Friday 10 January 2014

Mantar - Death By Burning - Album Review

death by burning cover art

MANTAR is a Black Metal, Doom, Punk band from Hamburg, Germany

The members are:

Hanno - voc/git
Erinc - drums/voc


Mantar are a two-piece from Hamburg who play a nifty amalgamation of Melvins-esque sludge, twinned with the grim black / punk attitude of Darkthrone. They are completely void of a bass player, so the riffs are gonna have to be heavy to compensate for no low end. Luckily they are pretty much gluttonous throughout their debut, 'Death By Burning'.

The first thing that impacts you about album opener 'Spit' is the intensity of the drums. Drummer Erinc clearly graduated from the school of Crover, and he pounds those bad boys into paste. But the riffs are no redheaded stepchild at all, deep and ballsy. Guitarist and vocalist Hanno is in a constant death grip with his half of this unholy alliance, and his harsh vocals and filthy fuzz sound huge.

The sound starts out big and just keeps getting bigger too. 'Astral Kannibal' is all sludgy and outlaw with a nice rolling lick, but it quickly incorporates some of that black metal tendency. The two genres have always been good bedfellows stylistically, and although this track definitely feels more American south it definitely could have visited Norway on a student exchange of some kind. It spent at least one summer surrounded by bleakness. Great tune right here.

The punk metal 'fuck you-ism' continues wholeheartedly on 'Swinging The Eclipse'. A real thrasher that starts out with some Mastodon thunder, it's all bullet belts pretty much immediately after that right up until it hits the mid point, and what you thought was it's natural conclusion. And then it knocks you sideways with some seriously swaggering, slow and bloated stylings. Some tremendous droning riffs. Really enjoyable stuff.

You need to hear 'The Berserkers Path' right now. A spoken word piece over some of the ugliest riffs ever about the nature of the people in question. History has never been so fucking METAL. That closing line of "they serve one master - that is destruction" quite literally gave me goosebumps.

I have welcomed 2014 into my existence with this album, and the year is already sounding truly righteous thanks to Mantar. This is an album engorged with fat riffs and drumming that sounds like a mammoth stampede, and it's just what you need to get your next 12 months started the right way, the heavy way. 'Death By Burning' is a tremendous marriage of styles and feel, and it will crush you in it's path. And believe me, that is something to be welcomed.

Written by Matt Fitton

This album is incredible. It really is. Thanks to Nathan and Svart Records for sending us a promo to review. Death By Burning will be available to buy from Feb 7th 2014 on CD, DD, Tape and Vinyl.

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