Photo: Jim Heal
Belfast musician Dom Martin releases his new album, Buried In The Hail, revealing a very personal journey, via 40 Below Records.
Co-produced by Martin, Chris O’Brien, and Graham Murphy, Buried In The Hail features the talents of bassist Ben Graham and drummer Jonny McIlroy and was mixed at Golden Egg Studios in Dublin, Ireland.
Buried In The Hail follows Martin’s debut album, Spain to Italy, released in 2019, and his 2022 sophomore album, A Savage Life.
Martin has received multiple awards for his acoustic work, with multiple European and UK awards, leading to his induction into the UK Blues Hall of Fame. At the 2022 UK Blues Awards, Martin was nominated in five categories and won Acoustic Blues Artist of the Year. and Blues Instrumentalist of the Year, which he also won in 2022.
He’s appeared at many prestigious UK festivals, including the Guinness Blues on The Bay Festival, The Rory Gallagher Festival, the Letterkenny Rhythm and Blues Festival, the Kaleidoscope Festival, The Great British Rhythm and Blues Festival, The Harvest Time Festival, and The Canterbury Festival. He’s performed in Moscow and has done multiple European and Scandinavian tours.
Encompassing 11 tracks, the album begins with “Hello in There,” opening on gently gleaming guitars that drift and glide on gossamer filaments. Highlights on the album include “Government,” a low-slung, meandering song showcasing Martin’s evocative voice, vaguely reminiscent of Eddie Vedder. The feel and flow of the tune mirrors introspective, melancholic savors.
Dripping with delicious swampy blues flavors, “Belfast Blues” allows Martin to strut his low, rasping tones, imbuing the lyrics with alluring, gravelly textures. A personal favorite, “Crazy,” the sole cover on the album, reimagines the song made famous by Patsy Cline. Starting off sad and slow, the tune moussed up to a dreamy, blues-laced guitar topped by Martin’s lusciously poignant, scraping timbres.
Rolling out on dark, dirty guitars, “Unhinged” is all anger and fury, oozing passionate sparks and smoke and emotional flames.
Talking about “Unhinged,” Martin says, “This is a song about feeling unhinged by society, finding falseness in people who greet you with smiles and leave you with nothing.”
For some reason, the title track conjures up grimy, sleazy, blues-laden suggestions of the Rolling Stones’ “Play With Fire,” ringing with stark, resonant hues. Another gem, “Lefty 2 Guns” slinks with viscous, shadowy blues textures, a dazzling guitar solo, and Martin’s growling vocals.
The coasting rhythmic flow of the album, along with Dom Martin’s incomparable voice, imbues Buried In The Hail with a yummy oil-and-water feel, making it a don’t-miss record.