Grimy as hell. That’s the best phrase to describe this album. It just feels dirty and sick and dying. And it’s pretty awesome for it. If you take some of the slower, more droning Gorgoroth tracks from the 2000’s and put them in a blender with Mastodon and Triptykon, you’ll come close to the sound here. Close, but not quite. I can’t believe that voice and this music comes out of the guys in the band photos.
I’m not really sure where to start, but lyrics and vocals seems to be the way to go. I never thought a dude with a ho-hum name like Charlie Fell from my hometown of Chicago could sound like a demon emerging from a swamp. “Body Choke” may very well be my favorite song on the album. There are so many moments that the vocals come through with just a sickening level of bile and utter contempt. I’ll find myself scrunching my face up on many a drive home and lip synching the menacing words to this one. “Kiss the snake! Kill the Child!” The imagery is bizarre and just all around evil. The pacing and deliberate placement of enunciation fits the droning guitar perfectly.
Guitars are doomy, droning power chords akin to most similar acts. The difference is that they carry a kind of a dirty bayou sludgyness to them that brings to mind everything from Mastodon to Sabbath. While black metal is stereotypically “cold,” Lord Mantis is humid and sticky. The drums march like an approaching giant. There is a progressive element as well. Leads are slowly added as songs progress in the form of reverb and echo-heavy phrases of just a few notes. “Negative Birth” serves as a good example. About halfway through, the pace is slowly cranked up leading to a blastbeat and several overlaid tremolo parts. This portion could have easily fit on Incipit Satan or Ad Majorem Sathanas Glorium.
Can I break here for a minute and just mention the album art? As a father of two girls, I consider myself to still be pretty liberal about the weird shit on my CD shelves. This was something that for once I wasn’t even willing to post on my Facebook page because of family who would see it. I had to promote it by link. A perfect fit for the music; the image is disconcerting, ugly, and challenging. If you plan on putting a vinyl on your wall, don’t plan to have family over unless they’re, ya’ know, awesome.
There are only 6 tracks, so once again, I find it difficult to recommend just a few. If I could only pick two though, it would be the aforementioned “Body Choke” and “Possession Prayer.” Watch the video for the latter, but not at work. It’s completely twisted, but beautiful in a way. The gunshot snare hits, discordant guitars, and chants of “Blood! Rust! Incinerate!” are certain to get the vein in your forehead pulsing. “Consume!”
- Review by FlightOfIcarus
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