As a melodic black/epic death metal band with international members, Martorn stands for
admiration, loyalty, and healing. The lyrics follow suit with symbolic imagery of strenuous
growth, ephemeral beauty, and inevitable decay. The group is comprised of lead
singer/keyboardist/lyricist Emma Michaelsen (The Rhythm Coffin) and guitarist/bassist Art Bertik
(Despite Loyalty, Strangled By Strangulation, Groamville) and Grammy award winning violinist
Alyson Montez. Together, they create melodic death metal with cryptic lyrics and haunting
melodies. Guest musicians featured on tracks also include drummer Ben Durfee (Dysphotic,Coma Recovery, Cassovita) Classically trained Grand Harpist Michelle Sardi Campbell, drummer Aren Hacobian (Despite Loyalty) and guitarist Scott McNicol (Despite Loyalty / Dance, Darklings!).
As Michaelsen hails from Sweden, while Bertik and Montez both hail from America, they literally
had to cross oceans to make their music happen. Each Martorn song explores the duality of
resilience and despair. The music is bittersweet, like Pandora’s box, full of darkness, yet
redeemed by hope. But even the hopefulness is tempered by morbidity, because it’s only the
potential for progress, not a guarantee of it. The growls and gutterals are a dead giveaway for
deep-rooted anger and frustration.
Michaelsen and Bertik met in 2015 after her live performance with The Rhythm Coffin in
Hollywood, California. They have been collaborating on creating music together in between all
their other projects, ever since. Montez completed the trio shortly thereafter, originally as a
guest musician, and later as a permanent member. Their songs embody the epic atmosphere of
black metal, the raw rage of death metal, and the emotional sorrow of melodic metal. Their
music exemplifies the paradox of resilience and adversity. Martorn is deep, heavy, melancholy
music, of delicate introspection and ironclad willpower.