Lord Mantis – Death Mask31st March 2014
Relatively unfamiliar with Lord Mantis‘ previous releases, I was recently turned onto the band with the addition of Abigail Williams own Ken Sorceron joining the fray. I will start by saying I had no idea what to expect and from the intro of the first song to the very end I received one of the darkest heaviest offerings I have heard in years.
This band is definitely a metal band through and through, but beyond that they are uncategorizable. There are a ton of elements present here weaved together so well it’s almost hard to keep up. The first track, Body Choke, is a perfect description of how it affects the listener. It grabs unto you and doesn’t let go until the devastating finale. I am near speechless on how remarkable this release is. Take Monotheist-era Celtic Frost, or Tom G. Warrior‘s newest incarnation, Triptykon, but eliminate the occasional beautiful passage adorned with female vocals; this release is nothing but a earth shaking apocalyptic ominous monster. Lord Mantis strip away all hope and force themselves upon you with a ferocious carnal appetite.
Unlike other bands in the black metal genre, Lord Mantis only borrow the classic approach occasionally opting more often for a slower death pace approach that leaves you crawling away in musical ecstasy or agony…not sure which.
Possession Prayer is definitely the standout track on the record. I believe it is a glimpse into Lord Mantis‘ transformation. It embraces their Chicago roots combining elements of the harshest sounds of 90’s industrial ala Ministry at their worst (best!) . It recalls a time where WaxTrax ruled my world and combined that feeling of emptiness and despair with the heaving earth heaviness of the end of the world. Possession Prayer is a mantra not unlike what industrial stalwarts Nitzer Ebb made famous with Join the Chant except remove the danceability and cheekiness and replace it with a murderous and menacing vibe.
I cannot say enough about this album, but it will definitely not be received like this by everyone. This is not a casual listen; this is a guided tour of depravity, disgust, and prime evil. There are a lot of people who will not be able to stomach the magnitude of this release, but for those who can it will be an enlightening experience.
SCORE – 9.5 out of 10
1. Body Choke
2. Death Mask
3. Possession Prayer
4. You Will Gag For The Fix
5. Negative Birth
7. Three Crosses
April 29th, 2014
For Fans of:
Triptykon, Celtic Frost (Monotheist Era), Satyricon (modern), Sunn O, Neurosis, 90’s Industrial, Dodheimsgard (666 Inernational)