Mantar | ‘The Spell’
They’ve crossed our way before. The two piece who sound like a five piece – the band who have guts and weight, heft and spite.
Their debut of three years ago, ‘Death By Burning’, showed huge promise.
Unaccountably we missed out on last year’s full length, but we’re glad to make the reacquaintance. I’ve said it til I’m blue in the face: great EPs are better than most albums, and so it is with the perfectly formed ‘The Spell’.
So what do this German duo sound like? If you haven’t heard them, they’re dirty edged, thumpish and rasping dark metal that has a rock swagger.
Not unlike Babylon Whores, perhaps a touch of Valborg without the sheen of black leather, maybe a dash of Sentenced, and yet perhaps taking a certain amount of grime from the Raging Speedhorn school of smut. A bit of this and a bit of that.
‘Age Of The Vril’ on here embodies everything that makes them crush in one track.
The slow, sloping groove that kicks it off, the swaying pre-chorus, are both brilliantly warm. Then from nowhere – ‘come on, come on ride with me…. go!’ and vroom, in comes an accelerant pummel 4/4 beat that just begs to be fought to.
‘Pray to the sun while I’m diggin’ your grave’ goes the lyric. It’s infectious – and indeed that’s the characteristic that puts me in mind of Babylon Whores so.
Okoi from Bolzer, who we’ve been lauding for going off in their own idiosyncractic direction of late, also lends his pipes to this album.
He guests on the title track, giving that odd new sung roar of his to a track that somehow feels like a pop song, and somehow even regal too – it has a musicality in the main vocal that suggests it’s a cover of something more familiar. Maybe it even is.
Mantar are my kind of band. They sound like themselves and dont appear to give much of a fuck anyhow – they get on with it, ploughing excactly their own furrow, with great artwork and a real sense of self.
Pick up this curio. It’s a blast. Oh, and that artwork: genius.
4.4 / 5 – Earl Grey ::: 05/04/17