Mantar came across the radar 2 years back when they had just released “Ode to the Flame”, whilst heading between stages at Hellfest and heard this unholy racket coming from the Valley stage. From the screens I could see 2 people knocking the life out of a drumkit and guitar. Yes, this was indeed a 2 piece from Germany with a fuller sound than some 5 pieces and all being played live using a series of pedals and a lot of co-ordination.
The latest offering begins with the classic 2 minute intro to pave the way for a onslaught of bludgeon and “Age of Absurd” which has the familiar Sludge guitar sound before taking of into a black metal style attack. One thing that is striking about the band is the ability to write hooks in midst of the weight of the music. There are very few bands in this general arena that are capable of this feat and with sludge and doom becoming so over saturated in recent years it is becoming increasingly hard to dig out the good stuff. However, Mantar have put their own twist on it adding subtle embellishments such as an organ on “Obey the Obscene” and a nod to the masters of the 2 piece Godflesh in the track “Eternal Return”.
The album in general has plenty of twists and turns to keep things interesting without sliding into the trap of over using a riff to the point of boredom. Obviously in the studio the layers to the sound can be achieved, however when it comes to live you may imagine difficulties set in. I would go as far to say the recorded output just falls short of capturing the sheer wall of sound they have live.
This is a well thought out album from the track ordering to the mix of styles which on paper should not work but easily mould together. The recording has warmth to it with the drums being more of a lead instrument and the barked vocals of Hanno demanding attention.
These guys have already been on the big fests the last couple of years and this album should see them gaining an even higher profile within the Nuclear Blast roster. An album that is vicious yet upbeat which will have a crossover appeal to it.
- The Knowing
- Age of The Absurd
- Seek + Forget
- Midgard Serpent (Seasons of Failure)
- Dynasty of Nails
- Eternal Return
- Obey the Obscene
- Anti Eternia
- The Formation of Night
- Teeth of the Sea
- The Funeral
Hanno Klänhardt – Guitars/Vocals
Erinç Sakarya – Drums