Independent / Soundmass
2007 / 2008
Martyrs Shrine is the second project by former Mortification members Michael Carlisle and Mike Forsberg. Michael Charlisle, if you may recall, was the long-time guitarist for most of the “classic” era, playing on the first four albums, plus the Live Planetarium release, before heading off to do his own thing. Mike Forsberg was the drummer on the Brain Cleaner release in 2004.
Martyrs Shrine came about when–and this is just wild speculation here, not based on facts or anything–because Charlisle’s first post-Mortification project Cybergrind kind of sucked. And like Cybergrind, Martyrs Shrine operated for a few years, released one album, and then disappeared. The difference here, though, is that the death metal here is more basic, old-school and mid-paced, in the style of Bolt Thrower and Six Feet Under. It’s mostly riffs and heaviness, though, as there wasn’t any discernible solos in the music, so those of you who are more used to the technical type of death metal that has been populating the scenes as of recent might be turned off. But, for those of us who remember the early days of the genre, this would be a nice blast of nostalgia. Though, admittedly, that also works against the music at times, as the songs are long-ish, and tend to drone a bit after the freshness date.
Originally, this self-titled release was put out independently, with a basic black cover with the band’s logo. Then, a year later, Soundmass re-released it with different cover art and logo. The Soundmass version was the one I purchased from Amazon; I do believe the original independent release was limited to only 500 copies. Either way, it’s worth a look-see for some old school death metal injections.