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Martyr Defiled: In Shadows

Nottingham deathcore mob sharpen their tools

Far from just another beatdown-heavy plod, this second, seven-track EP proves Martyr Defiled have far more metallic know-how than your average deathcore crew.

Not that there’s a lack of cranium crushing moments, with the churning riffs of R/Evolution that are sure to turn any show into a warzone. But it’s when the band focus on other elements of their sound that they put themselves forward as contenders.

Opener Black Mesa is a multi-headed beast of technical riffs and doomy passages reminiscent of Decapitated, while Prison Walls goes from a troubling rumble of strings to a malevolent descending outro. Vultures, which features the fiery growls of Demoraliser’s James Dexter is a refined effort that leaves most of their contemporaries’ distracted hotchpotch of riffs trailing in the dust.

Arguably the finest two tracks are the finishing one-two of financial crisis-baiting Goldstein and Isolate, which show how far MD have come since 2010 debut full-length, Collusion. Both see some murderously contagious riffs and venomous lyrics pack an exhilarating punch, marking out the quintet for future acclaim.