New Music

Into the twisted realm by enigmatic Danish project MARTRE – enter the nightmare of “Ofelia”

9 mins read

From the very first note of “Ofelia” by Martre, listeners are ruthlessly thrust into a distorted dimension, a harrowing landscape permeated by grief, rage, and torment. Martre refuses to offer any respite, shunning conventional introductions and predictable solutions. “Ofelia” is an unrelenting force of confrontational music, an infernal storm of blackened-grindcore that directly challenges the very concept of death itself.

Even the moments of deceptive atmospheric interludes serve as accomplices to the terrorizing violence that pervades the music, amplifying the feverish dream-like state in which “Ofelia” relentlessly unfolds. This album is a pitch-black abyss of unease, pushing the boundaries of anything that has been labeled as “black metal.”

It ventures into uncharted territories with its controlled chaos, while paradoxically crafting a mournful elegy reminiscent of the hauntingly evocative cover image that adorns it.

Opinions on this release echo the sentiments of its dark and unconventional nature. “Ofelia” is an unbelievable amalgamation of wild and powerful genre elements, striking an impressive balance. It immerses the listener in distorted vocals and screaming guitars, where sanity hangs by a thread amidst nightmarish soundscapes. The juxtaposition of these disorienting elements with beautiful instrumental ambient passages offers a glimmer of solace in an otherwise deranged composition.

This album comes with a warning: it is not for the faint of heart, especially not before bedtime. Yet, it possesses a strange and captivating allure, as if the abyss itself gazes back at you through shattered mirrors.

Martre’s experimental approach to black metal is a testament to their boundless creativity, with each track a unique journey into madness.

This project has found a new visionary, pushing the boundaries and delivering an album that demands attention. “Ofelia” is an enthralling descent into the depths of darkness, an invitation to embrace the chaos and revel in its strange fascination.


Martre finds its origin in the mind and soul of Michael, the sole member behind the project. Hailing from Denmark, Michael’s artistic journey takes root in a smaller city located approximately 40 kilometers away from the heart of the nation’s capital, Copenhagen.

Martre emerges as a manifestation of Michael’s creative expression, a vessel through which he channels his musical vision.

“I picked up the guitar for the first time, in my early teeens – but have shelved for long periods of time throughout the years; as a result Martre is my first serious project – and my 2018 iPhone & Garageband-recorded EP “Smertens Leje”, was the first thing I’ve ever released. ” – comments Michael.

Following the release of the initial EP, Martre continued to make its mark on the music scene with two more EPs in 2020 and 2021. However, fast-forwarding to February 2023, a significant milestone was reached with the unveiling of Martre’s debut full-length album, “Ofelia.” This album, unfortunately its inspiration from the horrifying events unfolding in Ukraine, capturing the grotesque thirst for power that resides within certain individuals.

Originally, “Ofelia” was released exclusively in digital format, and given the nature of its release, there were no expectations for any other form. However, an unexpected turn of events occurred when Michael received a message from Mauro Roma, who shared details about his forthcoming record label, These Hands Melt. Intrigued by the opportunity, a collaboration was formed, opening up new possibilities for Martre’s haunting and evocative music.


“When approached by Mauro, I had to make up my mind about some things; obviously, the first thing I had to consider, was if I even wanted to pursue the deal offered to me – and then secondly, I had to decide what I was going to tell my family…” – says Michael.

“Up until this latest release, my musical adventures have been kept a secret, even to the people closest to me. My wife knew only very little, about me releasing some of my noisy shit, and honestly, she had just barely seen the tip of the iceberg: my three daugthers, the oldest of them being sixteen, knew absolutely nothing – so I had to decide whether I should tell them all, everything, about my endavours.”

Having mulled over the proposition, the offer from These Hands Melt was eventually embraced, and the news was imparted to his family.

