A band for barely a year, one limited edition 7” release behind them, Mantar are a band that should not be yet able to produce a debut album like this. This is just amazing, hats off to the German/Turkish twosome, for coming up with a debut that knocked me off my chair.
A very shrewd move indeed by Svart Records, in snapping this duo up, as they could easily become the jewel in the crown. Opening track “Spit”, sets the tone and vibe perfectly for a 45 minute jaunt through a landscape of crushing, bruising riffs, anguish filled vocals and a raw drum sound that is just superb. The accompanying press blurb cites early Motorhead amongst other influences, and I can see it in places but the biggest similarity with Lemmy and co of years gone by in my eyes, is in the stripped bare and peeled back raw sound of the production, giving that playing in the garage to a few mates kind of vibe.
Second track “Cult Witness” is a serious contender for track of the album, opening with a mish mash of feedback and raw power before a galloping, hammer like riff takes over and slams you against the wall, Hanno’s vocal style displaying a dark and anguished side that definitely is not going to feature on any lullaby soon.
The impressive nature of this album is compounded further, when you realise that no bass guitar features anywhere, the whole record driven by the mean and unclean guitar and drum sound, perpetuating the raw and organic feel. Cast an ear on tracks such as “Into The Golden Abyss”, a tortured and Doom laden affair, or “The Berserker’s Path”, with its spoken word , and the kick ass “The Stoning” to get a encompassing feel of what the band are about. Two musicians with an uncomplicated agenda to deliver a no frills, no gimmick, image free brand of Blackened, Punk tinged Doom that ticks all the right boxes.
This is an absolute gem of a debut album, one which will feature very highly indeed come December, when I kick back and choose my album of the year. Do not pass this one by under any circumstances.
Hanno – Guitars and Vocals
Erinc – Drums and Vocals
Out now via Svart Records