Warp Zone (2000)
“As a kid I had an insatiable urge to discover new death metal and thrash metal bands. I would read interviews, scour thank-you lists inside albums and peruse online forums in search of the holy grail. The further I went down the rabbit hole, the more and more bands I discovered, some of them great, others not so much.
“I was on MySpace one day and stumbled across a band called Martyr, and when I checked out their stuff, I was totally in awe. The level of musicianship floored me right away, and the more I listened, the more I appreciated their compositional skills as well. Dan Mongrain [Martyr’s main songwriter and lead guitarist/vocalist] is one of the best guitarists playing extreme metal. After I bought the record, I also picked up the tab book for Warp Zone [the group’s 2000 album]. Learning the riffs and solos really opened up my mind to completely new possibilities in the realm of death metal. If Stravinsky composed for a death metal band and then had Allan Holdsworth solo over it, that’s what it would sound like. Learning those tunes totally kicked my ass, but they also inspired me to push myself as a player.
“Over the years, I’ve had the pleasure of seeing Martyr live and sharing the stage with them in my own band. They’re currently on hiatus, but I’m keeping my fingers crossed that they’ll reunite at some point. Do yourself a favor and check out their discography. Just be careful that your face doesn’t melt off.”