A Martyr’s Fall – Not Your Average Metalcore
With a mix of progressive and metalcore, A Martyr’s Fall comes from the local Milwaukee, Wisconsin metal scene. After starting out together in an alternative rock band, Ryan Kubacki, Nigel Johnson and Erik Palzewicz came together on their own as side project experimenting with heavier sounds. They soon recruited high school friend Karl Radtke to form A Martyr’s Fall.
The band originally named themselves Crestfallen, but soon noticed that there were multiple bands working with that name — including one who had already released a couple albums.
“We were talking and just kind of bouncing ideas around and one thing that we noticed is that we all kept rotating around the word ‘martyr,’ said Kubacki. “So it kind of led into coming up with A Martyr’s Fall”
Currently, the line-up is Ryan Kubacki and Nigel Johnson sharing guitar and vocals, Erik Palzewicz on drums, and Karl Radtke playing bass. The band has had a particular challenge in finding a permanent vocalist.
“We have gone through several different vocalists,” said Kubacki. “None of them have really worked out for us, but we are still trying to find a dedicated vocalist for the future.”
Much of the creative work the band does “is a cohesive effort” with Kubacki writing much of the lyrics, and both Johnson and Radtke helping him bring everything together. They mostly take their lyrical inspiration from personal issues and struggles.
“We all tend to contribute fairly equally,” said Kubacki. “I know I tend to write a lot of lyrics, but Nigel and Karl both also work together and work with me on getting a lot of the lyrical content kind of structured together.”
Their sound comes together from all of their diverse music styles. Though they are all influenced by bands like Between the Buried and Me, August Burns Red, ERRA and Periphery, all four of them are “heavily influenced by a variety of different bands.” Their sound comes together to be a unique “progression” of the mix, with for example, “Karl, is really into punk, so a lot of the bass lines that he writes are heavily influenced by different punk bands,” said Kubacki.
Aside from finding a steady vocalist, the band has also had a little trouble recording and eventually releasing their newest album, Forever Starts Tonight.
“We actually lost one of our vocalists about two days after we booked the down payment to go to the studio to record,” said Kubacki. “So we ended up not being able to find another vocalist in time, that’s why we recorded the vocals ourselves and just kind of stuck with that.”
“We also had a long delay between recording our album and dropping it — we actually recorded it a year and a half ago,” said Kubacki. “There were just a lot of health issues and other issues that kept getting in the way of us being able to actually get the album back and get everything set up to release it.”
While A Martyr’s Fall does not have plans to tour in the near future, the band is focused on expanding from their local scene. Ironically, one of the things that make them stand out from other metal acts in the area is that they don’t have a set vocalist.
“We get told a lot is that it’s cool we have people playing their instruments and doing vocals at the same time instead of just a dedicated vocalist,” said Kubacki. “Other than that we throw a lot of guitar solos into our metal, and a lot of the bands, especially in the local scene around here, tend to just stick to riffs and breakdowns — just general hardcore or metalcore sounds. We have so many songs that sound so different from each other, which you can hear on the album. So to be able to throw 80s influenced guitar solos back into our music is something that tends to stand out a lot.
The biggest goal A Martyr’s Fall has for the rest of 2016 is to continue to expand outside of Wisconsin and into the rest of the world.
“Our biggest goal is to keep pushing and to get fanbases in other cities, so when it comes time for us to tour there’s be more of a chance for us to bring people to our shows,” said Kubacki. “And to just continue pushing the album we just dropped.”