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Mantar | ‘The Modern Art Of Setting Ablaze’


Right, first off, what happened to Mantar’s formerly amazing artwork?

I’m not about to pre-judge the release on it, but both ‘Death By Burning’ (which was interesting) and ‘The Spell’ (which was full on amazing) had a waaaay better look than this.

Anyway whatever, they’ve established their dues by now, so on to the music.

They’re an interesting band: your man looks like the the other one’s da.

If you’ve never heard them before, they’re a bottom heavy scuzzed boom that’s usually the preserve of power trios rather than duos, mixing bounce with menace.

As I’ve said before, the fact that they’re a two piece is faintly unbelievable given the size of the sound, but its true.

I get the sense with this one that the crusty tuppence are trying to broaden out a bit.

It’s like they’ve taken a look at Royal Blood and thought they could do that but only much more filthy, much harder, but still hanker after filling very, very large venues with these call-to-action choruses and riffs (‘Taurus’ especially).

Because for all the rough, rasped and phlegmy vokills (and I’ve mentioned the Asphyx influence before), if you peel back the onion just a few layers on these riffs then it is Royal Blood indeed that keep popping back into ones mind.

One thing about this album is atmosphere – for all the accessibility of the hefty riffing, there are tracks like ‘Eternal Return’ stressing a darker, danker vibe. And that’s before the sort-of D-beat kicks in to ram it all home.

The drumming is what makes the band. Loads of floor tom work alongside the kick drum achieving two ends: one, filling out the sound-space, and two, creating a greater tumble in the riffs.

The organ sound at the start of ‘Obey The Obscene’ is just one of many instances where they’ve thought creatively around their basic sound – the big, simple, slamming riff after it is rewarding as well.

So yes, it’s basically like a heavier, darker and more rusted, stinking Clutch, and if you’re not wanting to think to hard over an angry, caustic rock record, this has got to be pretty high on the listening lists for the next few months.

It doesnt really demand much analysis – Mantar were always going to be great, and this is just the latest instalment.

Albeit not quite as blow-away as the last one.

3.9 / 5 – Earl Grey ::: 29/08/18



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