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Being a staple part of the UK Metal scene throughout the past 6 years, and despite all working day jobs, Martyr Defiled have managed to consistently release material and relentlessly perform live to the point where you would be hard-pressed to miss them at a show. April 29th will see their second full length release under the title No Hope No Morality via Siege of Amida/Century Media and tonight – April 23rd – they’re holding a release show upstairs at the London Garage.

It is often unpredictable and difficult to estimate attendance during midweek gigs, and considering the free entry it is an added pressure for a band of Martyr Defiled’s stature that could see their popularity and the strength of the scene itself tested. There are no more than 30 people in the room by the time the opening act Sirens take to the stage and they launch into their set with full conviction.

Despite being hindered by an awful sound, you can still feel every hit and chop as they strike through their own amalgamation of synth based metalcore that sounds like a mashup of Bleeding Through grappling with the melodies of Bury Tomorrow. Vocalist Rob Clarke cuts through a muddy sound as he bellows out scathing roars, and serving as a contrast, they’ve opted to include clean vocals from guitarist Rob Hunt which sound like an afterthought but conclusively serve to be a compliment to the sound.

The closing track of the set furiously pedals into a strong hardcore based rhythm that totally kills. A respectable performance from this relatively young act, with a few more a shows under their belt, they’ll soon become a band to watch out for.

It’s a varied bill tonight, as the highlight of the support acts Create To Inspire come correct. Exuding a punk-inspired post-hardcore sound, they take the heavier riffs of Refused, the experimental side of letlive. and the melodies of Thrice and it’s immediately impressive. The band fire out grooves that make you want to smash the floor using the skull of the person next to you and the songs, not relying on the use of a backing track, have a superior rawness and potency over the support acts of the night. A punk rock attitude, they fully get on the offensive as vocalist Sean Midson paces on the floor screaming in faces; its attitude without arrogance. This band deserves a better response from the crowd. Create to Inspire are a tough act to follow and will hopefully continue to challenge acts for years to come.

The One Hundred are next up and they get straight into playing their electronic based nu-metalcore(?). Unashamedly traversing between hip hop, dance and nu-metal executed with all the structural arrangements of a contemporary band, imagine Enter Shikari met Limp Bizkit and took one too many pills at dubstep tinged secondary school party. Despite his scrawny, fresh faced look vocalist Jacob Field does have a scream on him, at times they even, (probably unintentionally) come across as sounding like a modern Vacant Stare. A welcoming odd choice for tonight as the band are probably better at commanding parties than pits yet the rooms gets busier and they are the first act to incite movement from the crowd.  Clearly enjoying performing on stage, it successfully translates with the crowd and although they will not be everyone’s cup of tea, they are fun to watch as novelty.

Much like tonight’s varied bill, Martyr Defiled have always danced around the edges of different genres; debut album Collusion was a death metal beast of a machine, and their latest EP In Shadows saw them take on a more hardcore altered shape. Now with the release of No Hope No Morality, we find ourselves able to see MD’s ultimate form as they find the sound to represent the firm foothold they hold in the UK metal scene.

With the latest release we see a departure from their use of socially aware lyrics; having grown and matured as a group the focus is now concentrated on self-experience. It is this experience that immediately shows, as their tightly-executed groove based metal fills the room with bounds of confidence. What was lacking from previous acts is now present as the crew are at the top of their game and with the sound improving 10 fold, we are able to get a sense of clarity from a triggered kick drum and coherent guitars.

Performing mainly tracks from the latter part of their career, they drive through a set that pummels out blastbeats at breakneck speed before swooping into hardcore half time chuggs that still riff out with an epic death metal tension. Thankfully there is no pit-killing tonight and the packed out room is able to enjoy the set – headbanging along to this Martyr Defiled v2.0. Ending the set with latest single “616” and hearing the die-hards shout along with vocalist Matthew Jones’ “Shut the f**k up – you don’t know me!” the aggression is infectious and Martyr Defiled really show their dominance on stage.

With an album set to raise the game for a long standing act on the scene – as we saw last year with Bleed From Within stepping up to headline bigger shows and support bigger acts – it its likely Martyr Defiled will be able to evolve and walk along this path of progression. We wait intently to see how the release of No Hope No Morality is set to shape a defining year for these guys.

Louis writer banner Feb 14