“Calling to us through the ages, ‘Rockaxeon’ is epic in the truest meaning of the word. A operatic rock poem about rocks, it smashes through any preconception you might have with prehistoric might and harder than granite riffs. Vocally, it is gorgeously performed with the passion and emotive energy of the pen and creativity that went into it. Martus has a magnificent range and he easily navigates from the soft and soulful to a powerful growling belt. The song has a truly mesmeric progression, beginning as a spacey surreal art rock jam and slowly diving into more operatic territory before coming out the other side full frenzy with psychedelic rock power. There is no point where what you’re listening feels disconnected from the last, the pace and movement is seamless. Yet the scope of it when you look back is as collosal and timeless as the narrative of the piece itself. With all of this you might expect it to be impossible for such a piece of high concept art to have a hook or chorus but again you’d be wrong. Crafted by skilled hands and formed from the Earth itself the swell of the chanting main refrain is dizzying and mesmeric. The intricate instrumentation, beautiful build, perfect production, and bard like storytelling make for a track that truly does defy the centuries. It is timeless. This is a masterful talent and the heart that has gone into the project is only matched by the prodigious skill. ”
- Matt Miles
“Africa” by Darien Martus is a captivating rock anthem with an imaginative concept, painted with vivid and mysterious lyrics. Starting out simply with acoustic guitar and a lead vocal, the track transforms from a moody ballad to theatrical rock, combining an eclectic range of sounds and influences. From layers of chanting background vocals to a raging saxophone solo, there are plenty of surprising moments musically that add to the arrangement’s eccentricity and depth.
Instead of aiming for a conventional build up, the presence of each instrument clearly comes from an intentional choice—allowing the lyrics to speak louder in certain parts, or to fade into the background, contributing to the bigger picture. Martus has the voice of a wise storyteller, and his bold vocals add character to the song—an element that’s irreplaceable.
His lyrics beautifully bring nature and history to life. “Great beasts can roam the ocean, birds fly to the southern skies.” He creatively writes from the perspective of a man who’s one of the first to exist: “walking alone with the sound of my feet with this beautiful stone, I can build, I can sleep.”
Memorable and flowing with imagination, the songwriting of “Africa” is carefully thought out and blossoms through its intricate instrumentation. Its ambiance and detailed imagery transports you into the story’s world.” Saya Mochizuki and Staff, Please Pass the Indie
“The American musician Darien Martus, released on the 1st of October, his newest studio album, entitled “Rockaxeon”. Featuring an elegant and high quality Progressive Rock, the work features 7 songs in about 70 minutes, with great emphasis on the great title track and “Africa”. ”
- Liandro Vianna
“Africa is one of those songs that remain inside our lives, like memories that will never disappear when we touch our heart or the memories that we have inside. The patience of this work encourages us to enjoy each moment as the best of all, as if it were the peak of our reflections. All this, thanks to the very direct and decisive voice of the artist, who takes us to a perfect space of peace. This song is purity. It is the honesty you are looking for.”
“The slow burning intensity of the sound is fantastic ”
- Various Small Flames
“A refreshingly original piece of rock art”
“Dark, dramatic and epic slice of rock balladry. (Africa) Smooth vocals croon above a twinkle of guitar amid a sea of dark and eerie atmosphere. It is moving, emotive and dramatic.”
- BarryGruff (Blogger)
Hold Me Tonight Review
Please Pass the Indie
“A gentle and flowing arpeggiated piano surrounded by ambient strings opens Darien Martus' indie-pop song, "Hold Me Tonight." Martus wrote, produced, and recorded the song as a solo artist.
In the beginning, the musical landscape is contemplative. Martus enters singing, "Life is hard / Or did you know / It’s not a fairytale / Love can hurt / Or it can heal." Martus' vocal performance is intimate and stirring. With a rich tone, Martus' baritone voice is expressive, filled with nuance and character. similar to artists like Leonard Cohen.
As the song moves forward, it opens up (to the ear's surprise) with an electronic backbeat that takes the tempo from pensive to upbeat and hopeful. The electrifying track moves through your veins like a pop song you can dance to with an expansive sound that is easy to get lost in. Soon a clap track arrives and the transition from a melancholy ballad to energetic mid-tempo EDM-indie-pop piece is fully realized.
Lyrically, "Hold Me Tonight" is poetic. Martus utilizes contrast, both musically and lyrically, to bring out the harshness of a cold world and the warmth of love which is "our only hope." "It can be hard and cold Love alone Our only hope Our only fairytale."
At the end of the song, Martus returns once more to the soft, ballad presentation heard in the beginning. His arrangement, full of color. texture, dynamics, and surprising transitions, locks the ear in from the beginning to the end. Simply put, it's mesmerizing on multiple levels.
Darien Martus' "Hold Me Tonight" is a very-well-conceived and performed indie-pop song. Utilizing a suitcase full of musicality, the song is untraditional, yet it yields a timeless feel. The subject matter captures both despair and hope in a way that gets under your skin and is truly unforgettable.“