What’s that smell? Uh oh…Ah pooped m’self! Mantar’s Ode To The Flame is like a warning to the world that their Uncle Satan is coming to eat everyone’s soul. I’m almost hesitant to say anything negative about the album out of fear that these guys will put a fucking hex on me. Newly released on April 15th, 2016, this black metal, merciless piece of madness summons demons everywhere. Its rough and jagged guitar tones, face-pounding drums, and gut-wrenching vocal growls truly put the “raw” in RAAAWWWWRR!!
Along with “God bless us all!” my first thoughts when the vocals on the intro track “Carnal Rising” kicked in were, “Hey, I can understand a little bit of what this guy is saying.” Not being a very strong supporter of lyrically incomprehensible screamo music, I find great pleasure in connecting with vocal melody and lyrical content, and if you death-metalheads find that lame then you can all go straight to Heaven!
Honestly speaking, there isn’t much about Ode To The Flame that is instrumentally impressive sounding, in my opinion (Mantar, please don’t haunt my dreams, please don’t haunt my dreams!!). I’m just saying, aside from the intensity of the Mantar duo’s throat-gouging vocal roars (“Need a lozenge?” said dads everywhere), the instrumentation is pretty straightforward and basic. Though I really dug the 21st Ozzy with Zakk Wylde guitar tones, I didn’t find the album to contain any really outstanding face-melting solos or memorable guitar licks. However, I give total props to the Mantar deadly duo, Hanno and Erinc, for keepin’ it real. They’re only two dudes, both on vocals, one on drums and the other on guitar. There is NO bass on this record, and yet the rumble that this beast of an album emits could blow the subs of any homeboy’s low rider.
Without having all that added flair of wailing guitar solos and instrumental embellishment, the punk elements of Ode To The Flame shine through the darkness with a real “fuck you” attitude. Hanno and Erinc had a message of doom and destruction that they aimed to convey, and they pulled it off nicely and effectively with great simplicity.
Written by Keenan Kerr
*edited by Kate Erickson