Review: Lindsay Schoolcraft – Martyr

Lindsay Schoolcraft is a singer/songwriter/multi-instrumentalist from Canada, undoubtedly best known for her role as keyboard player annex background vocalist in the legendary metal band Cradle Of Filth. However, her rap sheet is bigger than that, having contributed to a few more bands, giving her at least on paper plenty of experience. She teamed up with fellow multi-instrumentalist Rocky Gray (Soul Embraced, Machina, We Are The Fallen and many other bands) with whose help she fulfilled the longtime dream of releasing an album as solo artist. In a few months, this autumn to be more precise, her maiden release will see the light of day. It’s called Martyr and this full-length brings you close to fifty minutes of atmospheric, powerful music in eleven songs.

Never judge a book by its cover. We all know we shouldn’t and we all do it nevertheless. In Lindsay’s case however it’s perfectly safe to do exactly that, because her appearance perfectly seems to fit the type of music she offers on Martyr: emotional, atmospheric, gothic-oriented rock played with an inspired, at times delicate intensity. Although her ultimate musical intentions might not immediately become crystal clear when you play opener Saviour, a powerful song with some rougher edges, it does take you by the hand and gently leads you towards the musical path Lindsay has chosen, which turns out to be quite varied. Via Dangerous Game, Stranger, Into the Night and Blood from a Stone we get a more detailed introduction to Lindsay’s view on every corner of het favored genre, with emotion and atmosphere changing as each song progresses.

Up next is the beautiful, sensitive, deeply emotional Dawn, an atmospheric masterpiece that will send shivers down your spine, while See the Light, next in line after the last tones of Remember have died out, packs much more aggression. Mostly responsible for this aggression is Xenoyr, Ne Obliviscaris’ growlist, who contributes his grunts as a guest vocalist in this song adding ominousness and power to an already quite powerful song in comparison to the rest of Martyr’s songs. Right after this display of power Where I Fall kicks in, with an intro Great White would have been proud of. So there’s lots of contradictions to be found though all with one common denominator: every tone seems to be written from the heart.

Because of the fact several of the elements in Lindsay’s music unmistakably find their roots in the gothic rock corner, the connection to bands like Evanescence, Closterkeller and The 69 Eyes is inevitable and at times also audible. However, Lindsay manages to both add plenty of her own ideas and keep these similarities superficial and subtle enough to steer well clear from becoming a clone of one of these bands thus rendering her music genuine Schoolcraft material. There’s no two ways about this, Martyr is a complete, very convincing, very strong debut. It has it all: power, pain, pleasure and rage, all of course within the perspective of the genre. Even the cover of The Cure’s Lullaby is impressive, which is quite an achievement, even though it is not even remotely the best song of the album. That honor falls, as far as I’m concerned, to Dawn and See the Light, but in all honesty all songs are well above average. Either way, a recommended release for sure.

You can read our interview with Lindsay Schoolcraft here!

Here you can read our review of Cradle of Filth’s Dusk…And Her Embrace The Original Sin.

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