Watch: VOIVOD Guitarist DAN 'CHEWY' MONGRAIN Resurrects MARTYR For Appearance At 2023 TROIS-RIVIÈRES METALFEST
November 11, 2023
Dan "Chewy" Mongrain (VOIVOD) and Patrice Hamelin (GORGUTS) resurrected their Canadian cult prog-death band MARTYR for a headlining performance at this year's Trois-Rivières Metalfest.
After a 10-year hiatus, MARTYR accepted the invitation to play its second album, 2000's "Warp Zone", in its entirety and more on Friday, November 10 at Cabaret de l’Amphithéâtre Cogeco in Trois-Rivières, Quebec, Canada.
Fan-filmed video of the concert can be seen below.
It all began in 1989 in Quebec when brothers François and Dan Mongrain (15 and 13 years old at the time),got their first musical instruments. With friends from high school, the band rehearsed daily for years, cutting their teeth with metal covers and dabbling in composition.
In 1995, MARTYR recorded a well-received four-song demo titled "Ostrogoth", which would lead to the production of the band's first nine-track studio album in 1997, "Hopeless Hopes". The concept of the LP was to serve as a mirror of the human state of mind. Shortly after, drummer Patrice Hamelin joined the band. MARTYR promoted "Hopeless Hopes" with local tours and had the opportunity to play at the famous Milwaukee Metalfest XII in 1998 along with MESHUGGAH, DEATH, CRYPTOPSY, NAPALM DEATH, DESPISED ICON and MERCYFUL FATE. In 2000, after many shows in Canada creating a solid fanbase, MARTYR released a second studio album, the aforementioned "Warp Zone", which was a success in the underground scene, and to this day has a worldwide respect amongst aficionados of the genre. "Warp Zone" is an exploration within one's life evolution, transitions, self-questionings and reflections. MARTYR would then self-promote their first Pan-Canadian tour and gathered more and more fans as an amazing performing band, a must-see act playing very complex music with lots of energy and passion. A live album ("Extracting The Core", 2001) captured the essence of the performance of the band playing titles from their first two albums. Following the live album, departure of guitar player Pier-luc Lampron led the band to slow down and restructure with new axeman Martin Carbonneau. MARTYR eventually started to play shows again, leading to writing new music once the band's chemistry became solid. In 2006, MARTYR released its third studio album titled "Feeding The Abscess". Much work was put into this album, both in the visual art and the words and music. The album was followed by the production of a live DVD in 2008, "Havoc In Quebec City". This amazing DVD contained over three hours of highly personal footage that included the following: an extended headlining performance of fifteen songs, studio footage, five additional live songs, plus an hour-long documentary.
In 2012, disagreements withing the band led MARTYR to be put on hold. During the hiatus, the musicians were to be involved in different music projects. Dan Mongrain did extensive touring and recordings with VOIVOD, which he already joined in 2008. He is a two-time Juno Awards recipient as a member and composer of VOIVOD for the album "The Wake" (2019) and the album "Synchro Anarchy" (2022) for "Best Metal/Hard Album Of The Year" (Canada). He also wrote and recorded an album with GORGUTS (2000's "From Wisdom To Hate") and toured with CRYPTOPSY as a hired gun in 2005. He played in a musical ("Dracula: Entre L'amour Et La Mort") and played in various projects in the pop scene in Montreal, including live and TV shows, as well as studio work. He also appears on various albums for guest solos spots from bands around the globe. Martin teaches guitar and plays regularly in various live music projects. François distanced himself from music until 2022 when he joined the band APOCALYPTIC FEAR, along with Patrice. He filled in for KATAKLYSM on a North American tour (2008) and recorded bass on the "Romulus" (2009) album from the EX-DEO project. Hamelin has been involved touring and/or recordings with QUO VADIS, DESPISED ICON, SENATE, GORGUTS, CEPHALIC CARNAGE, BENEATH THE MASSACRE and APOCALYPTIC FEAR.
In 2019, there were talks about a reunion project, just before the pandemic hit the world. in 2023, after an offer by Trois-Rivières Metalfest organizers to play the well-known festival in their hometown, MARTYR decided it was time to get together and reconnect with their fans, their roots and the excitement of playing this crazy music together as MARTYR.
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