Northern Germany’s feral two piece Mantar are the product of a twenty year friendship between guitarist/vocalist Hanno Klaenhardt and drummer/vocalist Erinc Sakarya. Anyone notice what is missing? They proudly state that there is no bass guitar on this album, and that it is only the two of them – mind you my ears are telling me that there is either a bass at work in places or a down-tuned guitar doing the same thing. But, here we have a duo who have taken early 90’s Darkthrone and are bringing it into the modern age, black metal with plenty of anger and venom which also owes a debt to the mighty Anaal Nathrakh. Apparently neither musician considers themselves to be a metalhead, with Hanno coming to the music from punk, while Erick is a strong Sisters of Mercy fan. None of this has stopped them from producing some quite brutal music.

This is black metal at its most violent and angry; there is no room for Burzum-style atmospherics here, it is all about putting the guitars in your face and then pounding them hard. Only one song breaches the five minute mark, as they declare “Riffs, riffs, riffs are the only hard currency for Mantar – simple as fuck – that’s what I like,” says Hanno. They certainly achieve that, with a black metal/punk hybrid that is hard-hitting and always in your face. This is their third album in just four years, and are playing live wherever they can, and are showing no sign at all of slowing down just yet.

Rating: 7/10


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