High Roller Records, transparent beer coloured vinyl, ltd 350, 425gsm heavy cardboard cover, lyric sheet, specially mastered for vinyl by Patrick W. Engel/ Temple of Disharmony
The metal scene in the Netherlands started to develop rapidly in the very early 1980s, being directly influenced by the glorious New Wave Of British Heavy Metal. It took until 1985 for legendary Dutch heavy metal band Martyr to issue their fantastic debut album »For The Universe« though. However, formed in 1982, Martyr are anything but a second generation band, they shared the stage with Picture, Highway Chile, Together, Angus and Defender. Before »For The Universe« was originally put out by Megaton Records, Martyr had already recorded several demos, financed an EP and contributed to the legendary »Dutch Steel« compilation album (for Roadrunner Records). The band’s debut album »For The Universe« was issued in 1985 via Megaton Records.
In 1986, the second album »Darkness At Time’s Edge« followed. Original guitarist Rick Bouwman explains: “We quickly wrote new songs for this album, but we also did use two oldies that were already on the highly acclaimed »Metal Torture« demo. These were the songs ‘Into The Abyss’ and ‘Unknown Forces’ (aka ‘English Forces’).” “The differences between the first and the second album”, continues Bouwman, “are mostly that the songs were more mature, but still as can be expected from Martyr in that typical Martyr style. The production is better than on the »For The Universe« album as we took a much longer period to record it in a more professional studio (recording took a month). What didn’t change is the way we recorded it and the way of our song writing. We always try, still do, to remain original and write the songs we love to write (first for ourselves).”
According to Rick, »Darkness At Time’s Edge« shows a bit more musical variety: “Yes, I think so. For this album we did even use non-typical metal instruments like piano, flute, trombone (like in the intro of the title track ‘Darkness At Times Edge’). Besides that we had guest musicians and better guidance than on the »For The Universe« album.”
The experience of recording the first album did also help quite a bit: ”Of course, although we have done multiple demos before, so we were used to working in the studio already before the first album. But during more and more recordings and playing a lot live shows you grow as musician and as a band, so that experience definitely helps.”
»Darkness At Time’s Edge« was originally released on the Metalloid label, was that just the continuation of Megaton or a completely different company? ”It is a different company but there is a relation”, states Rick. ”One of the managers of Megaton left the company to build his own. He started Metalloid and Martyr was the first act he signed (easy as he saw that the »For The Universe« album was doing ok of course).”
Martyr did tour for their second album quite a lot: ”Most shows we did at that time were in the Netherlands, Belgium and Germany. But mainly we played every weekend in the Netherlands. They were, so to say, our nights out as teenagers. Instead of going to bars and clubs we were performing and having the times of our lives!”
After »Darkness At Time’s Edge« Martyr were indeed working on a possible third album: “We wrote some new material but had some line-up changes in the band. I think we made three or four demos after »Darkness At Time’s Edge«, all with different line-ups. Those changes were not good for the band. And when we came in contact with a major record label, the magic was gone as they tried to change Martyr to write more commercial songs (around the period bands like Europe and Bon Jovi became huge). We split in 1987 due to the reasons mentioned above. But none of us ever stopped making music after that, only we were active in other bands.”