Ofelia by Martre

Eager anticipation consumes him as he awaits the moment when the physical manifestation of his musical creation, the CD, will be within his grasp. To hold in his hands a tangible representation of his artistry is akin to the fulfillment of a cherished childhood aspiration. The CD, a vessel for his melodic oeuvre, shall retain the original mix meticulously crafted within the confines of his personal sanctuary. However, the forthcoming re-release has undergone a transformative process under the masterful touch of Frédéric Arbour, known by the moniker Cyclic Law.

Through his deft hands, a resplendent remastering endeavor has come to fruition, bestowing upon the songs a newfound vibrancy and dynamism that enlivens their essence, eclipsing the original renditions.

Indeed, the revitalized compositions stand testament to Frédéric Arbour’s exceptional craftsmanship, an exemplary work that breathes new life into the auditory tapestry, elevating it to astonishing heights.

The album’s title finds its origins in a direct correlation with the evocative album cover—an aged image that fortuitously crossed his path many years ago, promptly saved within the digital recesses of his computer, as if fated for a future purpose.

The haunting postmortem landscape depicted on the cover invokes vivid recollections of Sir John Everett Millais’ poignant masterpiece, “Ophelia.” This profound association serves as the catalyst for the album’s christening, bestowing upon it the name “Ofelia.”

Moreover, this aesthetic inspiration permeates the lyrics of the title track, forging a seamless connection between visual and sonic artistry.

Today, we’re diving deep into the details of each and every opus, through a special commentary from Michael, who sat down with us for a full track by track rundown below.


Tyrants clad in armor of gold, calm as tragedies unfold..

This is not only the opening track, but also the first one I wrote and finished recording for the album; it’s based on a riff I’ve saved for a couple of years, and decided to finally use.

Comparing to my former releases, this song is quite an unusual opening track ; I tend to make use of much calmer introductions when presenting the album to the listener. I’ve described it elsewhere as a hammer to the face – and the album and song itself demands instantly all of you attention.

The lyrics on this song is my comment, and utter show of disgust for the ignorant dictators, hiding behind money and power, while they are ruthlessly sending off their young and old, to fight a battle they would never pick themselves.



Luminous hatred, the silent, the damned..

Very few vocals on this one; the song is mostly built around the amazing sample, featuring the one and only Charlie Chaplin. The guitars are grinding right from the beginning till the end – and acts in opposition to the peace encouraging speech, taken from the movie classic The Great Dictator; in my opinion, one of the greatest moments ever, in movie history. The lyrics reflects the feelings, of both those who are sent off to fight against their will; “Machine men – with machine minds” – and those who suffers, with a deep feeling of hatred, growing with each day, and who still has to keep their feelings locked up, to avoid putting their own lives at risk.


Now show me your real darkness, growing blow by blow..

Lyric-wise this continues in the vein of the previous track, but with a focus on the frustration and hate that naturally grows, within people after being suppressed, and loosing their loved ones.

The track goes through a lot of tempo changes, and from the beginning to the end, the song goes from frantic black metal to funeral doom;
as the tempo of the song slows drastically, the vocals turn from shrieks to growls – a style I mostly use in my experimental doom metal project NØDDØ.

In the final part of the track, the growls and slow guitars fades out, and are replaced by some calm piano; only for a moment though, before everything gets weirdly haunting again, for the last thirty seconds.


An instrumental interlude, based on an old phone recording I did some night, when I was just fooling around on my acoustic guitar.

The drums are driven by the toms, and mostly just fills and heavy hits on the cymbals; I think it helps to create a beautiful, yet unsettling atmosphere, that fits the rest of the album in a nice way; the track also works as giving the listener a small breather, before the sonic assault continues on the rest of the album.


Fra grenen, til bækken..

The title-track marks a couple of changes on the album; the language switches from english to danish, and where the lyrical subjects on the first part of the album, focuses heavily on the feelings of disgust, hate and revenge, the second part digs into the territory of loss, sorrow, despair and death.

