Lord Mantis Merges With Indian Members


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Chicago’s Lord Mantis has issued a statement in regards to lineup restructuring with the addition of new members and parting ways with several as well. Founding members and drummer Bill Bumbardner and lead guitarist Andrew Markuszewski (Avichi, ex-Nachtmystium) have brought in former Indian members, Will Lindsay (Anatomy Of Habit, Abigail Williams, ex-Indian, ex-Nachtmystium, ex-Wolves In The Throne Room) on bass, Dylan O’Toole (ex-Indian) on vocals, and Scott Shellhamer (American Heritage, ex-Mares Of Thrace) on guitars. Additionally, the band will also collaborate with former Lord Mantis member Greg Gomer who will contribute to the band’s upcoming new recorded works.

Lord Mantis has gone through a purgatory this winter but now steps out into the light again. This is part of the reason why the last tour with TITD had to be cut short and our appearance at Roadburn 2015 was cancelled. Now we have a new lineup in place.

Dylan O’Toole (who has contributed lyrically and also performs vocals in the studio on songs for the past two records Death Mask and Pervertor) is no longer an unofficial 5th member of the band. He is now the vocalist. Will Lindsay (who also played guitar in Indian with Dylan and Bill Bumgardner) is now the bassist. Will also had a guest spot on Death Mask in the studio. To say there hasn’t been a major crossover between the Chicago bands Lord Mantis and Indian over the years would be a ridiculous statement. Indian and Lord Mantis shared the same rehearsal room together at Superior Street Studios in Chicago since the devil knows when. Scott Shellhamer, musician and artist of the band American Heritage, has also joined on guitars. The original founding member of Lord Mantis from 2005 Bill Bumgardner remains along with lead guitarist Andrew Markuszewski who has been in the band since 2008. Greg Gomer (also one of the two founding members along with Bill) hasn’t been in Lord Mantis since Pervertor which is the last record he was a part of. Greg has planned on contributing as a guest spot on the future recording currently in plan. Ken Sorceron and Charlie Fell are no longer members of Lord Mantis.

The ship has righted itself and in a very natural fashion. Even with the new lineup at this time, Lord Mantis will not be appearing at Roadburn and the subsequent tour in Europe.

An EP is being worked on already to be recorded this Spring. There are no shows being booked at this time until further notice. More news on the EP and further plans for 2015 by Lord Mantis is soon to come.

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Avichi- Catharsis Absolute


avichiAfter being in the works for a long time, Avichi’sCatharsis Absolute (Profound Lore) has finally surfaced, and for the most part it’s been worth the wait. Piano interludes open and close the album, with 4 tracks of ferocious black metal packed in between. Whilst the album isn’t exactly accessible, the melodic undercurrent that runs throughout the album makes it slightly more welcoming than other obscure one man projects such as Fyrnask. The harsh, repetitive riff at the end of ‘Flames In My Eyes’ is reminiscent of Darkthrone’s classic era, although it doesn’t feel half as frosty given that this album actually has some production quality. This is no bad thing though, as the production quality gives strength to ‘Lightweaver’, and heightens the anthemic qualities of ‘Voice of Intuition’. What is most noticeable about the album is the use of melody. This is particularly apparent on ‘Lightweaver’, where twisting black metal riffs, keyboards, and chanting intertwine to create a surprisingly catchy song. ‘Voice of Intuition’ is also surprisingly catchy, given the anthemic qualities of the song. A very audible vocal line of “SPEAK TO ME!” is bellowed out across a strong, almost black ‘n’ roll rhythm.

 

‘All Gods Fall’ is by far the longest track on the album, clocking in at 12 minutes. Here, Avichi slows things down, and gets atmospheric without ever falling into post-black metal tropes. Unfortunately though, it isn’t quite as memorable as the tracks that precede it, meaning that this otherwise great album goes out with a bit of a fizzle as opposed to a bang. It’s by no means a bad track, but the punchiness of the first 3 songs is sorely missed. The track is followed by the aforementioned piano outro, which at this point feels as if it drags, as opposed to adding any atmosphere to the album.

 

Whilst the album has undeniably strong moments, it is ultimately let down by ending on a meandering 12 minute track which feels lacking in focus, followed by a dull piano outro. If it had ended with one of the middle 3 tracks, it would probably offer a lot more incentive for repeat listens. Despite these negative points, Catharsis Absolute is a decent album, as the tracks which are good, are very good indeed.

 

7.o/10

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Tom Saunders