Mantar really burst onto my radar last year when they toured the US with Conan. I only caught a brief bit of their set at Psycho California but what I saw left me kind of in awe. These guys are monstrously heavy, perhaps only comparable to the great Black Cobra. Listening to them tear the world apart on their latest record, Ode To The Flame has left me stunned. This is a band who have a distinct aesthetic, powerful tone, and a sound that any fan of heavy music can get lost in for days without end.
The sense of darkness communicated on this record is potent, there is something almost antediluvian about the crushing might of a riff like the one that introduces The Hint. Meanwhile, the tortured vocals belie an impressive level of control and these songs see the bands frontman Hanno driving the listener forward with a sense of internal torment that only the gods can match. One of the things that really impresses me about Ode To The Flame is how rich the sound is, despite Mantar being a mere two piece. These songs often feature layered harmonies and powerful rhythms coming together in surprisingly refreshing and organic ways.
There is almost a hardcore sensibility to Ode To The Flame at times that directly contrasts some of the more grandiose doom metal moments. Mantar understand how to bring in a little bit of everything into their sound in order to achieve something greater. As you feel them crush forward, every devastating chord another example of their greatness, it becomes more apparent than ever, Mantar may very well be the new lords of all that is heavy. So hop on board the bandwagon, it's going to be a crazy ride.
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