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Review: Death by Burning by Mantar

It’s great to hear new music, it’s what makes the world go round, we can all remember the first time you heard that favourite album, what it feels like...

It’s great to hear new music, it’s what makes the world go round, we can all remember the first time you heard that favourite album, what it feels like each time a new track starts, the anticipation of what you will hear, no matter how good that album is it will never stand up to that first listen. You should be that excited when you first listen to Mantar, sit and really take in each song because in years to come when you’re playing it again, and you will be, you’ll want to remember where you were.

Mantar are a two-piece metal band from Germany and Turkey, although listening to this fully self-produced album you’d be forgiven for thinking they were a whole marching band of metal masters. The sound is hard to categorise, at times the vocals could be likened to an early incarnation of Killing Joke but in the heavier sets sound like a much manlier Danny Filth. As for the backing track the range is so open there’s a little pocket of joy for everyone somewhere, in places think very early punk but then you could be forgiven to thinking you were listening to 36 Crazyfists and Amorphis playing together.

It’s the wide range that gives this album it’s appeal, Death by Burning isn’t your archetypal paint by numbers Doom Metal which is so often the case, it’s a body of work by two very talented musicians who have shaped and moulded their sound to take in every facet of influence they could call upon. Heavily fertilising the ground somewhere between Black Metal and Hardcore the poor girl in your local record shop will probably have a hard time shelving this little beauty.

Opening tracks ‘Spit’ and ‘Cult Witness’ have that iconic Killing Joke feel, hammering drums and a forced vocal just on the crux of breaking but going on through the tracks, the vocals take on a more Jamey Jasta feel, more emotional, more hate-filled. The tracks get darker and heavier with each flick of the track number, like the sun setting slowly until total blackness consumes you. Final track ‘March of the Crows’ is an epic 8 minute blood soaked slog through the deepest and darkest evil they can muster, beautifully constructed and perfectly produced it’s a pure instrumental soul crusher in the vein of Type O Negative but with just more evil.

This is probably my favourite debut of 2014 and it will be very hard to beat, rarely have we seen such content from seasoned supergroups let alone two guys from the continent. You need to get yourselves online and downloading this when it’s released.

“Death by Burning” will be available 24th February 2014 on Svart records. Have a listen to the first release from the album here.

Head over to the Mantar website or their Facebook page for more details on the band.

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The Mighty Machine Steve, forged in the heart of a collapsing sun, born in The Dark Star, the soul of Heavy Metal. He is the Apollo Creed of Alternative Music.... except not black.