May 4, 2021

Kaisas initially began life as a project for the Greek musician Babis Kaisas with the first album, Unify, being released in 2011which also featured the Brazilian drummer Acacio Carvalho and the one and only Tony Mills of the British rock band Shy and the Norwegian heavy rock band TNT with Kaisas playing guitar and bass. Sadly, Tony Mills left us in 2019 and the world is a sadder and much smaller place without him. It has to be said that Babis Kaisas is a wonderful shredder but it really was the voice of Tony Mills that carried the project which was a meeting of NWOBHM, Rainbow and Journey. Sadly, the team didn’t stay together and the second album, Degitalize, in 2014 featured Kaisas alongside a couple of American musicians in Mark Evans (Heaven Edge vocalist) and Allen Brunell (King’s Ransom drummer). This new album saw the band consolidate by moving more down the melodic/AOR route with Evans proving to be a capable replacement for Mills. It was then five years later, in 2019, that Martyria came out and Kaisas had again refreshed the line-up with the incoming pair of the highly regarded Greek drummer Fotis Nestor and a brave choice for vocalist in Gordon MacIntosh, an established vocalist but more usually found singing country and even opera with this being his first time singing for a rock band. This time, Babis Kaisas has given the band a harder edge and sees them move a little towards speed metal and hard rock whilst still retaining the melodic elements that have been integral in all three albums so far.

Due to each member of the band living in different parts of the world with Kaisas in California, MacIntosh in Scotland and Fotis in Greece the music was recorded separately at their home studios and then mixed and mastered in Greece. I know that many bands are now using this route to record albums and it is a valid way to record especially at this moment in time but I cannot help but feel that the sound of the band would have been a little better if recorded when all three were present. This is more evident on the vocals which range from good to adequate throughout the album and I’m sure the singer would have benefitted from being with the others especially as this was his first time singing on a rock album.

Musically, this is a natural progression on what has gone before and is a fine and pleasant rock album but could have been better with more collaboration and feedback.

Martyria track list

  1. Calling From Another World (3:11)
  2. Burnin’ Wheels O’ Fire (3:55)
  3. Bloody Red (4:31)
  4. Cold Feelings (4:35)
  5. For Freedom (3:21)
  6. Filthy Lyin’ System (3:08)
  7. Can’t Fight In Dreams (4:04)
  8. Steamin’ (2:59)
  9. Meet Cpt. Death (4:23)
  10. Whores Of Babylon (3:35)
  11. Can’t Hide The Pain (4:37)
  12. Heaven Denied (3:54)
  13. Modern Day Apocalypse (3:48)