The line “fra grenen, til bækken” translates to “from the branch, to the brook”, a direct reference to the death of Ophelia in Shakespeare’s Hamlet. In the classic play, the branch couldn’t hold the weight of Ophelia, and she falls into the brook and drowns. Metaphorically speaking the album goes from madness to death in this song; our branch break, we break – and drown ourselves in loss and sorrow.

In an earlier version of the song, the lead-guitar appearing around the 2:20 mark, had an accompanying clean vocal part; though I’m still singing it inside my head, when listening to the song, I just couldn’t make it a fit, when I was working on it. I’ve might have overthought it, back when I was actually recording the song, and eventually chose to ditch the part – but I still think it’s better without; at least that’s what I think most of the days.

Martre t-shirt – grab one at this location


Jeg vandrer ene, mellem tyste grave..

For some time, I actually though a lot about releasing the “I Dødens Have” quadrilogy as a stand-alone EP, but as all the other tracks started to come alive, I eventually decided not to; a wise decision I know now, as this final-four ensemble, works as a great contrast to the first part of the album; there’s less of the experimental madness in this final part of “Ofelia”, and musically it leans, at least 2,5 percent, more towards the classic formula of black metal.

This first part of “I dødens have”, starts off with a heavily modified choir sample, based on an old recording of a choir testing acoustics in a large church room.

I had actually forgotten exactly where I had got the sample from, but I managed to find the old video clip just yesterday; the listener will have a very hard time recognizing the original, in the choir bits I created from it, as it’s chopped to pieces, and some parts are reversed – before I’d put it all back together.

This song also features my first take, on doing a real guitar solo; it’s a very melodic solo, as I’m definitely not a true shredder, and in terms of style it fits the kind of solos, I prefer to listen to myself.


Når dødens hyrder leder flokke på vej..

“Pt. II” is the shortest track on the album, and it starts off in a quite aggressive manner, with only the left channel guitar being audible for a moment, before the right channel guitar and snare drum enters.

The grinding main riff is introduced in the opening of the song, accompanied by blastbeats; after a while, it’s replaced by a mid-tempo verse part, only to return for the entirety, of the manic final minute of the song.

In terms of vocals, this song perhaps offers the greatest variation of styles; shrieks, growls, whispers – and everything in-between, is all put in to use on this one.


Jeg går mod stormen..

I’ve been told a couple of times, that this album is a somewhat taxing listening experience, so as in the case of “Voices in the ashen winds”, I think these small instrumental pieces, works as giving the listener a tiny break in the midst of the mayhem, that fills most of the album.

The choir samples of the song, are taken from the same recordings as in “Part I”, but as in the first case, it’s modified like crazy and transformed into obscurity.

“Jeg går mod stormen” translates to “I walk towards the storm”, and the sparse lyrics are focused on facing, the almost paralyzing, level of grief and trauma that war brings upon the innocent.


Snart, vil alting dø..

I appreciate an excellent album closer, that manages to sum up the entire album, in one final song; I think “Part IV” does exactly that. With a lengthy duration of 9:14, it’s by far the longest track. It’s a varied journey, through most of the elements and moods, that the listener has already encountered on the album.

A funny thing I noticed, when I was listening to the whole album for the first time, is that In the beginning of “Pt. IV”, there’s almost a tiny hint of optimism, in the way the verse vocals are performed. The lyrics are just as dark as usual, so I don’t really know, how it turned out like that; however, it seem like the optimism got lost at some point, during the recording of the song. To back up my point, I’ll share the final words of the album, “Snart, vil alting dø” – which translates to “Soon, everything will die”; I don’t consider those lines, nor the delivery of them, to be particular hope-filled..

Karol Kamiński

DIY rock music enthusiast and web-zine publisher from Warsaw, Poland. Supporting DIY ethics, local artists and promoting hardcore punk, rock, post rock and alternative music of all kinds via IDIOTEQ online channels.
Contact via [email protected]

Previous Story

Finnish metalcore / hardcore pack HEATHEN HEARTS premiere new EP “No Light Left to Chase”

Next Story

SAVAGE RAVAGE: forging a fiery path through the metal realm