bang your head, shake your fist or anything of that sort. Everything on the album is “just nice” and that’s it. Nothing goes to eleven, so to speak. But if you feel like there is just enough space for one more Tolkien-based theme-album, sure why not, give this one a try.

Track list:
1. Shores of Elenna
2. Númenor
3. Heroic Deeds
4. Dol Guldur
5. Darkness Descends
6. Taur nu Fuin
7. Minas Morgul
8. Witch-King of Angmar
9. The Dwarrowdelf
10. Born of Hope