Reviews Lord Mantis Death Mask

Lord Mantis

Death Mask

You know the saying: “Third time’s the charm?” Well it could not be more suitable for the latest Lord Mantis album. The band from Chicago delivered two previous full-lengths, Spawning the Nephilim and Pervertor, both of which were great, but this one really fucking hits the spot. Death Mask is way nastier and dirtier listen, lifting the band to a whole different level. It is just that the band seems to be working much better together with Fell’s vocals filled with malice and hate, Markuszweski’s and Sorceron’s guitars dripping venom, while Bumgardner’s drums and Fell’s bass create a towering foundation for the music.

The sheer awe hits you instantly. The moment “Body Choke” comes in it seriously feels that someone launched a crowbar at your jaw. Voices come, left and right, causing you to disorient, losing your grasp of reality. Slight black metal brushes find their way into the sludge core of the track, while the vocals take on various forms, aided by distortion. This is probably one of the best opening songs I had the chance to listen to in a long while, it just makes you want to keep on listening to the record, after of course you hit repeat ten to twenty times. Of course when the all-out attack of the title track is here, “Body Choke” is nothing but a distant memory. As Lord Mantis conjures all of the black metal rage at their disposal, with blastbeats thrown relentlessly to your face and the guitar riffs trying to separate flesh from bone. 

A very interesting surprise comes with “Possession Prayer” as the band invokes a dystopian, industrial vibe, influenced by Godflesh. The mechanical assault along with the heavy riffs is overwhelming. A similar vibe is found within “Coil” with the unearthly vocals raising a nasty ambiance filled with hate and cruelty. When the repetitive nature of the track is combined with the black metal coldness, the fear really starts to sink in. The certain, almost, post-apocalyptic vibe is fairly strong throughout the album. For instance, “Negative Birth” soon becomes one of the most sickening offerings found in Death Mask, with an insane sludge-y groove taking over and black metal leads finding their place in all the chaos. And when the black metal assault takes over, at about three and a half minutes in, the whole soundscape is being set on fire.

You will still find a few moments of peace within Death Mask, as the interlude of the album, “You will Gag for the Fix” comes in. But, even then, Lord Mantis does not let you take a break from the bitter feel of the band. This is the only moment when Lord Mantis show some little remorse to the listener. And when the most menacing face of the band comes on, with “Three Crosses,” and as Lord Mantis take on their most unforgiving form you are just left stunned by how far this band can take things. Everything is just perfect there, from the distorted vocals to the black metal leads and the unrelenting drumming.

Death Mask is what we were expecting from Lord Mantis. The rawness of Spawning the Nephilim and the horror of Pervertor were just getting us all warmed up for this. But it is with Death Mask that the real fun begins. There is no way you should miss out on the insanity that this album beholds.

9.5 / 10Spyros Stasis
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9.5 / 10

9.5 / 10

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