Album Review :
Sonic Martyr - s/t

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Band: Sonic Martyr

Title: s/t

Label: Trinity Records

Release Date: November 2008

Review By: Scott L


  1. Early Exposure
  2. Going My Own Way
  3. I Thought I Knew It All
  4. My Struggle
  5. Death Of Self

As I looked over this CD, another gift from Dale from Metal Pulse Radio, I thought to myself that I’ve rarely been a big fan of concept albums. Although, in college my hands down favorite CD was Queensryche’s “Operation Mindcrime” which was a concept album of sorts. While I don’t listen to it anymore (I got saved), I can still appreciate the value of jamming religious corruption in whatever form it may take. Anyway, all that to say that Sonic Martyr’s self-titled 5-song EP is a concept album of sorts. Each song is parenthetically designated as a stage in a man’s life… from youth to the moment of conviction, repentance and new life in Christ. Pretty cool idea.

Sonic Martyr is a 2-piece out of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania that plays a pretty straight forward brand of rock. Production is a little rough and the mix could use a little more bottom to it, which is a bit surprising given the fact that the liner notes credit the CD mastering to Ty Tabor (King’s X). But indie is indie and bands have to work with what they’ve got and make the best of it.

Reaching for a sound somewhere along the lines of 32 Leaves, Earshot, or Hurt, Sonic Martyr isn’t poised to be America’s next super group… but they should be able to gather a faithful following nonetheless. I think that with a bit better mix, some work on the vocals, and a little more diversity in the songs, these guys could do pretty well for themselves.

Lyrically, the 5 tracks on this EP are centered around the concept of a man living his life. The various themes revolve around the transformation from self-centered humanistic ideology to spiritual rebirth and regeneration. Without the use of any big theological words, of course. Consider the EP’s final song “Death To Self” which victoriously declares “the thorns that were meant for me / it’s now plain to see / was placed upon your head / you kept me from my own death / it’s a crown that I deserve / for me and only me / my heart melts like wax / I’m finally alive at last / the old life is gone for good / an angel arrives in you / I must keep to the path / to avoid eternal wrath / it’s from you that I found life”.

It’s obvious that Sonic Martyr is all about spreading the gospel. The CD jacket contains information on why and how to receive Christ in your life. And then the songs reinforce that with basically a series of snapshots showing the defining moments faced by the album’s fictional amalgamation of humanity. So there truly is something for everyone to be found somewhere in this EP.

The standout track was “Going My Own Way”. This was due more to the message than to the music, although that’s not to say that the music was lousy… because it wasn’t. It’s just that I’ve always had a bit of a rebellious streak and any time I can confront it and deal with it is a good thing. Call me crazy, but I for one am all for conviction.

Overall: Sonic Martyr has put out a decent EP. What it lacks in spit and polish production it makes up for in a meat and potatoes message.

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