Reviews Lord Mantis NTW

Lord Mantis

NTW

Line-up changes are a scary thought. When it was first announced that vocalist Charlie Fell and guitarist Ken Sorceron were leaving Lord Mantis, it indeed felt like a devastating blow for the band. And the timing was just so depressing, just a little while after the band had released its most complete work in Death Mask? However, Lord Mantis seamlessly bounced back from that in a rapid manner. Guitarist Scott A. Shellhamer (American Heritage) joined the band, as did bassist Will Lindsay and vocalist Dylan O'Tool, both members of the recently dissolved noise/sludge act Indian. Existing members Andrew Markuszewksi (Avichi) and Bill Bumgardner (also ex-member of Indian) could not have added more relevant musicians to the new line-up of Lord Mantis.

So, what does all this mean for Lord Mantis? Has their style significantly shifted with the addition of new members? The answer is not really. NTW feels like the natural successor to the excellent Death Mask and sees the band re-introducing familiar elements.

The blackened approach might appear as the biggest change in NTW, with the band more open to dwelling even further into their black metal side. The sinister lead work present in the genre finds its way through the many mazes Lord Mantis construct, from the extensions applied to “Semblances” and amidst the drone structures of “Final Division,” that ominous presence stays put. Every black metal assault in this EP feels like a scar, with O'Toole's vocal lines tearing through your flesh with their malicious delivery.

From there on, Lord Mantis present the counterpart to their black metal edge, which of course is the sludge groove. Not featured as prominent as in Death Mask, the band makes excellent use of the groove in order to unleash towering manifestations, as in the title track, or deliver blows with more determination and conviction, as in “Semblances.” And within these motifs the band is always able to find ways to intrigue the listener, in the form of some creeping dissonance, an injection of noise, or the construction of a more ambient, and slightly emotional variation (as in the “Final Division).”

NTW (or Nice Teeth Whore) is an introduction to the new Lord Mantis. The band does not throw away their old self, far from that. But the involvement of the new members, seems to be causing a slight mutation for the band. Even though at this stage this seems to have been contained to some shift in the balance between black metal and sludge, it has also energized the act. NTW offers a good collection of tracks, another grotesque vision from Lord Mantis. But, it is what comes after that, which has got me all intrigued.

7.9 / 10Spyros Stasis
Advertisement
KFAI - Roar of the Underground
Leave a comment

7.9 / 10

7.9 / 10

Share this content
Advertisement
KFAI - Root Of All Evil
More by Lord Mantis

Lord Mantis

Death Mask

9.5 / 10 Lord Mantis - Death Mask album cover

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 ...

Related news

Bands Lord Mantis line-up changes

Posted March 24, 2015, 5:17 p.m.

Chicago's Lord Mantis have announced a line-up shake-up, with members leaving and numerous new additions. The new line-up includes members of recently disbanded Indian, as follows: Founding drummer Bill ...

Records Lord Mantis prepares new work

Posted March 16, 2014, 10:06 a.m.

Chicago four-piece Lord Mantis will release their Profound Lore debut, Death Mask, on April 29. The band is planning an East Coast tour at that time. Lord Mantis previously released ...

Bands Lord Mantis in studio

Posted Dec. 2, 2013, 7:28 p.m.

Chicago's Lord Mantis recently entered the studio to work on a new album for Profound Lore Records. It will be their third overall release 2012's Pervertor (Candlelight Records ...

x

Logo

Looking for the SPB logo? You can download it in a range of styles and colours here:

Click anywhere outside this dialog to close it, or press escape.