Mantar – The Modern Art of Setting Ablaze

Earlier this year, UK-based band, Conjurer released their debut album, displaying a staggering amount of different influences mixed together to create something amazing and new. Germany based, two-piece band Mantar have done just that as well with their sophomore release, The Modern Art of Setting Ablaze (Nuclear Blast).

However, unlike the influence from more prog metal bands like Mastodon and Opeth in Mire (Holy Roar), Mantar have brought together a variety of different worlds that can be shown throughout the album with elements of Metallica, Motörhead and Machine Head combined with animalistic vocals that sound like they belong in a black metal band. The overall effect of this creates a raw, vicious sound; even though there are only 2 members of the band, the sound that they’ve produced is larger than some fully manned bands.

Unlike their black metal contemporaries, Mantar stick to a far more conventional length for their songs, whilst some bands in their field would expand upon the songs in the albums, creating soundscapes like Deafheaven for example. Mantar stick to shorter hits, with the longest track being five minutes or less. “I wanted three or four-minute songs; bam, bam, bam! Every song different, catchy – that’s what rock and roll is about.” Hanno Klaenhardt, the vocalist and guitarist of Mantar said about the album, which is essentially what the album does to a T.

Whilst with some bands who experiment more with their sound, Mantar’s combination of more classic rock/metal and thrash with black metal seems that it can go a lot further without growing stale. The Modern Art of Setting Ablaze is a forthright, in-your-face metal release with that punk spirit that punches you in the face from the very beginning and doesn’t let up until the end. Having wowed the crowds at Bloodstock Festival in August, Mantar are one band who could dominate the metal scene if they carry on at this velocity.

8.5/10

CHARLIE HILL