Thursday, August 13, 2009

MARTYR AD: The Human Condition In Twelve Fractions

Through recent conversations with some younger kids, I've realized that a lot of people are only aware of Martyr AD's "On Earth As It Is In Hell" album. With the internet playing the role that it does these days, its weird to think that there are still albums out there that remain void of tenure on iPods amongst the hardcore world. It makes you remember how much ahead of the the time Victory Records was in comparison to the likes of Ferret and Trustkill at the time as far as promotion and distribution goes.

The Human Condition In Twelve Fractions was Martyr AD's first effort as a band. These ex-Disembodied members went straight for the throat with a debut full length release. Unlike most full lengths, this one both deserves and has a reason to exist. Martyr AD can not be summed up in four-to-six tracks. A full length offering was in call and these guys stepped up to the plate with this release.

The album starts off with quite possibly the only fitting intro to the album; Failed Polygraph Examination. Immediately breaking into possibly the most chaotic sounding riff of my at-the-time 16 year old life, Broken Mouth had me hooked from my first listen. I specifically remember thinking "this sounds like The Great Southern Trendkill".

Seventyfive-Twentyfive, the third track on the album, was responsible for making me a lot of friends in Erie, PA. The second or third show I attended up there was the Martyr AD/Throwdown tour in late 2001; at which I was knocked-the-fuck-out during the break in the aforementioned song. I was out cold for the remainder of the song, but stood up and proceeded to mosh for the rest of the set; because I'm hard. Hell, I even tried moshing for Throwdown after but the venue told me I had to "cool it". HxC.

Martyr AD was also responsible for being the band to initially introduce me to The Mr Roboto Project. Somewhere early in the year 2001 was when I first was introduced to The Mr Roboto Project when I went to see Martyr AD and Burnt By The Sun. The venue altered my reality of what going to a show could be (there's no bouncers!?!?! you didn't have to leave smelling like smoke!?!?!) but that is another story for another day I suppose. Point being, had Martyr AD not written such a superior mosh album for its time, I would've been delayed finding out about Roboto for god knows how long (it was rare for the mosh to be present at Roboto back then). I specifically remember wanting to mosh the entire set, yet being too nervous to until the Martyr AD vocalist ran up to the wall and did some sort of kick off of it as though he was on a skateboard; knocking into me and in turn starting the first karate mosh that Roboto had probably ever seen.

As I eluded to earlier, Martyr AD was essentially a continuation of Disembodied after their break-up in 1999. Featuring guitarist Joel (guitar), Tara (bass), and Justin (drums) of their former band, Martyr AD was a furthering of the progression heard on the final Disembodied album. Looking back, the "Heretic" album serves as a perfect precursor to what would eventually be heard from Martyr AD. Its like listening to a 33 RPM Disembodied record at 45 RPM, but with the vocals somehow getting lower and meaner.

As much as I love Disembodied and everything about the band, Martyr AD was definitely an "improvement" on what Disembodied was doing as far as musicianship goes. The drums really got taken up a notch as did the vocals. Don't get me wrong, the lyrics and vocals of Disembodied are perfect in my eyes, however, some of the vocal techniques used by Michael James Fisketti on The Human Condition were considerably groundbreaking; especially for its time. The main reason that their follow-up album on Victory Records couldn't hold up to their debut was the departure of the drummer and vocalist who appeared on said debut. The riffing available on the follow-up is more than satisfactory, however, the vocals and drumming could never keep up the way that they did on the debut (sorry Holding On guys).

Listen to this album the whole way through - DOWNLOAD


POST UPDATE - Stuck In The Past has posted up the definitive collection of Martyr AD demo material. The post includes pre-production for the entire debut album, FOUR tracks from the session with Jared on drums, and five pre-production tracks for On Earth As It Is In Hell. You can download these all at Stuck In The Past.


Anonymous said...

Sick band, sick album, great post AJ, keep it coming.


yep awesome album love em!do you know if there is any other stuff beside the two albums?


and btw I own this vinyl and its really cheap!the cover is just thin paper there is no inlay or any info on whatsoever.its like every other lifeforce records vinyl CHEAP and Shitty.but hey I got it on ebay for about 1$.

AJ said...

I would agree with you on every vinyl I've ever got from Lifeforce ... EXCEPT for that I just got the Diablerie re-press and its a heavy cardstock gatefold ... very strange. But no, the only official Martyr AD releases are these full lengths. I'm trying to track down those two demo tracks of original line-up doing songs from On Earth As It Is In Hell.


a friend of mine has got the repress too and its really made good!I think the WAR FROM A HARLOTS MOUTH vinyl was ok too,but thats no excuse!and MARTYR AD is one of the most underrated bands ever!

I gues its gonna be very hard to get those demos I never even heard of those!
Say do you know any PATH OF RESISTANCE demos or non album tracks/bootlegs?
or DEATH THREAT (connecticut)demos/rarities/bootlegs?

any help would be great!

AJ said...

Was never too big into either of those bands so I got nothing. Sorry. I have a Death Threat demo cassette but no way to rip it to Mp3. I'll work on it. They had a song on some 4 way 7" comp that you might not have. I'm sure it got re-recorded for something else, though.


I think you are talking about the DIVISION HAS BEGUN comp but I got that song.
I would buy that demo from you or kill for mp3s of this!REALLY!

and btw I dled all of your bands stuff and I really like it it reminds of MARTYR AD but with its own style!

Threefold Misery said...

Here is the last 2 songs they did with the original lineup.. Demo.rar


hey great man thx!

Jason said...

Matyr A.D. is still one of my all time favorite bands. Yet another classic metalcore band around when metalcore wasn't a dirty word.

Aaron said...

Glad you posted this. I planned on putting this on my blog some time ago, but i'm sure only 6 people would of seen it and 1 would of cared, ha. But yeah, this cd is really awesome. I got into them when On Earth As In Hell came out, so I was in the 7th grade I believe. And I didn't hear any of this until 2 years ago and didn't hear the whole thing until back in December when I found it for $3 at a book store. This is so much better and I swear at times there are going to be Disembodied covers in the middle of some songs.

If anyone else wants to know more on the band, in this interview you can read a little bit about Martyr AD.

I seriously wish this band would play again. This album does bring a heavy mosh. It also never gets boring, I really dislike full lengths because I can only enjoy a few tracks it seems, know what I mean? This is an exception.

Haha, sorry for writing so much nonsense in here.

jeffreycristiani said...

You are THE fucking best for posting this. Seriously. I have a similar story. I was about the same age and had been a fan of Disembodied as well so was of course stoked out of my mind to hear these guys. My friend saw them on the Throwdown tour in Portland or Seattle and brought the CD back to St. Louis where I'm from before they came to the midwest on that tour. !!!! HOLY SHIT, mosh part upon mosh part I couldn't believe the way they piled on the breakdowns. So then when I went to see them I was the only motherfucker in STL (besides my friend) who knew the songs and I just wrecked myself going apeshit moshing. Cartwheels, toetouches, windmills. I actually fucked myself up I got so dizzy I almost hurled at the front of the stage from vertigo. SIIIIIIIICK On a side note, years later I found out that my really good friend Mario played guitar on Diablerie. He told me at a party and I didn't fucking believe him- we had been friends for like 3 years! What a small fucking world! - Jeff from Sob Story


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az said...

I didn't know this until now, I'm trying to find lyrics for Human Condition in Twelve Fractions and all I'm finding are references to On Earth, but not even a picture of HCiTF! In terms of familiarity it was the complete opposite for me.

Never heard of Roboto, have to check them out. I've been relistening to all this stuff that I can remember.