Mantar – “The Spell” EP (Nuclear Blast)
With two full length releases successfully notched into their axes, the fearsome Hamburg duo of Erinc (drums, vox) and Hanno (vox, guitar) serve yet another sliver of red meat on this tasty 3 tracker. Playing a cute mix of black / punk / doom minus a bassist, Mantar have always managed to make enough noise through an awesome display of power, be it through the heavy handed (to put it mildly) drum work of Erinc or the deafening 3 amps played through bass cabinets via octave and fuzz boxes guitar sound of Hanno. Needless to say, no bass dude needed here! Opening with ‘Pest Crusade’ it’s clear as the smashing drums give way to Hanno’s hoarse vocals before his guitar comes crashing in, although there’s clearly more of a groove here, reminiscent in places of early Clutch, although the syrup thick sound is undoubtedly Mantar made in Hamburg. Seamlessly moving onto ‘The Age Of Vril’ the grooves are even more prominent although the overt shoegaze strumming should come with a warning, thankfully interrupted with some drawn out wailing solos before building into a frantic pace furiously driven by Erinc’s pummeling drum work. The title track itself is actually an old tune written way back in Mantar’s early days, but only now recorded and featuring on guest vocals Okoi Therry Jones from Swiss bruisers Bölzer, who themselves are an extreme duo very much in the same league as these Hamburgers. Although a slower track, the raw vocals and drawls are very prominent in the mix, rolling along to a catchy groove amid Hanno’s metallic strumming with Erinc thankfully locked in another room this time for his drum destruction ha ha! All in all a nifty EP that should appeal to longtime Mantar fans along with some catchy accessibility for the new.